The Review — 08/11/2018 at 11:30

UBS invited junior bankers to make their jobs less mundane

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It’s not easy to get a job as a junior in an investment banking division (IBD), preparing the ground for M&A pitches or capital markets deals. But when you arrive, you may be surprised. “As an analyst, you spend 75% of your time on PowerPoint, making presentations,” one J.P. Morgan analyst told us last year. “You’re making presentations for the same market and each time you build a new presentation, you’re spending a lot of time redoing similar slides.”

If that sounds laborious and slightly pointless, it is. If it sounds like analysts might complain about it, they do. People quit because of it. “A lot of the people who go into banking are very intelligent but the work is just not very stimulating and doesn’t use their intelligence properly,” one told us in September. 

Banks are trying to do something about this. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are busy trying to automate elements of the initial public offerings for equity capital markets deals and Goldman says it is “building a technological solution around a deal life cycle.” Now, UBS has beem trying to keep its junior bankers happy by asking for their opinions on what to automate. 

UBS juniors’ answers were illustrative of the pain points in the young banker’s day (and night). They said they want to use artificial intelligence to automate building financials models, creating term sheets (a document outlining the material terms and conditions of the deal) and constructing Pitchbooks in PowerPoint. While this might sound like most of a junior banker’s job, juniors in the past have insisted that this kind of automation will free then up to do more tailored and deal-specific analysis instead.

UBS seems genuinely to want to implement its juniors’ solutions. In August, it hired Ronald Jansen, the former head of IBD strats at Goldman Sachs, who was at the forefront of transforming Goldman’s deal processes. Sam Kendall, who runs investment banking at UBS has begun offering “pizza lunches” to encourage juniors to come and talk to him. “If we can release time from bankers to just think, sit there with a blank sheet of paper to think about their clients’ problems, then maybe we’ll move the ball forward a little bit,” Kendall told Business Insider.  


Sarah Butcher – Read the full article on efinancialcareers.com


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