Immersion Learning

The Battle for Wall Street

by Femi Enigbokan MBA ‘14 (4/29/13)
Femi Enigbokan MBA ‘14

Since my last post my fellow Investment Banking Immersion classmates and I have modeled and presented M&A transactions and told P&G’s CFO (‘88) exactly what we thought about his divestiture of the Pringles business. Up next, Richard Goldberg, an experienced FIG banker with more than 25 years of Wall Street experience, led a discussion on the past, the current state, and most importantly the future of Wall Street, using both analytic and anecdotal evidence as our guide.

Richard Goldberg’s book, my inspiration for the title of this post, was the premise for our discussion.  Richard led an active discussion where we discussed the history of banking, focusing on the last 15 years. This was one of our most active discussions because we spent much of the time discussing best practices that have led to the success of leading investment banks, while reviewing market-wide missteps that led to the 2008 market downturn. 

We also discussed the financial industry’s shift of actual, and perceived, market power from the ‘sell-side’ to the ‘buy-side,’ and the reasons for such a shift. Richard shared many candid stories about his life on Wall Street. Being a career FIG banker who worked on some of the largest bank mergers in the last quarter century, he described many of the patterns he noticed during his merger and acquisition advisory engagements.

Toward the end of our discussion we engaged in a fun pop quiz, where we learned a few surprising facts about topics like “Which Bank is the safest in the world (long term credit ratings),” or “Which bank has the highest ‘brand value’?”

My classmates and I came away excited about the prospect of starting, and in many cases, continuing our career chapters on Wall Street this summer. As we learned during Richard Goldberg’s presentation the history of Wall Street is a very cyclical one, and, as many others have pointed out, this may be one of the most ideal times to become a part of that history.