What is a company profile and how do you create one in investment banking?

Maybe I’m a little tired of me, but I think of company profiles the same way I think of Wikipedia entries – a hodgepodge of basic information like Ben-Stiller that isn’t particularly interesting, but always needs to be kept on. waiting.

The reason we create company profiles in investment banking is to use them when analyzing the competitive landscape of the industry of our client’s company and to use them in presentations to the client about possible offers (who can buy them, who can buy them, who to watch). .

Company profiles also help us control who is doing what and where each player fits, very CIAish I know.

What is a business profile literally?

It depends on what it is being used for.

For example, in a basic ‘Market Update’ PowerPoint presentation directed at a client, each company profile (of the client’s competitors / suppliers / clients, etc.) can be just a one-slide summary with a description of 3 sentences, 5 numbers / multiples, recent news etc – this super succinct form occurs when let’s say 5-15 competitors are being profiled at once in a basic presentation.

In its longest form, let’s say if you were detailing each potential acquisition target in a formal (!) Proposal book, a company’s profile could include several slides covering everything from historical finances to extensive qualitative descriptions of flows. from company revenue to detailed analysis of parts of the company (to suit immediate use requirements).

In this way, the company profile becomes heavy and moves beyond the realm of the mere Wikipedia copycat!

Because company profiles are often just a simple collection of information beautifully laid out over a few slides, they are considered insider level work and will likely be one of the first things your analyst-mentor will offer you this summer. As you can see from the above, you don’t need a 3.8 GPA from Stanford to achieve this.

How should you prepare for company profiles?

When you enter the bank, read a couple of examples above, internalize the language, structure, components and metrics used, and very soon you will know how to create company profiles without even referring to preceding examples.

The first thing you’ll notice when reading previous examples is how calming they are; they will put you to sleep in an instant.

The data, the language, the facts, the summary – it’s all common knowledge and sounds BS. But your job isn’t to win an Excel or creative writing contest, so don’t try to break convention and write a Charles Dicken prose or design some incredibly original multiples when asked to try.

Instead, play it safe and create company profiles that blend, don’t stand out

If you want to impress the bankers here, then all you need to do is be present with extreme conciseness – super laborious language combined with just the really important numbers / charts etc. It will surprise bankers as it saves them time and hides the “who cares” details.

Some students think they need to find interesting facts and figures about the company that cannot be easily accessed by a company search in a medium-rate intelligence database to impress here.

But trust me when I say that finding super original information like this takes a long time and is really not expected, and when you’ve slept 2 hours in 2 days, why would you all go sadomasochistic with some damn primary research?

That said, you can’t create all of your company profiles simply by taking text from a database search, or (and yes, this is very common) by copying and pasting a Wikipedia entry into the company or text from the website itself. of the company.

Instead, you should write from scratch using the exact tone / type of language and structure that you see in existing company profiles of banks, and with the type of conciseness that you see in these; in addition to drawing his figures and numbers directly from the original sources and condensing them in their most essential and revealing form (as with the diffusion compositions, of which we speak next).

That is, you should summarize the summaries, but do so accurately and in a customer-friendly manner.

As an investment banking intern, you will likely often be asked to simply update or verify existing company profiles.

This can suck if the intern or first-year banking analyst who made the existing profiles did a terrible job with them, because the bankers will hope that a mere ‘update’ won’t take you time and yet you are almost creating profiles. . right from the start !!

Even though you now have bright eyes and a bushy tail, don’t be put off if you do dozens of company profiles and they never read them, that’s the nature of them. that is, banks will want to have profiles available for ‘just in case’ a client requests them, or a deal becomes complicated.

If you have an investment banking internship soon or are starting your analyst program soon, you should check out the more common tasks junior bankers carry out. In this article, we list the top 39 and explain the what / why / how so you can get started flying.

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