WHY Exactly Are Investment Bankers Paid So Much?

WHY Exactly Are Investment Bankers Paid So Much?

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Going through an M&A auction can feel like being operated upon for directors who’ve not experienced it before. Shareholders and the media lurk, ready to condemn any slip-up (the second option risk is why public relations consultants get paid a lot as well). There is enough of bargaining and subterfuge over details, any of that could demonstrate fatal to the outcome unexpectedly. Second, advisers are paid with other’s money.

That is particularly true whenever a company is being sold – the entire price like the fees is likely to be picked up by the acquirer, just what exactly difference will a few million to make? When your client can be an acquirer Even, planks of directors whose personal reputations are at stake are not digging into their own wallets to pay.

Through one end of the telescope, the fees look small even. US25bn is about 0.3 per cent and can cover years of unpaid work. Bankers claim these are cheap weighed against property brokers, who may charge several percentage factors for selling a house. As ever, the best way to generate income is to be around a lot of it. Third, M&A advice is a black box. There is enough of technical skill in structuring a deal such as using acquisitions to change taxes domiciles.

That is bundled with access to the bank’s contacts with potential bidders in various countries and presented all together by one adviser to the plank. The senior banker’s modulation of voice conveys a mixture of financial advice, human judgment and comfort. The data of an eternity. The final is the most effective.

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In theory, M&A advice could be unbundled into different duties, and more of the specialized work done by machines, but boardrooms just have space for some individuals. 20m each, which one adviser telephone calls “ludicrous”. The fee rises exponentially for an adviser in the room where a deal happens. This accounts for the prosperity of advisory boutiques such as Centerview Partners and Evercore, founded by corporate financiers who built their reputations at banks including UBS and Lehman Brothers.

The power of a global advisory elite is exemplified by small and highly rewarded banking “kiosks” such as Robey Warshaw. Global investment banks sniff at the ability of a few experienced individuals to charge similar fees to them, without bearing the same costs. In the M&A business, associations have long-lasting value. But employing the best cosmetic surgeon in the global world will not make cosmetic surgery a good idea.