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How to Be an Investment Banker: Recruiting, Interviewing, and Landing the Job, + Website


Praise for How to Be an Investment Banker

"Andrew Gutmann has written a clear and easy guide for budding investment bankers and finance professionals everywhere. It lives up to its title, providing not only intelligent advice and guidance but a good summary of core financial principles every dealmaker should know."
Steven M. Davidoff, New York Times "Deal Professor"; Professor of Law and Finance, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

"In this book, Andrew demystifies the competitive recruiting process for investment banking jobs. He provides clear and thorough explanations of the technical knowledge needed to ace the interviews and succeed as a banker. Above all, his perspective on the industry will help readers determine for themselves whether this is a career for them. He tells it as he sees it, no holds barred. It's his directness that students find appealing and makes this required reading for anyone seriously considering a career in investment banking."
Regina Resnick, Associate Dean and Managing Director, Career Management Center, Columbia Business School

"Andrew's book provides a great overview of investment banking recruiting as well as the key technical topics you need to know for interviews and the most important qualitative questions. Unlike a lot of other guides and resources I've seen, he also tells it like it is rather than sugar-coating the truth, which is exactly the right approach to take."
Brian DeChesare, founder, Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street

"Mr. Gutmann's book provides an excellent bridge between classroom finance and real-world application in investment banking. Thoughtfully organized, digestible, and without sugar coating, How to Be an Investment Banker is an essential tool for those considering the pursuit of a job in investment banking."
Michael F. Malone, Managing Director, Career Management Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"For prospective investment bankers, this book offers an excellent overview of the business and the tools/techniques that should be part of your arsenal. More important, though, the book also offers guidance on seeking out and finding an investment banking job and a reality check on what an investment banker's life is like."
Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance, New York University Stern School of Business and author of Investment Valuation

"Andrew Gutmann has managed to turn his highly useful website into a highly useful book. How to Be an Investment Banker provides a road map for becoming and remaining an investment banker. It is not for the faint of heart."
Jonathan Knee, author of The Accidental Investment Banker

ANDREW GUTMANN is the creator of, one of the most widely visited websites focused on the topic of investment banking. He has developed and taught finance and investment banking classes for a number of institutions, including the Institute for Finance, the firm that he founded. For the past five years, he has also been a career coach at Columbia Business School, where he advises and mentors MBA students interested in investment banking careers. Andrew is a former investment banker who has executed M&A and restructuring transactions for clients across a number of sectors. Andrew lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.

Introduction xi

Overview of the Book xii

Who Is the Book For? xiii

Structure of the Book xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1 Introduction to Investment Banking 1

Overview of an Investment Bank 2

Overview of Investment Banking 7

The Life of an Investment Banker 22

Frequently Asked Questions 47

Chapter 2 Accounting Overview 55

Introduction to Accounting 56

The Income Statement 58

The Balance Sheet 69

The Statement of Cash Flows 83

Integrating the Three Financial Statements 88

End-of-Chapter Questions 99

Chapter 3 Finance Overview 101

The Financial System 102

Principles of Finance 107

Introduction to Corporate Finance 114

Valuing Securities 130

End-of-Chapter Questions 145

Chapter 4 Financial Statement Analysis 147

Sources of Financial Information 148

Financial Statement Analysis 158

Analyzing Different Time Periods 169

“Normalizing” the Financials 174

End-of-Chapter Questions 177

Chapter 5 Valuation 179

Introduction to Valuation 180

Comparable Company Methodology 194

Precedent Transaction Methodology 210

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis 219

Valuation Conclusions 238

End-of-Chapter Questions 245

Chapter 6 Financial Modeling 247

Overview of an Integrated Cash Flow Model 248

Building an Integrated Cash Flow Model 262

End-of-Chapter Questions 292

Chapter 7 Mergers and Acquisitions 293

M&A Overview 293

The M&A Process 302

M&A Analysis 310

End-of-Chapter Questions 322

Chapter 8 Leveraged Buyouts 323

Overview of LBOs 324

LBO Modeling 331

LBO Conclusions: Do We Do the Deal? 347

End-of-Chapter Questions 348

Chapter 9 Recruiting, Interviewing, and Landing the Job 349

What Are Investment Banks Looking For? 350

The Recruiting Process 354

Resumes and Cover Letters 360

Networking and Informational Interviews 368

Interviewing 375

Receiving an Offer and Being a Banker 398

Conclusions 403

Further Reading 405

About the Author 407

About the Website 409

Index 411