Monday, December 10, 2007

Seven Countries in Seven Days

One of the more glamourous and gruelling parts of the job is the notorious IPO roadshow. This is where you drag a poor management team around the world, putting them in front of 6-10 investors a day (plus group lunches and sometimes dinners), and make them do a presentation and answer questions on their business in every meeting. In between meetings, there are precision-timed conference calls and investor follow-ups. This is all with the aim of helping investors understand the deal we're all trying to sell and invest in the Company. The bankers job is to make this process go as smoothly as possible (not easy), keep those pesky investors from asking questions they're not supposed to (even harder), and ensure the management has as comfortable a time as possible (impossible).

I just got back from a roadshow that encompassed seven countries in as many days. We had Moscow on Friday, Monday in London, Tuesday to Rotterdam, Wednesday to Zurich, Thursday in Stockholm, Friday in Frankfurt, then flew out to the US, before returning to Moscow by the following Thursday.

There are some upsides to this schedule, we get to fly around in private jets, eat at the best restaurants, and stay at the nicest hotels, but you don't get much sleep...

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