Investment Banking – Life as an Investment Banker. SHOCKING TRUTH

Investment banking. My time as an
investment banker. In this video we are going to discuss my time as an
investment banker and my experiences. The prior video discussed my experience at
CIBC World Markets after I graduated from Cornell University in this video
I’m going to discuss my time at Petsky Prunier or PPLLC. Petsky Prunier is
an M&A boutique which is one of the most prestigious boutiques on Wall Street it
primarily deals with Direct Marketing does a lot of M&A transaction capital
raises works directly with private equity firms to engage in strategic and
financial sales to the financial sponsors or to a strategic partner. So
when I left CIBC World Markets I was provided with an offer and an
opportunity to work at Petsky Prunier. Initially this was fantastic because
coming from the industrial growth and services group at CIBC I was able to get
my work done extremely quickly then I transferred over to the financial
restructuring group. I then received my bonus and was offered more money to join
Petsky Prunier and I seized the opportunity.. In general I believe it’s
very important to move around rapidly when you are a young junior banker so
when you’re an analyst or an associate it’s in your best interest to move
around to different banks because not only will it provide you with an
opportunity to meet a lot of people and to meet senior bankers and as long as
you do a good job for them they will vouch for you later on but it will also
save you time and also increase the amount of money that you can make. For
example you can get a promotion let’s say you’re supposed to spend three
years as an analyst you can leave after two years and if you interview and they
want to you bad enough they should be able to shave off a year and make you a first year associate as opposed to you
staying in your existing job and completing your final year as an analyst. As I said I highly recommend that you move around relatively frequently and
that’s what I did when I joined Petsky Prunier, now in this situation I worked
directly with Sanjay Chadda who in my opinion besides Carl Torrillo he’s
probably one of the best bankers that I’ve dealt with he has extremely strong
attention in detail he is the powerhouse behind probably well at least when I was
there the majority of the deal flow that was done at Petsky Prunier him and I
worked very well together in the beginning we formed two-person deal
teams and we completed I don’t know if you complete if you include Healthy
Advice which is a company out in Cincinnati probably around $500 to a
$1 billion dollars worth of transactions it was very lucrative if you include all
of the M&A and then some of the raises and things like that but in any case
Sanjay Chadda and I work to work directly together which is relatively
uncommon because at that time I was still an analyst I wasn’t an associate
so it showed that he helped me a very high regard however at this time I was
still promoting nightclubs I’m the reason I started promoting nightclubs is
because when I started working at CIBC and I transferred to the financial
restructuring group I was leaving for I was working from 9:00 to 5:00 and
actually during the day I wasn’t really doing much and because I still had the
skill set that I developed in the industrial growth and services group at
CIBC World Markets I was able to get my work done extremely fast and I was also
a little bit cheap I didn’t want to go out and spend $20 on a drink and to get
a girl into a club in Manhattan or I didn’t want to spend $30 for entry I
remember telling my mom that if I ever made any money
by promoting nightclubs I would be extremely happy well it turns out that
after a little bit of hard work and by applying the same principles that made
me a good investment banker as far as being organized and being reliable and
hardworking then you can actually make a lot of money in nightlife and because
people go out and it was very common for them to spend like $4,000 or $5,000
dollars on a table whether it was at like Home or Guest House or Marquee or
Lotus or PM Lounge they would spend a godly amount of
money on tables and I would get a percentage on that
so it wasn’t uncommon for me at 22 years old to make $5,000 a week in nightlife. Yes I had some expenses but I probably netted around $4,000 a week and
for the majority of the time all I had to do was send out emails go to a few
events and I was able to sleep with so many girls like beautiful girls girls
from like Ford Models, Wilhelmina, Elite I mean with no effort because
when you have such high relative social status and you walk into the club and
you give the bouncers a pound and they know who you are and you just walk in
and they see you and you can get anyone in to the club without waiting on line
it just elevates your social status to such an extent that you don’t even have
to put in any effort I would not wear expensive clothes I’d wear the same
thing all the time and I could just walk in people knew who I was and there would
be like four girls at the table and I would have slept with like three of them
and you never would have known because I would be friendly with them and it was
just a really fun time but the problem is getting back to my original story is
that because I was making so much money doing nightlife, Sanjay didn’t like
this and Petsky Prunier didn’t like this because investment bankers want you to
be 100% committed they view any outside work or outside interests as a potential
threat to your loyalty so this loyalty that you’re expected to provide to the
firm is not reciprocal in nature meaning that they expect you to give 100%
loyalty but if for some reason you make a mistake or they find someone better
they don’t hesitate especially when you are at a director level or even like a
second or third year associate they really would not hesitate to let you go
as an analyst you have a lot more leeway but they won’t hesitate to let you go
but they expect you to give 100 percent loyalty and for me since I was making
more money as a nightclub promoter than I was making as an investment banker I
really didn’t give a sh*t whether I was I just didn’t really care as much as the
