7:30am:Alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button.
7:50am:Force myself out of bed, having hit the snooze button once too often, and am
showered, shaved and out the door in 10 minutes.
8:00am:Check my voicemails en route to the tube, mainly so I can respond to
anything urgent and start to plan the morning's work.
9:00am:London Underground permitting, I am at my desk in Docklands, coffee in hand,
and reading my emails. In the first half-hour of each day I generally check through work from the night before and contact the associates and vice presidents (VPs) with whom I am working on various projects.
Normally, an analyst in the mergers and acquisitions department will be
staffed on 2 or 3 active projects. Typically a project will have a VP, an
associate and an analyst working on it, and reporting to a managing director
or executive director (although often the team can consist of just an
analyst and one other).
Depending on the size of the project or level of activity, the team can
expand to bring in particular product groups and areas of expertise. The
small size of the team and high level of activity of projects means that for
an analyst you get a lot of hands on experience and have the opportunity to
learn from other people very quickly.
10:00am:Today, I have to prepare for a meeting with a VP on a possible merger of
two retailers.I look at several equity research reports on the companies
and familiarise myself with the sector, checking on Bloomberg for company
and sector news, and recent share price performances.
I spend a little time sketching out a mini-merger model in order to get an
idea of what impact this transaction will have on our client, their relative
contributions to the new company and whether it would be accretive to their
earnings or not.
11:00am:I sit down with the VP to discuss the model and a number of possible
scenarios to it. These will allow us to try various alternatives ranging
from selling non-core divisions to a full merger-of-equals.
The meeting with the client is two weeks away, so we plan to meet every day
for the next few days to review the progress of the model, before going to
the credit department and debt capital markets to get their insight on the
likely cost of financing.
11:30am:While away from my desk, I have received a couple of messages from an
associate I am working with on a telecom project. I call him back and jot
down some changes he wants made to the business plan.
He will be back in the office tomorrow morning, so wants to review
everything then, before we begin to talk about the various equity financing
alternatives. It looks like several hours work ahead, so I grab a sandwich
and eat lunch at my desk.
The business plan for the telecom company involves modelling various
scenarios forecasting the company's revenue growth, its income statement,
the effect on its balance sheet and cash flow.
For an acquisition, it enables the acquirer to see the effect of the deal on its finances and
ultimately to predict whether the acquisition will be beneficial to its
shareholders, as well as what price the company can afford to pay. A model
like this can range from 6 or 7 pages of Excel to over 60 pages.
2:30pm I make a couple of calls to a friend in the equity capital markets
division to find out about recent telecom activity, in preparation for
tomorrow's meeting and also talk to the equity research team on retailers.
The retail project is still in its early stages and as well as trying to
model the financial impact of the transaction, many of the next few days
will be spent analysing information on the companies strategic positions,
market sizes and the rationale for a transaction.
I check with our business information department on likely sources of data and ask for a book of all publicly available information.
4:00pm:I get a call on a technology project I worked on a couple of weeks ago. The
coverage officer (MD responsible for the client) wants me to join him for a
conference call with the client to help answer some follow-up questions on
the financing alternatives we presented.
The transaction is not imminent, but they want to look at some debt
financing and its impact on their credit ratios. At this stage my input to
the project is limited, but the officer is keen to keep me involved and it's
a good opportunity to learn more about debt financing.
A face-to-face meeting with the client is set up for the end of next week. The next few
days will involve working with a team from debt capital markets as they
prepare some initial indications of pricing.
8:00pm: After a couple more hours work on the retail project, I set about
gathering a few friends for dinner. Domino's Pizza is selected as tonight's
delight. A dozen friends gather in a conference room to devour a few
Pepperoni Passions and Texas BBQ's.
We swiftly move away from talking about work and on to plans for Friday night and the weekend. I decide to skip the gym and get back to my desk to tidy up a few loose ends.
10:00pm:Catch a cab home and am pleased to find two of my housemates still revising
for their accountancy exams. My other housemate (who works with me) is out
celebrating the conclusion of a deal. I decide against joining him, but
succeed in catching last orders with my exam-stressed friends.
11:30pm:Collapse into bed.
2:00am:I - and most of the street - hear my housemate return.