Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Quantum Dawn 2: War on Wall Street

When Patrick stepped into his office at 8 am, all he had on his mind was the trading strategy he would be adopting for the day and the dinner at one of the most exclusive restaurants in New York that he had planned for his wife later that evening. As head trader of a fund which had recently raised $5 billion, life was good for Patrick. Little did he know that life was going to sucker punch him that very day.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Trials by Fire & Water - Part II: Acing the Trials

After a bit of a gap, it’s time to get back to that elusive path to landing a job in finance. In Part-I of Trials by Fire and Water, you got the inside track on what typical investment banking and private equity hiring process are like and came to know of what you can expect in your interviews.

But of course, just knowing what hurdles you will be facing is not enough – you also need to know how to cross those hurdles and what mistakes to avoid. So in this post, I will attempt to help you do just that in Part II of Trials by Fire and Water – Acing the Trials.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Finance Books: The Best of Non-Technical Recommendations

If you are interested in finance and like reading, check out the books below. None of them are technical books – they’re all Wall Street War Stories. While some are hilarious stories of people who have worked in finance, others are gripping tales of hedge funds and the collapse of the world’s stock markets in 2008.

Every single one of these books comes heavily recommended and all are considered to be among the best books ever written on Finance. From a common-man point of view, believe it or not, some of the books listed here will beat the best thrillers that you have ever read.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bateman Interviews: CEO - "I'm a guy who gets things done"

It’s been a while since I posted a new interview, so I thought what better way to get back to the job than an interview with the top guy in a company? I recently got a chance to have a lengthy one-on-one conversation with CEO of the biggest flower company in India. He is a person who has reached where he is today, solely on the basis of sheer hard work and a determination to move ahead. In today’s plethora of MBA-wielding C-level executives, it’s hard to believe that he is not even a graduate. Today, he has over 27 years of experience and is considered an authority in the retail and e-commerce segments.

Read on if you are interested in a wealth of free information in an uninhibited conversation, with the sort of person most of us don’t even get to meet. Without further ado, presenting Mr. Pawan Gadia, CEO, Ferns N Petals.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

IB & PE Interviews: The Trials by Fire and Water

So you have finally received that interview call from the PE firm in Mumbai. Great, congrats! But now you’re worried sick about what exactly they are going to grill you on. Will you be asked to pitch stocks or be required to build a full-blown DCF model in an hour?

Well, if you know what PE is, then you know you won’t be pitching stocks in the interview; but yeah, that DCF model with multiple scenarios is fair game. And now that I have successfully scared you about IB/PE interviews (if you still aren't scared, you should be – thinking back on my own interview experiences still gives me the chills), let’s talk about just what happens in IB & PE interviews. In Part II, we’ll see how we can come out of these grilling sessions alive and in one piece.

Like any other industry, there’s no fixed rule for the interview process. However, there are certain parts of the interview process that you will find in all IB and PE interviews. In keeping with the theme of the blog, this post will give you a true sneak-peak into the interview process at most firms.

Read on to know all about IB & PE Interviews: The Trials by Fire and Water.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Breaking In: From IT-support to PE Fund Manager

Wait, what? After all my raving on how it is near impossible to break into IB from back office financial analysis, now I’m talking about freaking IT support intern to Private Equity Fund Manager?

All right, calm down. You see, the key words in the above sentence are “near impossible”.  This is the story of a guy who made this seemingly impossible story turn true. He went from being an intern in IT-support to Investment Banking Analyst to where he is today – running his own PE fund.

Read on to find out if fairy tales exist in real life.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Private Equity: The Inside Story

In the previous post on Private Equity, I provided an overview of what the industry is all about. But for those interested in knowing the minutiae of how a PE firm operates, this post will satisfy their queries. It is a gloves off, no-holds-barred post which will tell you all about the internal workings of a Private Equity firm.

Fair warning: Hold on to your horses, folks. This one is gonna get technical. In case you do proceed, make sure to read to the end - that's where you'll find the best part.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Private Equity 101

Since the inception of this blog, I have been talking about Investment Banking. But what about the other areas of “high finance” – IB’s cousin Private Equity and the distant relative called Hedge Funds? So today, let’s go pay a visit to that rich cousin whom IB envies – PE.

This is the second post in Bateman Begins 101 Series and will introduce you to the little-known world of Private Equity. You can get the definition of PE from anywhere, but below you will find out what actually happens in PE, why it is considered to be better” than IB and most importantly, why it is so bloody difficult to break in.

So without further ado, introducing Private Equity – the promised land. What even investment bankers dream of.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Life in IB: The best IB story I've ever read - From WSO

Came across this gem on WSO and just had to share it. It's written as a comment by one of the best posters on WSO and I wanted to share it here. It is without a doubt the among the most awesome IB stories I have ever read. Kudos to rufiolove!

Background: The original poster had posted some tips on how to get out of getting staffed on weekends. The relevant tip is below, followed by rufiolove's comment.

