Scene Last Night: LBO Hopefuls Sip Cocktails for How-To

The rise to the top in finance has to start somewhere. If not the mailroom or the right school, how about a book?

“Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions,” published by Wiley, is more than 400 pages of how-to: from the calculation of fully diluted shares outstanding to sensitivity analysis and primary exit strategies. Page 324 even offers a definition of “deal toy.”

“There’s a gap out there in terms of what is taught and what we do on Wall Street every day,” said co-author Joshua Rosenbaum at a party last night to celebrate the book’s second edition.

Rosenbaum, a managing director in the global industrial group at UBS Investment Bank, and Joshua Pearl, an investment analyst at Brahman Capital Corp., started writing the book 10 years ago. They met when Pearl was a summer intern at UBS. Wanting to learn more about investment banking, he found Rosenbaum in a company directory.

The first edition of the book came out in 2009 and has sold more than 50,000 copies. The second edition, with an initial print run of 30,000, features data and analytics from Bloomberg LP, which has a separate relationship with Wiley to produce and distribute books under the Bloomberg Press imprint.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, was the host of the party at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York.

‘All Nighter’

The party drew employees from Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc., who sipped drinks with homeopathic ingredients created by mixologist Alex Ott. The All Nighter provided energy, while the Red Herring had the equivalent of Xanax in it, to relieve anxiety, Ott said.

The book with its spreadsheets and equations may have a role in reducing work anxiety. Many said it is either at their desk or on a shelf nearby. Some banks pass out the book in their training programs.

Daniel Getman, who will graduate this year with an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and is an intern at Energy Infrastructure Partners, pulled out a flash drive.

“I always have the spreadsheets on me,” he said of the book’s material.

Helping Others

“A lot of their motivation is trying to help people learn investment banking,” said Steve Momper, director for Darden Business Publishing at the University of Virginia. “They want to help others along.”

The authors had help in updating the second edition. Joseph R. Perella of Perella Weinberg Partners LP wrote the foreword, praising the writers for capturing in book form what is often conveyed in oral history.

Joshua Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management LLC, in the afterword, writes, “It gives me great confidence that many from the new generation of future financial leaders learned their corporate finance fundamentals with the help of Rosenbaum and Pearl.”

The authors on stage gave special thanks to Joseph Gasparro, senior associate in the investment-banking division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for his work on the book; more than 80 others are listed in the acknowledgments.

Releasing the book today feels very different from 2009, during a recession. “It’s night and day,” Rosenbaum said. “Now we have IPOs and new M&A deals, we have some very dynamic things going on in housing and energy.”

“The first edition cover was blue, now it’s purple and gold, that’s the secret sauce right there,” joked Pearl.

The parting gift: a deal toy featuring the front and back covers of the book in Lucite.

“Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions” is published by Wiley (419 pages, $95). To order this book in North America, click here.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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