typical people and also a lot of my co-workers started getting very jealous
so they started asking me questions like what am I doing this weekend and I would
to the Hamptons but I would just say oh nothing I’m just staying home and
reading and then if you think something happened where someone sent one of the
emails because I would I had around like 10,000 people on my email list at that
time and they forwarded my nightclub email to one of the owners and founders
of the company John Prunier and then he contacted me about this and who’s like
what is this what’s this about so John Prunier he’s a little bit of a
tight-ass Michael Petsky who’s one of the other founders he’s a really really
cool guy he’s a good family guy he’s fine but John Prunier is a little bit of
a tight-ass I had a decent relationship with him Sanjay and I mostly work
together and I had a decent relationship with him but I never felt that Sanjay
was very comfortable with me having outside interests and this came to light
later on because one of the girls that I was saying at the time her name is
Christina Celestino I met her at Suede Lounge which was on I think 23rd
Street between 7th and 8th Avenue I met her on like a Wednesday night and she
just radiated positivity I remember when I walked up to her and I asked her for
her email and then her number she was like glowing she’s a very beautiful girl
and she radiated positivity like I said earlier and I was just instantly
attracted to her so we started seeing each other at that time she was going to
Fordham and I actually brought her on the company cruise of Petsky Prunier. My relationship with Christina only lasted about two months because she
brought a friend or she couldn’t get into Marquee because she was underage
and I was a jerk at the time and I said something really rude to her and I
remember what I said but I don’t want to say it because I feel like a dumbass it
was really really rude what I said and I kind of regret it but anyway so she kind
of like dumped me she wasn’t like interested in me anymore but we remained
cordial and she came to the company event that we had when we sailed around
Manhattan at Petsky Prunier then I found out that a month later Sanjay got
a table at a lounge called PM which is a pretty exclusive lounge it was it’s I
think some corner of like Little West 12th Street it’s not there anymore
I know that one of the the nightclub owners Chris Reda took it
over and I forgot what he renamed it but in anything
Sanjay got a table and then he hit on my girlfriend Christina I mean
at that time she was not my girlfriend but he like he pretty much was like she told
me that he was standing around the table with bottle service dressed in a suit
and walked up to her gave her his card and was like hi I’m Sanjay you know it’s
like these guys have no game what they do is they use the prestige that they
have of working as an investment bank they’ve sacrificed 10 or 15 years of
their life in order to become a vice president or a managing director and
then they just stand around and have no fun they’re complete tools and then they
hand out their business card to girls and actually the weird thing is he
actually met her previously because I brought her on the I brought her on the
cruise the weird thing also is Sanjay at that time was dating a girl and think
that he actually has married her her name is Allison I met her once and he’s
married to her but at that time now again like I don’t want to like start
any problems or anything but I’m just telling you what Christina told me but
he was pretty aggressive in hitting on her at PM Lounge while he was dating
Allison who he eventually ended up marrying. But in any case so at this time
I was like 22 years old and I was making a lot of money and Sanjay didn’t like
this and because bankers use fear in order to intimidate you and when they
want you to work at like 10:00 or 11:00 or midnight they tell you and insinuate
that if you do not comply with their orders and you don’t make the necessary
sacrifice then your bonus is going to be negatively impacted but for me
considering that I was making a lot more money as a nightclub promoter and I was
able to have a lot more access in social status and sleep with a lot more girls
so it was actually fine I really didn’t care so much about the investment
banking job which in hindsight was a big mistake. Anyway one time I remember when
they flew us to San Francisco and then John Prunier acted like they were
doing us by such a like such a huge favor because they put us up with a
hotel and we went during the weekend and you probably spent around $4,000 but the
problem with that is what John didn’t realize is I
actually gave up a few thousand dollars by going to San Francisco so he wasn’t
doing me any favor by flying me out to San Francisco to go to a marketing
conference and then having me walk around and give my card to everyone in
the booth in order to generate business and then when I kind of insinuated and
told John that I was doing him that I didn’t want to be there and again I was
also booking tables on my phone during this time when I was on the call and not
pissed off John and Sanjay and when they spoke to me about it I was very
straightforward with them and told them that I didn’t have a desire to be there
it’s not my job to generate substantial revenue for the company as an analyst
and I told them that I was also sacrificing thousands of dollars by
going there and there were other people who called out I remember Colleen
Filipo she called out and she was able to not go but for some reason if I
called out and I told them that I would rather go to the nightclub that I
guarantee you would have been a huge problem because they did not like that I
was promoting nightclubs so if I told them that I was skipping the San
Francisco trip in order to make an incremental a few thousand dollars they
would have viewed that as me choosing nightlife over Investment Banking and I
guarantee you they would docked me like $10,000 or $15,000 thousand dollars on my
bonus so I knew that and I decided to go to San Francisco but at the same time I
was continuing like booking tables and sending people to the nightclub and they
got really pissed about that another thing is they in 2006 they hired a
