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Fix the Pitch

How to craft compelling, dazzling pitchbooks. Thoughts, ideas, and inspiration to help construct advanced financial analysis, build stunning data visualizations and tips for mastering client meetings.

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July in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

How to dazzle clients and craft compelling pitchbooks. Learn advanced financial analysis, how to build stunning data visualizations, and tips for delivering a killer pitch. By Pellucid Analytics.


July in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

Why you should attend your company happy hour, the genealogy of popular music, inspirational pitchbook content, and the importance of Liar's Poker. Maybe it’s something in the air, but there were a few excell…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Correlation matrices have a what now?

Avoid explaining the mathematical theory of eigenvalues and positive definite matrices by giving a finance answer. Talking about eigenvalues in a client meeting is asking for trouble because the mathematical…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

Bankers are smart....aren’t they?

Why wanting to have a beer with someone is a better predictor of success than education, experience, knowledge, or intellect. Any incoming class of bankers will likely be top performers from some of the world…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The pitchbook paradox

A banker's most valuable asset is strategic advice, yet pitchbook creation means it’s what they spend the least amount of time developing. As a banker, part of the job I always enjoyed the most was solving th…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What pitchbook content is trending at Pellucid?

Trending pitchbook content: analyst recommendations, share price performance, and benchmarking. From pitchbook essentials to advanced data visualizations, Pellucid's content library is designed to help banke…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Deceptively simple: benchmarking charts

Benchmarking charts feature in nearly every pitchbook. Yet, each time they are created, they are a bespoke piece of content. I have good news and bad news about benchmarking charts. The good news is that the…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why bankers still need to play Liar’s Poker

It may have dwindled in popularity, but playing Liar's Poker allows bankers to practice and master important necessary skills. Twenty years ago, if you asked any banker, “When was the last time you played Lia…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Ranking Chart: The 13 Original Colonies

Since the first Independence Day almost a quarter of a century ago, how have the original 13 colonies changed? Ranked for population, size, and more. After some boundary adjustment and name updates, the 13 or…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

June in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

Banks shaking up their recruitment methods, movie reboots, and why running five minutes late may cost you a seat at the table. In June, more banks announced changes to try and retain and attract junior banker…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Why bankers think they scrub numbers. And why they actually do

Scrubbing numbers isn't just for standardizing data or learning the ropes. Scrubbing numbers is an important and expensive activity, necessary to the work of an investment banker. First, there is the fee ban…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

I have enough fleece vests, thank you.

Please stop giving me duffel bags, oversized T-shirts, and beer cozies. How about something that shows you get me instead? In the corner of my closet sits a pile of “gender neutral” items, accumulated from co…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

Are you using the right data visualization?

Pitchbook visualizations, like the data they contain, are nuanced. And what works for one banker may not work for another. Investment bank management teams widely believe that the effective use of data visual…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Introducing the Data Hub

Override values, change definitions, review sources. Complete confidence and transparency for perfect content, every time. It’s 2 a.m. and you’re close to wrapping up your pitchbook for tomorrow morning’s me…

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

Turning data sensitivity tables into visualizations you can be proud of

Using histograms and heat maps to add perspective to data sensitivity tables. Sensitivity analysis is cool. Ok, maybe not “the Fonz” cool. But it is a great way to stress-test a financial model and add robu…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

Ranking Chart: Movie reboots

How do movie reboots from 2015, 2016, and 2017 compare to the original version? Ranking actual and predicted success. Next month the new Ghostbusters movie, the latest in a string of remakes, reboots, and lon…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

For meetings, better never than late

Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable. Why you should apply the "start time rule" to meetings. Perhaps because of our relative isolation, or maybe because we were more willing t…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

#CelebrateWomen: New York Women’s Foundation Breakfast

Only 3% of philanthropic dollars go toward women issues. Read more about the New York Women's Foundation. On Thursday, May 5th, the hashtag #celebratewomen trended in New York. Twitter users united behind the…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

