Major chunk of the work profile of an investment banker includes liasoning with clients and top level managers. Communication plays an essential role in this area, and hence one should be upgrade their skills to appear courteous and professional at the same time. In modern era, e-mail is the most popularly used formal mode of communication between two parties. Apart from being a written record of conversations, it is extremely useful for communicating between branches at multiple locations.
Basic General Rules You Should Follow While Drafting an E-mail:
Use Proper Salutation
Address your client and other colleagues with proper salutation as per the protocol used in your organization.
Insert Proper Subject Line
Address your concern in short words, since, most of the time urgency of a mail is judged on the basis of subject line.
Proofread your Content
Haste makes waste, hence, take time to meticulously proofread your content. A poorly written e-mail creates a bad impression on clients and other third parties.
Check Your Recipients’ List
Be careful while inserting receiver’s e-mail id, and avoid putting names of unnecessary recipients. Also, be careful while replying as there are high chances you might hit the send button even before you’ve finished writing the mail.
In case you have a client located overseas, study their protocol and culture as usage of some content inadvertently may appear to be insensitive.
Importance of Emails in Investment Banking
- It is imperative for the offshore associate to present a good picture of the captive/third party center as he is the single point of contact between the I bank and the organization for which he works.
- Since there is a continuous client interaction and the job of the offshore associate is to free up as much time of the Analyst as possible, he needs to continuously keep the analyst updated of the results he is getting and also ask for further responsibilities. Everything happens through emails.
Let’s go through some examples –
Request for direction from Analyst on given work
When the work starts or when we are given a new assignment, we need to access the requirements and then decide with the analyst the way one should proceed to complete the assignment. So for the first communication when the email thread starts we need to make a request for the direction in which we should proceed.
With reference to our conversation on the ‘XYZ Company’ mini model should I proceed with making the financial statements using the data gathered from the SEC website? Please provide further directions to this assignment.
Looking forward to your reply.
Request for permission to data sources.
In certain assignments to complete the work we need access to specific data sources, so as to complete the analysis. Examples of this are the access to financial tools like Bloomberg, Factset, or certain databases related to aviation, mining, etc.
With regards to the ‘Air Traffic study’ assignment for the North US region I have completed the first three sections per our outlined structure. For the final two sections we need some data that seems to be available on XYZ-Aviation Database. Can you provide me an access to this database? Thus we can get the necessary information from this source and expedite our work.
Hope this is fine.
Request for leave from the Analyst
Asking for a leave is another important communication. The analyst needs to be kept informed about our absence well in advance so that he does not plan any work for us during those times. Thus he can plan accordingly keeping in mind our absence. Generally the analyst is informed 20-25 days in advance if we need a leave. As noticed in above two examples the discussion is kept as brief as possible. This is done as the analysts are very busy and would not have as much time to go through huge emails.
I request you to grant me a leave from 2nd Sep 2015 to 6th Sept 2015 since I need to attend my cousin’s wedding. I would join office on Monday 9th Sept 2015.
Request for value added work, like report writing
As any role progresses the quality of work improves. Writing reports is another important activity and comes later in the life cycle of a role. It is like a walk on a tight-rope when we make a request for value added work. One should not sound disinterested in the work already assigned.
I had great learning in the past two months on the model building assignments you gave. As a next step to this role it would be a good learning for me to work on small writing assignments. We can start with a pilot writing exercise and then if you feel comfortable we can move to actual writing assignments. Thanks for your support in all my current and past assignments. I am currently working on XYZ Company analysis assignment and would send you an update of my work by end of day tomorrow.
Thanks & Regards.
The above rules appear quite easy to follow, however, a small error on your part may result into becoming a big blunder, and make you lose face in front your clients and impact your businesses. On the other hand, a good response on e-mails is likely to boost your business and improve goodwill in the market.