banker Matthew Kratter at this time he was a director I think Matt Kratter
graduated from University of Pennsylvania he was a pretty smart guy
but he just he was super annoying he would start her on all the conference
calls he would give a very poor presentation and in my opinion he was
just he was annoying a sh*t like he was so freakin annoying him and this guy Jim
Toohey were very annoying but Matthew Kratter was like even worse like he
would just continuously turn documents and I just had no respect for Matthew
Kratter and I spoke back to him a few times and Sanjay told me that at one
point that I was disrespectful to him but I
just didn’t care because this person was so freakin annoying and now he’s actually a
managing director at Petsky Prunier but unless things have changed and it’s
been a while I mean at that time he was stuttering all the time on conference
calls it was almost like humorous that this person was a director yet
Sanjay would not work with him on deal teams because Sanjay had more trust in
an analyst than he did in his own director yet the analyst was getting
paid three or four times as much money rather the director was getting paid
three or four times as much money as the analyst. So the reason I’m saying this is
that investment banking is not a meritocracy the people who win and who
make the most money are not necessarily based upon merit or how skilled they are
rather it’s predicated upon how much time they’ve invested and how much they
have sacrificed to the industry so at that time Sanjay had substantially more
confidence in me than he did in Matthew Kratter yet Matthew Kratter since he had
been working as an investment banker for ten more years than me and he was
getting paid around three or four times as much money signed like Sanjay chose
me yet Petsky Prunier was not compensating me nearly as much as they
were Mathew Kratter so I kind of didn’t really like this and that’s one of the
reasons why I’ve chosen more of the entrepreneurial route because when you
work for someone else you better love it because even if you’re more skilled and
more capable than your bosses they are going to reward the boss and give the
boss more power based upon the boss’ experience and their prior experiences
so it doesn’t matter how capable you are they are still going to take advantage
of the new hires of the analysts and the associates they’re going to under pay
the analysts and the associates and they overpay the directors and the managing
directors the reason for that is a very small percentage of analysts and
associates become directors and managing directors. They can afford to under pay
the analysts and the associates so that they overpay the directors in the
managing directors I had a big problem with Matthew Kratter like
I said and I made a big mistake in 2006 during the summer I was working
late one night while I was working on promoting things you know sending out my
email adding emails to my email list and I actually missed a flight to Boston the
next day I remember we were working with a direct marketing company they used to
buy direct I forget what the name of it was but it was near Boston and I missed
the flight and that was that was on me that was a huge mistake that was
probably the biggest mistake that I made during my entire time as an investment
banker because that’s pretty it’s black and white I just I stayed in the office
until 2 o’clock in the morning I went home I had to wake up at about 6:00 a.m.
I was sleep-deprived and I missed the flight and it was a really bad
experience and I was on me and that actually caused me to not get promoted
so even though I made no mistakes that entire year on the financial models
Sanjay told me during their review that they felt like they couldn’t trust me a
hundred percent that I wasn’t fully dedicated and that was the reason why I
didn’t get promoted and as a result I told Sanjay during that meeting that I
was gonna quit he then told me to give him two or three weeks and then I can go
on interviews because I was staffed on a lot of deals and they wanted time to
find a replacement so that’s what I did and I eventually found another job
within about two or three weeks at another investment bank and everything
worked out well but I can tell you that do I have regret I I’m not sure I think
that in the beginning when I joined Petsky Prunier I really loved it because
it provided freedom but then they started implementing a lot of changes so
every week at 9:00 and 9:00 in the morning we would have to everyone from
the office would have to sit down and in a conference room and go through the
deal the deal sheet and provide updates and I thought that this was a complete
waste of time we would sit there from 9:00 in the morning until 10:00 a.m.
every single week this was implemented around late 2005 or early 2006 and in my
opinion this is a complete 100% waste of time so the more structures and the more
regimented structures that companies put into place the more that
take away your freedom the more sacrifices they require of you the more
that the junior bankers feel as if they are not being compensated well enough
where they feel that they’re being underpaid so that the directors and the
managing directors can be over compensated I think that these
situations the greater tendency that banks have to exhibit these these type
of tendencies the higher incidence there will be of junior bankers leaving and
banks really don’t want junior banks to leave because for the most part they
spend three or four months to get these junior bankers productive and profitable
and then if these junior bankers leave and they have to take a chance on
someone else who might not be nearly as good as the person that they that left. So in my opinion I’m not sure if I regret I know that Petsky Prunier at that time
was one of the most prestigious boutique firms on Wall Street and in the country
and at this moment it’s probably the same it’s still probably incredibly
prestigious I got along very well with Mike with John I barely had any
interactions Sanjay if I wasn’t a nightclub promoter I think that my
relationship with him would have been much better but it wasn’t because I