When to use positive-negative in financial modeling

The pros and cons of positive-positive and positive-negative in financial modeling. In finance, it’s often meekly agreed upon that everyone is right. “Well yes, of course, circumstance dependent, both approac…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

May in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

The end of the school year means graduation speeches and interns flocking to Wall Street. Here's May from Fix The Pitch. End of the school year means graduation time, and thousands of interns getting pumped f…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Pitchbooks: Ideas are cheap, execution isn’t

Strategic ideas are a banker's best asset. But more ideas means more content has to be created. Welcome to the pitchbook paradox. Costing around $40,000 on average, pitchbooks are an expensive yet necessary p…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Finding content you’d forgotten you’d lost

Finding and reusing old content is no longer a difficult process with Pellucid keyword search. Find what you need, fast. “Where’s that deck we did for Hasbro’s share repurchase in 2015?” “Where’s that analyst…

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

How to treat data outliers in pitchbook charts

Outliers can be a frustrating experience when creating pitchbook content. Here are three treatment options for bankers. Outliers are a pain. If you’ve had to chart data that includes extreme values, it’s pro…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

How have commencement addresses changed?

We chart the industries of commencement speakers over time to see how they have changed. Over the coming weeks, nearly two million students will graduate from college. Integral to the celebration is a commenc…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Forget utility belts, just hand me a smartphone

While banking can be slow to adopt tech, investment bankers are always on the hunt for tools to give a competitive edge. Very early on I learned the benefit of having a little insider scoop about someone with…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Combinatorial innovation isn’t just for startups, it's also for pitchbooks

Every new client problem requires combining existing pieces in new ways. Would you consider yourself a combinatorial innovator? No? Never heard the phrase before? I first came across it from Hal Varian, Go…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Share repurchases: Don’t shoot the executioner

If the treasury team had the ability to predict future share prices, I'm pretty sure they would work somewhere else. A company’s decision to repurchase shares doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a strategic move t…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

April in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

Speculation and intrigue in April. Is John Snow dead? Who will the running mates be? And how to fix the junior banker problem. April was a month of speculation and intrigue in the Pellucid offices. Is John Sn…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

But what goes into a pitchbook exactly?

We undertook an audit of over 2,000 pitchbooks to see what goes into them exactly. We found not all pitchbooks are the same, far from it. We know, and you probably know too, that the pitchbook creation proces…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Problems are easy. Solutions aren’t

We've examined the investment banking pitchbook problem from every angle. Here's our approach and how we know when it's solved. In product development, there is an adage “find a problem and solve it”. If you…

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

When your analysis doesn’t work

Sometimes the smartest thing you can say is, “The data doesn’t really say anything. We need to look elsewhere for insight.” Let’s be frank. During the past three or four months if you’ve caught any of the pre…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Ranking Chart: The best city for investment bankers

When you actually get to leave the office, which is the best finance city to live in? New York vs. London? Beijing vs. Hong Kong? Zurich vs. Frankfurt? Each city has its own unique appeal for bankers, with op…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Why I won’t accept your LinkedIn invitation to connect

How junior bankers should expand their network and the tactic they should avoid. You’re new to the industry, you’re enthusiastic about building relationships and connections, and LinkedIn is like a massive ne…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Should investment banking adopt an apprenticeship model?

Instead of throwing money and promotions at new recruits, should banks employ a model of learning? In banking recruitment, the phrase “junior banker problem” probably inspires at least one of the following th…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Explaining mean reversion to clients using a data visualization and a dog

How to explain what you mean when you say, "It look's cheap." Walking my Australian Cattle Dog in Prospect Park over the weekend, two things came to mind. The first was, that despite it being April, we were i…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

How much does a pitchbook cost?

