Ask Brock

  • 15 Dec 2006 at 3:08 PM
  • Ask Brock

Ask Brock: The Holiday Party

brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
It’s that time of year again, and by that time of year I mean the time of year in which your investment banking superiors are about to grant you a whole 24-48 consecutive hours off in a mere two weeks. Not only will you soon be basking in a luxurious swath of free time in which you can catch up on 1 or maybe 2/365ths of the total sleep deprivation you’ve suffered in the past year, but sometime in the next couple of business days, your group will have its annual holiday party. The holiday party is a party so important that it must be held several weeks before the actual holiday it is celebrating (answer – Boxing Day, because someone has to spend actual Christmas in the office – you) to give senior bankers a chance to blow it off before taking a proper 2 to 3 week late December vacation that you will never know.
The holiday party organizers and your de facto superiors lull you into a mode of easy acceptance by appearing on the floor when you’re actually working as opposed to catching you in the middle of your Staubach-esque release from throwing a Nerf football with a random tech company logo on it to someone across the bullpen. Thrown off guard from not having to rush to close a window of Freecell, a game of no-limit online poker with $50 blinds, a blurred view of Britney Spears’s mons veneris doing an impression of Telly Savalas, Monstertrak.com, an updated version of your resume, your Yahoo! Fantasy Football league page, some prohibited day trading on E*trade, your suicide note/explanation for impending killing spree in Word, a video of someone failing to execute a back flip while wielding nunchucks and most frivolously some silly columns on Dealbreaker.com, you continue cranking away on your rather elementary model, knowing something is not quite right.

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brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
(Recap: We have been chronicling the story of Bro…Crock Mantasia, loose acquaintance and clear non-friend of Brock Fantasia, who wants to leave JPMorgan for a buy side shop. The following buy side virtual interview is based on Crock’s experiences. Crock just conspicuously slipped out of 277 Park Avenue wearing an “interview tie” and clean, matching socks. Having tenuously inched past the screening interviews, the INTENSITY of the process is starting to reach banker pimple during a live deal levels. Something is about to burst, as Crock reaches Round 3. See my last column for the full recap.)
Round 3
The Final Round…of the initial set of Rounds. In this round, you again turn yourself into a cymbal playing monkey in order to demonstrate that are a good “fit” within a firm that is considering you.
Running out of conventional excuses to free up time for round after round of interviews, you are left to tell your deal team that there’s been an emergency at your sister’s friend’s quinceanera and that the mariachi band is a man down from an errant piñata swing, and that you must fill in because you’re the only person within a 15 block radius who knows the chords to Cielito Lindo. Fortunately, a senior VP on your deal team knows that one cannot become a Hispanic woman without first hearing Cielito Lindo.

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  • 10 Nov 2006 at 12:33 PM
  • Ask Brock

Ask Brock: The Interview

brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
Much like the intersection in Greenwood, Mississippi where you can sell your soul to the devil for unbridled blues guitar prowess like Robert Johnson, investment bankers reach a similar crossroads at the end of their second year – buy side jobs. Only unbridled guitar prowess is more like a freakishly large number of memorized Excel shortcuts and mastery of Reverse Polish Notation (also a euphemism used by Lech Walesa when experiencing more intimate forms of “solidarity”), and Greenwood, Mississippi is Manhattan. Ok, so the analogy doesn’t work, besides having the word “crossroads” in it, although Robert Johnson’s alternative to being a blues legend was to be a sharecropper, and the alternative to not getting a buy side job in finance is to remain entrenched in a similar form of reconstructed slavery.

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  • 26 Oct 2006 at 11:28 AM
  • Ask Brock

Ask Brock: Celebrating Diwali, Brock-style

brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
We will, we will, Brock you! Brock here, ready to win this once again.
Many of you last Saturday may have noticed an especially large contingent of people rolling top down, models and bottles style, with arm candy and $200 drinks to spare, almost as if AJ was having a family reunion at every single club or bar in New York. By the fifth time you heard that Panjabi MC song without Jay-Z’s accompaniment, by the fourth Priya you put in your cell phone and by your 7th IPA, you started to wonder whether or not the Indians were reveling in the triumph of good over evil by getting extremely hammered.
As it turns out, Priya #3 was clean, and last Saturday was the Hindu festival of Diwali. The festival of Diwali is known as many things to many different people – Divali, Deepavali, Deepestvali, Taco Tuesday, Yom Kippur or Arbor Day, depending on which part of India or Murray Hill you are dealing with. Diwali is the 3rd day of a 5-day festival, signified by the new moon, for some sects the New Year and for many others, the time when the stretch of road on Lexington Avenue between 27th and 30th street, Curry Hill, stretches a little farther.

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  • 19 Oct 2006 at 1:21 PM
  • Ask Brock

Ask Brock: Introducing Element 118

brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
Everything’s going to be alright, Brockabye! Brock all up in your jock here, so let’s win this, weekly roundup style.
It was refreshing to know that the Dow Jones has seen Wedding Crashers, as it played a game of “just the tip” with 12,000 this week, entering it “just for a second, just to see how it feels,” only to pull back like a frightened turtle yesterday before closing.
Another thing I learned while waiting at the bank on Friday night for my VP to call and give the go-ahead to include an earning’s call transcript in a public information booklet to leave on a Managing Director’s chair in our Houston office is that not since Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow have Russians and Americans come together to create something as profound as the recently created longer-lasting, minty fresh, lab tested, mother approved, super heavy element with atomic number 118.

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brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
It’s been quite a week, with Aleksay Vayner buying YouTube, Aleksay Vayner flying a plane into an Upper East Side apartment and Aleksay Vayner choking Patrick Dempsey on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. I learned most of this info in Aleksay’s 7-page resume and numerous social networking profiles.
Speaking of social networking, the recent $1.65 billion Google acquisition of YouTube, at a multiple of literally a google times trailing EBITDA, has sparked the imaginations and bladders of investors, awash in the frothy latrine of hiked up internet M&A spending. Other investors are worried about the irrational exuberance of this new internet bubble, thinking that perhaps it wasn’t exactly worth $1.65 billion for Google to become the proprietor of a thousand different ways Mentos can be dropped into Diet Coke and OK Go on some treadmills. Maybe the average user of YouTube just wants to jerk off to LonelyGirl15 in peace and not use their free hand to order a Craftsman 155 pc Mechanics toolset online.

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  • 05 Oct 2006 at 10:56 AM
  • Ask Brock

Ask Brock: Happy Birthday!

brockfant.jpgBrock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.

After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set.

[Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
Brock Fantasia here, wishing you a happy birthday.
Let me get this right out there; I am frankly sick of birthday parties, especially October birthday parties. It seems like everyone on the planet has an October birthday party. Think about your next three weekends. If there’s a birthday party in there somewhere, then my point is proven. A vice president on my current deal team taught me that brutally efficient method of argument. You don’t convince the 4th largest RLEC in Northern Texas to sign an NDA that may lead to a co-advisory role on a $10 million Term Loan B without learning how to totally finger-blast rhetoric like JPMorgan’s top tier middle-management.

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