2010 Vault Banking Survey: The Hours

Published: Jun 16, 2010

Topics: Finance       
It's common knowledge that entry-level investment banking employees, who carry the job title of analyst, work a whole lot of hours. But how many do they actually work? And are they really that bad (especially given the fact that an investment banking analyst probably makes more money on an annual basis than just about any other entry-level employee in the world)?<p>To help answer these questions, below are a few select quotes about working hours by analysts who recently took Vault's annual banking survey (the complete results of which will be released later this summer). For the most part, these quotes are representative of what hundreds of other bankers also told us about their time spent at the office. Enjoy.<p><i>"It's been pretty brutal but I can't say I didn't know what I was getting into. My group is doing a lot of deals and although the hours are painful, I'm learning a lot and getting a lot of transaction experience."<p>"It's banking, you're going to work 100-hour weeks."<p>"It's a fallacy to think that you will work fewer hours at a middle-market firm than at a bulge bracket. But what you won't have is face time—no one cares when you come in to work or when you go home, as long as you get the work done."<p>"Wake up, go to work, go home, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat."<p>"Less than I feared, but they still suck."<p>"I thought that in the middle market the hours wouldn't be too bad, especially here where we really talk about work/life balance relative to other banks. But since I've started, I've routinely put in 100-hour weeks, and the same can be said for the rest of the first-year analyst class. However, we have been understaffed, and the deal environment has really started to pick up."<p>"While the workflow can vary, I probably work 90-plus hours a week."<p>"Long hours are part of the game."<p>"Relatively long hours like everyone else in M&A. Usually 8:30 a.m. to midnight, sometimes 2 or 3 a.m., and every other weekend. I guess it's normal for analysts in investment banking."<p>"This is investment banking, no one is happy with the hours."<p>"Hours are not great. However, it does get significantly better with experience. Most notably, as time goes on, you're given a lot more flexibility around events in your personal life."<p>"If you're not here seven days a week, people will definitely be upset. Don't show up with a tan or any sign that you had any fun. Be sure if someone asks what's up, you don't mention any stories that don't involve banking. That said, I have definitely seen people with worse hours than I do."<p>"Varies from week to week. Some weeks the hours are great, other weeks it's a string of 11-hour days."<p>"Put it this way: on any given night, I'm leaving 'early' if I leave before 1 a.m. On a typical night, I leave around 3 a.m. I've had one day off in 2010."</i>
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