always felt that there was a lot of hidden tension but I learned a lot and I
definitely recommend that you should work at a bulge bracket firm like a
Morgan Stanley like I worked at and then transfer over to a boutique or also to a
private equity firm but I also feel that the one of the benefits of the private
equity firms or rather of the Bulge rather than start one of the benefits of
the boutiques or that you don’t have to work as hard so I could have worked if I
wasn’t involved in nightlife from 9:00 in the morning until around 6:30 or 7:00
at night and usually Sanjay would leave it at 7:00 and once he left I could
leave because I was very efficient in getting my work done the other benefit
is you see all the you see the entire deal flow you see the entire deal
process I was on the phone with private equity firms I would go through the data
room to make sure that there were that there was nothing there that we had to
that we had to censor I put together the indication
the interest the letter of intent I would also get involved and be on the
phone when Sanjay would negotiate the purchase prices and set up the auction
so things like that were incredibly valuable because you would see the deal
from fruition from the beginning from inception all the way until it completed
that was very very valuable the other thing is I worked directly with private
equity firms so we worked with Halyard Capital, Seaport capital a ton of
investment banks we worked with Goldman Sachs we work with probably around five
or ten private equity firm so it gives you a lot of exposure I can say that I
don’t regret it because I definitely enjoy the entrepreneurial life and I
think that working on Wall Street it requires you to make too much of a
sacrifice to work there long term but I’m happy for my experience at Petsky Prunier and I wish that they had seen the best side of me so I wish that I
didn’t have to deal with Matthew Kratter at all I also wish I didn’t miss that
flight I also wish that Sanjay was a little bit
less petty and didn’t get involved in or get jealous because he knew that I
was a that was a nightclub promoter and there were a few times where I saw Sanjay out one time I saw him out and then he saw like a few girls around me and he
got like kind of jealous and a few other times I mean it was just like kind of
weird but besides that I mean that’s pretty much it that that um this is
probably going to be one of the last videos that I make about my individual
experiences and as an investment banker I will make future videos about how to
get an investment banking job so I’ll go through the questions that they ask you
the specific answer is that you should provide the presentation that you should
give how you should dress what you should tell them if you don’t know the
answer to a question additionally if you want free training on how to sell option
premium you can go to and enter in your email
address if you have any questions then let me know let me just make sure that I
that I went through everything so Petsky Prunier on Wall Street. Sanjay. I was promoting was making more money as a promoter than
i was as an investment banker and that bothered them. Sanjay. Okay. San Francisco.
i talked about how i missed the flight how i have problems with Matthew Kratter
also of the last thing is I was able to meet some really cool people when I was
working at a Petsky Prunier so I met Michel Lastoria who is now the
CEO of &Pizza he is very young he’s probably only around three or four years
older than me and he’s probably worth around $50 or 100 million dollars he’s a
very successful entrepreneur and I met a lot of those type of people and it
actually paid dividends because Michel Lastoria actually owned a nightclub
called Corio in New York City so ironically I worked with him at Corio
after I left Petsky Prunier yeah so it was funny
because I helped him sell his company which was Innovation Ads while I was at
Petsky Prunier and then once I left Petsky Prunier he hired me as a consultant
for Corio so things have a way of circling back and you help one person do
one thing where you maximize the purchase price of their company and then
they pay you on the backend by working together at their club so you know
successful people and are always going to have multiple sources of income
whether it’s running companies owning restaurants owning lounges people just
enjoy that they enjoy that and I think one of the main problems with Wall
Street is that very few bankers actually enjoy Wall Street they don’t enjoy their
job because it requires so much sacrifice you have to dress up in a suit
you have to always be professional but then the way that these people are
acting when no one’s watching is very different from the professional persona
that they portray when everyone’s watching there were numerous times with
CIBC World Markets where kids were addicted to Adderall where there were
snorting cocaine in the in the back a lot of the managing directors were
cheating on their wives they were alcoholics and this is something that
you would never see if you took everything in face value but when you
scratch behind the surface or below the surface because these people had to
sacrifice so much and they pretty much sacrifice all of
their individuality and they sacrifice their life all their time their 20s and
their 30s they have to develop negative coping mechanisms which are very
disastrous and very harmful and almost poison to their soul and I saw this all
the time in investment banking specifically with directors and managing directors
and that’s one of the main reasons why I recommend that even if you make less
money initially even if you’re making $20,000 or $30,000 thousand dollars when
you’re 20 years old if you find something that you actually
enjoy you should invest a 100% of your time because you don’t
want to get involved in something that you don’t enjoy the effects and negative
effects of working at a job that you don’t enjoy our very insidious it will
eat away in great away at your humanity at your soul and you’ll end up
developing very negative coping mechanisms that are going to hurt you in
the future so like I said before if you have any questions let me know I’m here
to help you and I appreciate your attention

