Skip to Main Content
by Derek Loosvelt | January 07, 2011


As part of an ongoing series of new Days in the Life, here's a typical 20-hour period in the life of a vice president at Credit Suisse who works out of New York with retail and consumer companies.

6:30 a.m.  Open my eyes and check my Blackberry. I work with clients in Europe and Asia (as well as North America) so I need to check if any messages came in while I was asleep. Send a few quick responses then go back to bed.

7:30 a.m.  Get up and check my Blackberry again. No new messages. Back to bed.

8:30 a.m.  Get up for good. Change and leave the house while checking and returning messages. I live close to the office so I walk.

9:00 a.m.  Arrive at my desk. Respond to emails, organize my day.

9:30 a.m.  First meeting of the day. I rarely set up meetings before 9:30. This one's with a sell-side client -- a company we're selling. It's a weekly call. Same time, same day every week. The deal's been going on for months. The full deal team is on the call today: me, my analyst, my associate, my director, my MD, our co-advisor, the client's CFO, their CEO, the legal team. All hands on deck.

10:00 a.m.  Sit with my analyst and associate on the sell-side team and give them guidance (for a future presentation we have to make) based on the outcome of the call.

10:30 a.m.  An internal meeting with another team on a potential buy-side transaction. I sit with my MD, analyst and associate on the team and we map out a game plan for what needs to be done -- we're putting together a presentation for a "bake-off" (we haven't been contracted on the deal yet; we're competing to get the business).

11:00 a.m.  Back at my desk. I start to draft a full presentation for the buy-side deal based on guidance from my MD. What the presentation needs to look like, what the analyst needs to do, what research we'll need to get, etc.

12:00 p.m.  Finished with a solid draft of the book. Give my associate and analyst guidance on what they need to do today with regards to putting it together.

12:15 p.m.  Run out and grab a sandwich at Quizno's. Make two personal calls while I'm out.

12:45 p.m.  Back at my desk. Eat. Give a quick sanity check to my associate and analyst working on the book, see if they have any questions. They don't. They go to lunch.

1:00 p.m.  One of my MDs is in California on his way to give an intro pitch and for the next hour he'll be in a car, so an associate and I make sure we're in the office. Typically when an MD's heading to a meeting they'll bombard you with with emails and last-minute requests. Today's no different. The associate and I tag-team on the MD's emails and requests.

2:00 p.m.  Get an email from another MD who says, 'I just learned about a deal and thought you'd be perfect for it. I need you to step in and give some guidance. It's for a buy-side deal.' The MD has forwarded me the investor presentation and credit memo, which has to be done by Friday (today's Wednesday).

2:30 p.m.  Ramp up to speed on this new project, making sure I understand the business and what the client is asking for. While I do this I respond to other emails about other deals. The MD in California is out of his meeting and has a few follow-up items.

4:00 p.m.  Head over to our financial sponsor group -- they're working on this new buy-side deal. I give them a due diligence list and provide them with guidance and timing regarding the internal credit package we need to create. (The client asked us if could advise on the acquisition as well as provide financing -- in this case, a $200 million term loan. Which means we need to get internal approval on whether or not we can do that. It's basically just going through a lot of red tape, but if we don't traffic it quickly, it won't get done in time. Thankfully, I've done this before and know what we need to get to the committee.)

4:30 p.m.  Start planning what the rest of my evening will look like. Some of the MDs are starting to go home and sending their last emails of the day -- their to-do lists for the rest of the evening. I sit with my analyst and associate on the original buy-side deal, checking to see where they are. They're struggling with one piece of analysis, so I stay with them and we plow through the model they're working on, making sure their balance sheet balances and looking at different scenarios they've created.

5:30 p.m.  I check in with my sell-side team, tell them to send me whatever they have by then end of the evening.

6:00 p.m.  Go to the gym. (I probably go to the gym two or three times a week.) While I'm on the treadmill I get a message that's too complicated for me to respond to there, so I step out for a minute and make a call.

7:00 p.m.  Back at my desk. Check messages. Return messages. Order dinner.

7:15 p.m.  Eat dinner with two other VPs.

7:45 p.m.  Return a call I missed while I was eating. It was from a client who I've been trying to get in touch with for two weeks to discuss an idea I had for an acquisition. The voicemail says they're interested in my idea so I call them back. I get voicemail, so I leave message thanking them for the call and asking if they want to set up a meeting soon and saying that in the meantime I'll flush out the idea. Get off the phone and call my analyst staffer and associate staffer and get together a team.

8:15 p.m.  Team is together. Meet with this new team and give them a high-level overview, telling them to get started on a presentation but that I don't need anything until Friday afternoon.

9:00 p.m.  Start thinking about trying to get out of here. Do another quick check on my buy-side team. They're still struggling with the model so I sit with them again and we go over it. After a half hour I tell them to send me a draft of whatever they have at the end of the night and that I'll take a look at it if I'm still up. If not, first thing in the morning.

9:30 p.m.  Check in with my sell-side team -- they're doing fine. Tell them to send me what they have before they leave.

9:45 p.m.  Walk home.

10:15 p.m.  Home. Watch TV, waiting for emails to hit my inbox. My MD has landed in Chicago from the West Coast. He gives me more color on what he's thinking with regards to follow-ups to his meeting today.

11:30 p.m.  Get a one-pager from my sell-side team and quickly review it. It's fine. Tell them to circulate it to everyone on the deal: the client, the MD, etc.

11:55 p.m.  Still no word from the buy-side team.

12:00 a.m.  Go to bed.

2:30 a.m.   Get a message from the buy-side team with model attached. They're still having issues with it and want me to review. I go back to sleep. I'll look at first thing in the morning.


Filed Under: Finance