Key Takeaways from #iblifehacks: Career insights from the top minds in dealmaking webinar, hosted by Datasite
By Marcio Moerbeck, VP, Field Marketing - Americas
Last Thursday, July 23rd, Datasite hosted a panel of industry experts to discuss career insights and how the global pandemic has reshaped the dealmaking workplace. The event featured Ben Hochberg, Partner at Lee Equity Partners; Greg Rodgers, Partner at Latham & Watkins; Joshua Rosenbaum, Managing Director and Group Head of Industrials at RBC; and Bao Truong, Partner and Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge Partners.
For many industries, the pandemic has been either a blow or a boom, and for investment banks, private equity companies, and legal firms involved in M&A, it has resulted in a dramatic slowdown of activity. Regardless of activity levels, how you work your deals has definitely changed from how you got them done a few months ago. According to live polling of our event attendees, the reliability of work from home tech was second only behind the Fed’s stimulus package as having the greatest positive economic impact during the pandemic. We weren’t surprised by the challenges related with working from home but felt encouraged to hear that technology has helped bridge the gap between our offices and our homes.
Working in the new normal has created other unforeseen challenges. An April 2020 survey revealed that most dealmakers have been adjusting well to working from home and felt their jobs were safe. Not surprisingly, email and teleconferencing were considered the most important tools while working from home and over half of our respondents worried about a dramatic loss of productivity and collaboration. Our webinar attendees were also concerned collaborating with colleagues may become an issue, but they added missing mentorship opportunities as another critical shortcoming of this new arrangement. For junior dealmakers, mentorship is one of the most important benefits they will receive during the first few years in investment banking, so this is definitely something senior managers must monitor within their teams.
The goal of any junior dealmaker is to make a great first impression with their peers and managers. Our panelists recognized that standing out while working from home is an issue. They recommend video conferencing as a tool to allow teams to connect and mentioned the need for new team members to reach out and bond with other colleagues on a more personal level. The panel believed that while working from home is challenging, we should all embrace technology and be as functional as possible under this new environment, but that some activities like meetings with senior executives, team building, and collaboration happen more naturally when people work face-to-face. Regardless of your environment, we all must figure out a way to get things done – the entire panel agreed on that.
Post pandemic, the future for careers in banking continues to be bright. Hiring hasn’t stopped, there is a breadth of opportunities available and the need for smart, motivated people hasn’t gone away. Regardless of the current hurdles, our panel stated that we need to adapt and move forward by building relationships, acquiring new skills, and working hard to help our teams achieve success. What makes a dealmaker successful hasn’t changed since the pandemic, but we must adapt. We all know that investment banking is an incredibly competitive career path. For those who are successful, the rewards go beyond compensation, including access to a network of thought leaders and the ability to work on complex and transformative deals. But getting to the top isn’t easy.
This blog only covers some of the great advice and insights shared during the live session, so we invite you to watch the replay and download our infographic with the most important takeaways. Once you are done watching the replay, take the time to join our Dealmaker’s Circle – Datasite’s community of dealmakers.