An average pitchbook costs about $40,000 to produce. Check out the Pitchbook Calculator to see how much yours cost. Lawyers, management consultants, doctors, advertising executives—all careers with a cl…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

March in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

We hope your first quarter has been as productive as ours. If not, here are a selection of stories from the Pellucid team to fix that. The first quarter of 2016 is over! We hope your year has been as producti…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Why a square filled doughnut is actually a waffle

Despite being a commonly used pitchbok visualization, pie charts are frequently misued. Here's why. At least once a week someone at Pellucid Analytics has a rant about a bad visualization. And while we admit…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The eight pillars of Pellucid

To solve the pitchbook problem, it's a questions of which skills, not which backgrounds: The eight core skills of Pellucid Analytics. I can recall a conversation I had around the time I started Pellucid Analy…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Is your risk management strategy imaginary?

A lot of time is spent on risk modeling, but more time needs to be spent on the underlying correlation assumptions. If you’re a homeowner, and you want to be well-diversified against the risk of nowhere to li…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Nine rules for a perfect value axis

Chief Content Officer, Eric Rattner, outlines his nine unbreakable rules for labeling a standalone value axis when creating pitchbooks charts. It’s not easy to create a good chart. As Chief Content Officer at…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

March Madness predictions: Kansas most likely to win

We used a statistical model to predict the outcome of a matchup between any two Division I teams. March is here, and flowers are blooming; so too are the hopes and dreams of fans of the 68 schools participati…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

How to get clients to say “yes”

The more often a client says yes, the more often a pitch leads to a mandate. And data visualizations can be used to get you there. We’re all vulnerable to the persuasion and influence of others. From teenage…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why new approaches to education shouldn’t stay in the classroom

How the adoption of MOOCs could revolutionalize the analyst onboarding process A friend of mine, a professor at an Ivy League school, asked me how my wife and I were preparing to cover the college education c…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Explaining diversification and hedging to clients

Talking about risk management in terms of home ownership, sprinkler systems, and alarms. Risk management is an area of finance that you’re probably familiar with. It’s about identifying threats and figuring o…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

Data needs visualization AND transformation

It's not enough to just use a visualization, you have to transform the data into something meaningful first. A side-effect of big data is that in an effort to extract insights from it there has been an increa…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Future banking teams: Leveraging humans and computers

At investment banks, a new approach to KPOs will automate lower-level work, reduce costs, and provide more value. You probably don’t know Alok Aggarwal. But there is a fair chance you’re familiar with the con…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Complex content creation requires a scalpel, not a Swiss Army Knife

Sometimes a one-size-fits-all product will only get you so far. I own three bikes: one for commuting, one for racing, and one for long rides. I guess I could use the same bike for all three activities, but wh…

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

February in review: Pellucid's Fix The Pitch

In case you spent February hibernating from the polar vortex and umpteen award shows, here are a selection of stories you missed. In case you spent February hibernating to avoid the polar vortex and umpteen a…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Is the office more unequal than we think?

From running errands to laughing at the boss’s jokes, are women pressured to display certain feelings, or manage the feelings of others, more than men? I’ve always considered myself a team player. Help plan t…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

Comps analysis: The missing harmony of summary statistics

Answering the question, “How is the company performing?” by using smarter summary stats. A comps analysis has two chief purposes. The first is to look at individual company performance and the second is to b…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

Big data: You're gonna need a better chart

Not every banker can, nor should, be a data scientist, but they should be a data samurai. The importance of a good visualization. Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created. Ninety percent of the worl…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The difference between searching and browsing

Intelligent search and enhanced sorting, so when you need to find a chart, you know exactly where to look. Searching is never fun. Searching is looking for missing socks, feeling lost, and wasting time that…

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

Curation: It doesn’t only belong in a museum

If you can curate information to the needs and interests of clients, you can cut down on pitchbook churn. Ask junior investment bankers on what they spend most of their time, and pitchbooks will usually be th…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why STEAM power is the future

The combination of creative AND technical ability is America’s secret sauce to continued prosperity and engine of future economic development Innovation is touted as the panacea to volatile economic environme…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Compound charts: The visualization you’ve been waiting for

The popularity of infographics shows how different chart elements can be combined to tell a comprehensive story. Data is everywhere, reporting on everything. Its abundance means more situations can be modele…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What is the most productive month of the year?

