Dominique Bazy, head of corporate finance at UBS Warburg in Paris

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6.30 am: Out of bed by 6.45. I live in the centre of Paris, off the Place des Invalides. My office is close enough to walk to sometimes, across the river. It's a pleasant way to start the day. This morning, the driver picks me up and I quickly glance at the papers.

Twice a week, I travel to London or elsewhere in Europe, and leave the house by 6.00. We're increasingly handling situations where, for example, a German client wants to invest in France or a major French corporate wants to move into Italy.

7.45 am: At my desk - fairly unusual for a corporate banker. Most of my team come in later, but I prefer to leave in the evening no later than half past eight. First stop is a quick check of my e-mails to catch any urgent ones. About 20 waiting for me.

8.00 am: In France, as everyone knows, important business of all kinds is often conducted over meals. Today, I have a breakfast meeting round the corner with Louis

Bedoucha, head of the Mergers and Acquisitions team at Air France. I know he prefers an early start. Not true of everyone.

Breakfast for me is always two espressos and a glass of water, never anything to eat. We talk in fairly general terms about Air France's plans over the coming months and the alliances they would like to pursue. We discuss the competition, such as AOM, and Air Liberté, and the serious problems they're facing.

9.00 am: Straight back to see a client, who is planning a bid for a listed company. We mull over the possible reaction of the three major shareholders. How likely is a counter-offer? We consider how we should juggle the financing of the operation, the time-scale of the announcement and the contacts with the French CMF (Conseil des Marchés Financiers) and the COB (Commission des Operations de Bourse).

11.00 am: Conference call with my colleague, Rob Wilkinson, in London and some of the Paris team. We're discussing the possible securitisation of the property portfolio of France Telecom. Would the bank be interested in buying the assets or should we just advise? We'll have to decide during a subsequent meeting with France Telecom. It will depend on the amount of property involved and UBS Warburg's priorities as an investor.

12.00 pm: Back on the phone, this time to Philippe Maso, head of M&A at Axa. He's debriefing me on a presentation we did a couple of days earlier. They were interested but nothing promised in the very short term.

1.00 pm: Host a client lunch here at the UBS offices for the financial team of TFE (Total Fina Elf). We're joined by colleagues from the equity and debt market side. We focus on an overview of the company's needs and how we can fulfil them. Lunch is a three-course affair, with wine, served by our in-house caterers.

2.30 pm: Our headhunter calls in. He gives me a progress report on candidates for the corporate finance team. I was brought in to re-establish the team and address the severe problems it faced after the merger with SBC. In the long term, I'm looking for a total team of around 40 professionals. The headhunter runs through the candidates seen so far. It's vital to make the right choice and there are simply not that many good people available.

4.00 pm: For the next hour and a half, I'm tied up in one of the three or four yearly meetings with the audit committee of the board of Vinci, a big construction company. There are 15 of us, discussing the 2000 accounts. We need to think about the renewal of the auditors and also how to organise our work in the future. We schedule an exceptional meeting to discuss these matters.

Vinci's financial director Christian Labyrie and I then decide privately how to report on the meeting to the board the following week.

5.50 pm: Back in my office, I call colleagues in London to check that everything is under control for various client meetings. My Paris colleague Patrick Coze pops his head round my door to explain the status of a couple of major client projects. We confirm who is calling whom and who is preparing what.

8:05 pm: Finally time to re-check my emails.

8.30 pm: Head home for a quiet evening with my wife and teenage daughter. About twice a month, I entertain clients at the opera. My wife and I also invite clients to our home occasionally. It's a good way to put professional people in touch informally. That said, Paris is a very small world. Everyone knows nearly everybody.

The phone often rings with business calls late in the evening. Right now, I settle down to read the papers. I also enjoy reading history and novels. But after a long day, I don't generally opt for anything too difficult!

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