- Private Equity
So, you fell for a 10 in some deal sleds with freakishly good Excel skills? Who could blame you.
Now, it’s really no secret that dating an investment banker, or dating as an investment banker, is not all that easy. But don’t worry, it is still possible.
For this article I grabbed my long-time girlfriend for some firsthand input. She’s been with me through the analyst years and private equity associate years, so is a hardened veteran when it comes to putting up with finance dating.
For those who may have come across this article without a background in finance, here’s a quick primer on the difficulties of banking. Your significant other, or potential significant other, probably works very, very long hours.
There will be stretches where it’s nonstop for 16 hours a day 7 days a week, or worse. There’s no doubt every finance bro or broette is exaggerating their weekly hours, but anywhere between 80 – 110+ is typical for the worst groups on the Street.
On top of that, they’re also probably focused on recruiting for private equity or hedge fund roles at the same time. This means even more hours (plus stress) cranking through paper LBOs, case studies, and investment pitches, not to mention the interviews themselves.
That may sound bad, but what’s even worse is the unpredictability of it. The hot analyst you’re trying to seduce may finally be on his way to a date with you, only to get an urgent email from his VP.
The MD has a last minute meeting with a client tomorrow and needs his analyst to slap some logos on a PowerPoint deck so he has some material to bumble through. Invariably, your hot analyst will arrange the logos incorrectly for the first 69 iterations, so they will be up all night long, missing your date in the process.
The good news is that, while most definitely more difficult, it’s still quite possible to both date a banker and date as a banker. Plenty of people do it and plenty of people have found their lifelong partners while working as bankers.
There will be rough patches. Absolutely no doubt about it. But if both parties are committed, it is more than possible.
The one caveat I’ll make is that it may be easier to continue a relationship through banking than to start a new one. Often, banking work will ebb and flow. One month your SO may be chained to the desk, while the next month they have most weekends fully free.
If you have an existing relationship, you can just spend quality time when schedules allow. If not, it may be difficult to have a first date, become incredibly busy, and then postpone the second date until a month later. Still possible, but certainly not as easy.
If you decide to go for it, here’s what’s worked best for me/my girlfriend and my friends and colleagues who’ve gone through it. You’ll need to see what works for you, but hopefully this serves as a good starting point.
The good news is that if you make it through the analyst years you have survived the worst. This will be a two to three year period, but things become drastically better after even the first 12-months. At that point your investment banker SO will become less of an idiot at work and start to know what they’re doing, meaning they finish tasks quickly and get home sooner.
After the analyst years, bankers will typically stay on as associates, move to private equity or a hedge fund, or find a corporate development or other industry role. All of these options are an improvement over analyst-level banking.
These improvements come in terms of both fewer hours worked as well as more control over scheduling. Buy-side roles (PE or hedge fund) also do away with the client-facing work. This means no last minute deliverables you weren’t expecting.
If you’re both committed, go for it. If not, don’t waste each other’s time. Dating an investment banker, or dating as a banker, are both totally doable if that’s what you want.
You’ll have some fights with your partner, you’ll get pissed at your partner’s bosses, and you’ll tweak when you see their phone light up with a new email. But, you also might figure out that you’ve found your homie for life.
Final word, dating an investment banker in a long-distance relationship is also possible. Reference the difficulties listed above and multiply by 10, but know that it’ll still work. If you’re considering long distance you’ve probably been together for a while already.
If that’s the case, just give it a shot and don’t let the banking stop you. My girlfriend and I did long distance for years, as did a few of my colleagues (many of whom are now married). Not always pleasant, but none of us would change a thing.