The secret stress of MDs in M&A

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Stress M&A

Senior bankers need their stress toys

We’ve suggested before that being an MD in M&A isn’t everything it’s supposed to be – that it’s not all business class flights and exotic lounges. That, actually, working as an MD in M&A might be the sort of relentless, highly pressured role that analysts in IBD who are working 80-hour weeks expect to leave behind when they hit 29.

Now Bloomberg confirms it. The newswire has been speaking to senior investment bankers who’d hoped for a part in the $90bn SAB Miller InBev deal but have been left in the cold. The emotion is extreme. “A senior dealmaker reached on Wednesday, whose firm is not yet on the deal ticket, was near tears as he discussed the prospect of missing out,” reports Bloomberg.

Peter Hahn, a former Citi banker turned academic, tells Bloomberg that it’s tough when you’re a senior banker who’s been telling your bosses how close you are to your clients, only to find that you’re clients ignore you at the crucial moment: “…you’re not on the deal, it doesn’t look too good.” Careers can be broken by such exclusions; bonuses can be withheld. It’s not even the fees – it’s the league table positioning that matters. “A lot of them would almost do it [the deal] for free,” says Hahn.

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