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May 21, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Investment Banks Mostly Work the Sell-Side

Most investment banks work on the sell-side of a client engagement.

Why the Sell-Side?

The largest portion of compensation earned by an investment banker comes from the success fee. Consequently, bankers prefer to work on transactions with a high probability of closing. For reasons discussed below, sell-side engagements have a much higher probability of closing compared to buy-side engagements.

May 18, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Investment Banking – Industry Dynamics

At, we track investment banking firms, their preferred sectors and their key executives. We also predominantly serve investment bankers as customers and correspond with them daily. Consequently, we have a good pulse on M&A deal flow and changes in industry dynamics. Over the past eight years or so, we have seen an industry trend reversal. Five to eight years ago, we noticed a general consolidation within investment banking as smaller firms moved under the umbrella of larger firms. However, in the last few years, we are seeing the opposite – the investment banking industry becoming more fragmented as newly-created firms launch and scale with the help of third-party services.

April 03, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Interview – Nicholas Assef with LCC Asia Pacific

Nicholas Assef

About Your Firm…

LCC Asia Pacific is an independent investment banking firm operating out of Sydney and Brisbane in Australia. LCC was founded in 2004. The Firm provides both strategic consulting and investment banking services to both public & private corporate clients in the mid- to upper mid-market ($50 million and $1 billion in enterprise value), principally in the following sectors:

  • Engineering, Contracting & Complex Services
  • Oil Field, Energy & Infrastructure Services
  • Renewables, Water, Environmental & Waste Services
  • Industrials including Industrial Technology & “Smart Manufacturing”
  • Mining & Resources
  • ICT & Logistics

Describe the corporate market in Australia and Asia

While the U.S and Europe tend to have a broader number of companies in the mid-market, Australia and Asia markets typically look like an “hour-glass”. A market map would illustrate many smaller companies at the bottom, a number of larger companies at the top and lower concentration in the middle. Mid-market companies in Australia and Asia tend to get acquired when they demonstrate a number of key positive factors – hence the lower number of constituents.

Across Australasia pension funds tend to invest in mid-caps as they become “Stock Index Relevant”. You can then see valuations of many mid-caps become “full” in time from such index related investment inflows, and as a strategy, identifying those that are likely to be on this trajectory and acquiring them before they hit high valuations can be highly effective.

March 23, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Quality of Earnings – the Driver of M&A Due Diligence

During an M&A transaction, the buyer will often hire a reputable accounting firm to perform a “Quality of Earnings” (QE) analysis. As the name suggests, a QE analysis aims to determine the quality of a target company’s profits (the money the company keeps from sales minus operating cost). Ultimately, the buyer wants to verify that the reported earnings are repeatable – consistently repeatable.

What earnings are repeatable?

March 13, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Interview – Nate Nead with

I recently spoke with Nate Nead with Below are some excerpts from our conversation.

About Your Firm… is a technology-enabled investment bank. We increase the quantity and quality of deal flow by using web-based tools and marketing. We work on lower middle market deals with enterprise values between $10 – $50 million–sometimes less for a particularly interesting deal.

What do you mean by “tech-enabled”?

In one sense, we are tech-enabled as an investment bank for our own internal marketing purposes. On the other hand, we work with investment banks to get broader distribution for sell-side mandates.

Investment banking, especially deal sourcing, is very much relationship driven. When investment bankers work on a deal, they become so focused on the transaction, they are not nurturing their pipeline. As the deal closes, they immediately go back to hunting mode for new opportunities. We employ technology to ensure we have a good, steady deal origination platform. We may not always have the best quality of deals, but we have the quantity. You can always find the diamonds in the rough when you have the quantity. “If you get 20 potential deals in a day, 21 of them are garbage so you have to kiss a lot of frogs.”

February 22, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

How to Get a Job at an Investment Bank

Note: This article is for more junior people without previous investment banking experience. I may write a follow-up article for senior bankers looking to change firms.

For every available investment banking position, there are literally thousands of interested applicants. I have been fortunate enough to have worked as an investment banker at a bulge bracket firm, in the middle market and as an information provider to the industry through

Upon completing business school, I had my share of investment banking interviews – Goldman Sachs, Deutche Bank, Bear Stearns and others. While I had multiple rounds of interviews with Goldman Sachs, they ultimately did not make me an offer. I did, however, receive and accept an offer from Bear Stearns, at the London office. While at Bear Stearns, I also participated in business school recruiting events for the firm. Because of these experiences, I have formed some views on how to increase your chances of landing a job at an investment bank.

The Right School

By far, the single best way to get your foot in the door is to attend one of the “right” universities, where “right” means one of the top finance schools. In the United States, the schools are (not necessarily in order):