Paul Whisler


  1. Share this video with your friends & then subscribe to this channel (click the bell so you're notified ASAP about new alert videos. Visit to receive $400+ of FREE Training. Have questions? Book a telephone call:

  2. David I am shocked you clean up very nicely for this presentation. Interesting to hear about this world of finance. You are pictured clean shaven with an attractive women but I have not heard anything about her. Is she a current or a former person ? Doug

  3. I think this is true of most professions with a high potential income. You spend your first few years as an underpaid associate until you prove your worth to the higher ups. My first few years in medicine I made a fraction of my current income and worked 10x longer and harder. I dont even know if I regret it or think its wrong. It just is how things are. Maybe it the only way it can work…. it sure seems to repeat itself.

    Hey David I just found this cool piece online
    But I know your more educated than I am in this field
    Is this on the level or anothe scam

  5. nice talk man kinda like the wolf of wall street in the end with people snorting 'stuff' 🙂 i am more and more inclined to watch more of your videos and learn more about what it is you do exactly. although at first i saw your optionalpha rants and you were too badmouthing, i watched what you had to say – and in a way you might have something with it (tough oa's video tutorials and strategy w/ adjustments is sound imho). I was thinking for a while on subscribing to some of his paid stuff (kirk's) but in the end waited especially after getting a few strange automated emails from him (very pushy emails the usual 50-90% discount just for today, etc). So while he says that he makes his living from options, that is only a small(er) part for him probably. I have watched a ton of tasty's videos as well + learned a lot about futures options on a course in my country (availability limited by language spoken). Tasty usually has too much small talk you need to ffwd 🙂 You seem more focused and to the point which I like.

  6. Such a great video with so much depth and perspective! I’m actually at a boutique investment bank like the one you mentioned, Petsky Prunier (I think they just got bought by Cannacord Genuity). I can totally relate to this. Lean deal teams but if personalities clash it could rather abrasive and uncomfortable especially being at the office for longer periods of time. I have been trying to lateral to another shop but held off a bit after interviews. Would love to know your perspective on those that started at a smaller end. Do you have Linkedin?

  7. Thank you for making these investment banking videos! Would really like to see a video on how to survive investment banking and prepare for next steps if intending to leave.

  8. very interesting video man i've got a summer internship at jpm in the summer but feels like I B is much different nowadays than in the early 2000s

  9. Loved the video…. but you sure you good dropping full names left and right ?? Just looking out for you brother

  10. Thank you! Very interesting and useful video. I have to say though, it sounds like you used to be a douche.

  11. David, I saw one of your responses on Quora which prompted me to check out your channel. Thank you for the insightful perspective about IB. I’m a college student studying computer science and finance and I haven’t been able to decide which field to pursue (tech or IB). I watched your videos on your life on Wall Street and I’m feeling dissuaded now. I don’t want to sacrifice my youth for a firm’s benefit. I’ve joined IB/finance groups on my campus and have yet to see someone who doesn’t sugar coat the industry like you in these videos. It’s just refreshing to have a full disclosure, no bullshit reflection on your experience. It seems you regretted working in IB, is there anything you would have rather done instead? Thanks again and you’ve gained a new sub

  12. Hi, Thank yu for this video. I would love to see videos regarding questions asked in interviews (when I do not know the answer)

  13. Learn how to get an investment banking, private equity or hedge fund job at

  14. new course? Awesome! I got your options trading course and it's great.

  15. Excellent information about interviewing and sharing your experiences.

  16. You went to Cornell? Was it easy to get into investment banking?

  17. NO you shouldn't have any regrets because you should have been given an opportunity to be promoted to the next level, but you were more intelligent and thats why you were not promoted! So good that you left and knew your worth.

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