Maybe you’re a little tired of me, but I think of company profiles the same way I think of Wikipedia entries: a hodgepodge of basic Ben Stiller-like information that isn’t particularly interesting, but always needs to be kept in mind. wait.
The reason we create investment banking company profiles is to analyze the competitive landscape of our client’s company’s industry and to use in presentations to the client about possible deals (who they can buy from, who can buy from them, who look out) .
Company profiles also help us keep tabs on who does what and where each player fits in, very CIA-esque, I know.
What does a company profile literally consist of?
It depends on what it is being used for.
For example, in a basic ‘Market Update’ PowerPoint presentation sent to a client, each company profile (of the client’s competitors/suppliers/customers, etc.) may be just a one-slide summary with a 3 sentence description, 5 numbers/multiples, recent news etc: This super succinct form occurs when, for example, 5-15 competitors are profiled at once in a basic presentation.
In its longest form, let’s say if you were detailing every potential acquisition target in a formal pitch book (!), a company profile might include multiple slides covering everything from historical financials to lengthy qualitative descriptions of cash flows. company income and detailed analysis of parts of the company (to follow the requirements for immediate use).
In this way, the company profile becomes heavy and moves beyond the realm of mere imitation of Wikipedia.
Because company profiles are often simply a collection of simple information scattered beautifully over a few slides, they are considered internal-level work and will likely be one of the first things your analyst-mentor hands 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 get into the bank, read a couple of previous examples, internalize the language, structure, components, and metrics used, and pretty soon you’ll know how to create company profiles without even referring to previous samples.
The first thing you’ll notice when reading examples above 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 like BS. But your job isn’t to win a damn Excel or creative writing contest, so don’t try to break convention and write some Charles Dicken prose or design some wildly original multiples when you’re asked to try.
Instead, play it safe and create company profiles that blend in, not stand out.
If you want to impress the bankers here, then all you need to do is present it extremely concisely – super laborious language combined with only the really important numbers/graphics etc will surprise the bankers as it saves them time and hides the details of “who cares”.
Some students think that they need to find interesting facts and figures about the company that are not easily accessible through a company search in some half-fare intelligence database in order to impress here.
But believe me when I say that finding super original information like this is time consuming and really not expected, and when you’ve slept 2 hours in 2 days, why would you go all S&M on yourself with some fucking primary research?
That said, you can’t create all of your company profiles by simply taking text from a database search or (and yes, this is very common) copying and pasting a Wikipedia entry into the company or text from the company’s website! the company!
Instead, you should write from scratch using the exact tone/type of language and structure you see in existing company profiles at banks, and with the kind of succinctness you see in them; as well as drawing their ciphers and numbers directly from the original sources and condensing them into their most essential and insightful form (just like with the spread of compositions, which we’ll talk about next).
that is, you should summarize summaries, but do so accurately and in a customer-friendly way.
As an investment banking intern, you will probably be asked more often than not to simply update or double-check existing company profiles.
This can really suck if the intern or first-year bank analyst who did the existing profiles did a horrible job on them, because bankers will expect a mere “update” to take no time at all, and yet you’ll almost be doing profiles. right from the start!!
Although he now has glowing eyes and a bushy tail, don’t be discouraged if you make dozens of company profiles and they never get read, such is the nature of them. that is, banks will want profiles on hand ‘just in case’ a client requests them, or a deal goes sour.
If you have an investment banking internship coming up or are starting your analyst program soon, you should check out the most common tasks junior bankers perform. In this article we list the top 39 and explain what/why/how to get you started with a head start.