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A Week in the Life: Investment Banking VP


As you become a banker, you begin to shift from modeling and number crunching to relationship building. This gradual transition happens during the senior associate phase as the associate begins interfacing with existing clients. Ultimately, VPs and MDs spend most of their time and energy finding new clients and servicing existing clients. VPs spend more time managing associates and analysts and the pitchbook creation process than MDs, but their responsibilities begin to resemble those of MDs at the senior VP level. The typical week for a VP or MD, then, looks quite different from that of an analyst or associate.


The banker gets a courier package delivered at 6 a.m. at her house, and carries this with her to the airport. The package contains several copies of an M&A pitch that she intends to make that day. Her team put the finishing touches on the analysis just a few hours before, while she slept at home. Her schedule that day includes three meetings in Houston and one important pitch in the afternoon. As an oil and gas banker, the banker finds she spend two-thirds of her time flying to Texas and Louisiana, where her clients are clustered. In her morning sales calls, the banker visits with a couple CEOs of different companies, gives them an updated general pitchbook and discusses their businesses and whether they have upcoming financing needs. The third meeting of the day is a lunch meeting with a CFO from a company she led a deal for last year.

The banker's cell phone seems glued to her head as she drives from meeting to meeting, but she turns it off for her final meeting - an M&A pitch to a CEO of an oilfield service company. Afterward, the banker grabs dinner with the company's CFO, and finds her way to her hotel around 9 p.m.


The next day the banker heads to a drafting session at the offices of a law firm downtown. She had gotten up early to read through and review the draft of the prospectus, and made comments in the margins. As her firm is only the co-manager on the deal, she merely brings up issues for the group to consider, and does not lead the discussion, leaving that to the lead manager. After the drafting session, the banker catches an early afternoon flight home, leaving an associate at the drafting session to cover for her.


Back in the office, the banker spends all day on the phone. Flooded with calls, the banker has no time to look at any of the models dropped off in her in-box. Finally, around 6 p.m., she calls the associate and analyst team building an IPO model into her office. For an hour, they go through the numbers, with the banker pointing out problems and missing data items. The associate and analyst leave with a full plate of work ahead. The banker heads home at 8 p.m.


The banker is back in the office in the morning to review more models and take some phone calls, but she leaves around noon to catch a flight to make it to a "closing dinner" in Texas. It is time to celebrate one of her successfully managed transactions (it was a follow-on) with the working group. As the lead manager, the banker makes sure that she has plenty of gag gifts for the management team and war stories from the offering to share with the group.


The banker plans on staying in town to make a few sales visits in the morning. Armed again with pitchbooks, the banker spends a few hours wooing potential clients by discussing merger ideas, financing alternatives and any other relevant transaction that could lead to a fee. Heading home, the banker touches base with her favorite associate to discuss a few models that need work, and what she needs for Monday.


Over the weekend, the banker has models couriered to her home, where she goes over the numbers and calls in or messengers her comments and changes to the associate back at the office.