Caution: The language used below might not be suitable for sensitive readers.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Breaking In: Cold - Calling

Now that you have read the interview with DivyaAggarwal, it’s safe to assume that you must be even more interested in getting into IB. Because if you are not, then you are reading the wrong blog. So let’s come back to the ways which can turn that IB dream into a reality.

In my earlier post about methods of networking, I mentioned that cold calling is one of the most effective ways of breaking into finance. This post will tell you how to cold call so that you can get the best results.

Also, some reminders:
  • Cold calling works best at the smaller places. So if you’re targeting BB banks, you might want to rethink your strategy.
  • Do not expect success in 10 phone calls. If you’re calling for a job, you might have to try anything from 20 to 100 times, or even more, before you get your first tangible lead. But if you’re calling for an informational interview, your chances are much better.
  • But, all it takes is one affirmative answer to turn that lead into an interview.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Bateman Interviews: "A day in IB begins with a BBM and ends with a BBM"

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Divya Aggarwal, an Investment Banking Analyst at Avendus Capital, one of the top investment banks in India. She was excited to learn about this blog and was happy to provide an inside peek into the world of IB. Over a course of 3 weeks, I was finally able to finish this interview (read on to find out why it took so long).

Divya Aggarwal is a qualified CS and CFA L2 candidate and has past experience in Consultancy at Mckinsey and M&A advisory services at KPMG. And below, she’ll give you answers to whether IB is like a relationship or a marriage, why analysts have a love-hate relationship with their Blackberry and why even investment bankers aspire to move to the buy side.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Networking - How a casual conversion in a train can get you into IB

A friend recently pointed out to me that networking techniques are relevant not just for IB, but for every industry out there. While this is true, the reality that I have seen is that a very small percentage of youngsters who are just starting out resort to networking.

The reasons may differ from hesitation to simply a lack of awareness as to how to network. Therefore, as I promised earlier, this post will be dedicated solely to networking methods. Read on to find out the best methods for networking in India.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Breaking Into Investment Banking

Now that you are sufficiently educated in what investment banking is, the question arises as to how to actually break into this industry. This is gonna be a long one, but I'm gonna make it worth your while. Read on to find out why.

 A select world:

The usual advice prospective monkeys get is to work hard, prepare for interviews, so on and so forth. No one ever tells how to get that interview in the first place. Because make no mistake, landing an interview in IB in India itself is no small matter.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Investment Banking Hierarchy

Now that you know what investment banking is and what bankers do, the question arises as to which stage you will fit in and what you will do. Without further ado, let's jump right in.

So which level monkey are you?

The IB hierarchy is well defined and rigorously imposed. There may be minor differences in naming at some banks, but the generally accepted designations are as follows: 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bateman Interviews: Investment research in three distinct fields, breaking in and more.

For the inaugural interview with Bateman Begins, I have with me a Chartered Accountant, CFA charter holder and one of the most active volunteers in the Indian CFA Society. With almost 10 years of experience in hedge funds research, credit analysis and bond trading analysis, he has been at the centre of a universe which most of us only dream of.

An avid educational volunteer and guest lecturer at several reputed institutions, there are few people better placed to advise prospective monkeys. So without further ado, I present to you Mr. Biharilal Deora in the very first of
Bateman Interviews:

Friday, 18 January 2013

Myth Busters - Investment Banking

Now that you know what investment banking is all about, this post will tell you what investment banking is not about. I have heard of so many “definitions” of investment banking while talking to people in India, that I felt a separate post was necessary just to dispel some myths about this world.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Investment Banking 101

This is the first in a series of posts that will briefly describe the various areas of the Finance industry

While this blog is not intended for theoretical education, I felt that a short description of each part of the Finance industry is warranted. Therefore, if you already are well aware of what IB is, feel free to skip this one.

About the Blog

Welcome to Bateman Begins.

Bateman Begins is about life in high finance - not stock tips and clueless musings on the economy - but about the elusive world of Private Equity and Investment Banking. It's about a world which very, very few people get to experience. Read on, and Bateman Begins will arm you with some unusual tips on breaking in, exclusive, inside-view interviews with industry professionals and much, much more.

What makes this blog different from a truck load of other finance blogs out there?
For the very first time in India, Bateman Begins gives you a peak into what some call "high finance". Every other blog out there in India focuses on investing, money management and the economy. While there are other websites and blogs on private equity, investment banking and hedge funds, they are all
 based in developed markets, where the practices are radically different from what we find in India. Bateman Begins attempts to plug the gap.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. And of course, it goes without saying – if you like what you read, spread the word around by sharing. Happy reading!

Click here to go to the Bateman Begins Facebook page.

About the author:
I am a Chartered Accountant who broke into Private Equity as a fresher. I started this blog soon after I received my offer from the PE firm. Considering the number of hours that I work, it’s a matter of time before I go full American Psycho. And hence the name of the blog, Bateman Begins.

Disclaimer: I am heavily inspired by Brian DeChesare’s While an excellent website, its data on Indian IB/PE industry is limited; as is the case with every other website on the net. This is what motivated me to start something of the sort with an exclusive focus on India.