Looking at box office stats, Facebook traffic, and Google searches to see when we are at our most productive. We’re about five weeks into 2016. The holiday lethargy has been shaken off, school summer vacation…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

The one simple rule for a great pitchbook

As a banker, the best piece of career advice I ever received had nothing to do with scrubbing numbers, building models, or conducting an analysis. The best piece of career advice I ever received had nothing t…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

I can kanban, can you?

How adopting the kanban methodology, investment bankers can better manage and update client resources and strategies while on the move. At Pellucid Analytics I get to work with many non-bankers. My team has a…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What’s in a name?

When getting married, a woman has a tough decision: Keep your name to maintain a career identity? Or change it to share a name with your family? Here's what I did. Well, quite a bit, actually. Taking your sp…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

It’s election time. Will there be a spike in special dividends?

Presidential election season is in full swing. What could this mean for special dividend declarations? The re-emergence of Sarah Palin and her run-on sentences means presidential election season is in full sw…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Ranking Chart: Performance of oldest companies listed on NYSE

We rank the performance of some of the oldest companies listed on NYSE. At this week's World Economic Forum, corporate, political, and cultural leaders will be talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

What “less is more” means for junior bankers

How to balance a rich, layered story with the power of a single takeaway message by using the "less is more" approach. “Less is more.” A well-known phrase with dual meaning. It was made popular by architect L…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What investment bankers can learn from chess

Supercomputers changed the way chess is played. What does this mean for investment bankers? You think this is going to be about how chess can teach critical thinking, don’t you? Nope. And nope, this isn’t a…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Leaning in without falling over

Working in finance can place high demands on parents. Is it possible to lean into your career without falling over? Just after my second child was born, a friend said to me, “How is it possible that before k…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

Dear P/E, it’s not me. It’s definitely you

As a comparison ratio, price/earnings is confusing, results in non-meaningful data, and is not intuitive. Here is something much better. I don’t know why, but there is a surprising lack of coverage on why pr…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

A share price chart is a waste of time

CFOs know their company share price. In fact, they know more about their company than any banker. So why tell them something they already know? That is if it tells you something you already know. Before I g…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Ranking Chart: Who is most likely to win Super Bowl 50?

We think it will be a match-up between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. See why. The holiday season is over, which in my opinion, means the actual most wonderful time of the year is here. The NFL…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

Why is Pellucid Analytics a “Best Place to Work”?

Outside Magazine name's Pellucid Analytics as a "Best Place to Work" for the third-year running. For the third year running, Pellucid Analytics is named a “Best Place to Work” by Outside Magazine, reaching nu…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

The great junior banker disconnect

If junior bankers invest energy into making pitchbooks better, will it be recognized? How can the pitchbook creation process be fixed? A banker’s life can be compartmentalized into two buckets: pitching and e…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Stop confusing clients with weighted averages

When spreading comp ratios, use an aggregate instead of a weighted average to account for company size. Occasionally in client meetings, something happens that I like to call “Sudden Onset Confusion Syndrome”…

Jamie BallingallJamie Ballingall

2016: The year of better pitchbooks

Resources to build better pitchbooks. From smart methods of data analysis and building impressive charts, to how to curate and craft the perfect message. Ah, New Year, the time for self-improvement and learni…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

At which U.S. airport are you most likely to get stuck?

We ranked 13 U.S. airports by traffic, snow, and average delays to see which is most likely to give the winter woes. Traveling over the holidays is a well-documented nightmare. Bad weather and over-booked f…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Two steps to become pitch perfect

You get to a client meeting and your 60 minutes is reduced to 30. How to use storyboarding and presentation practice to be prepared. The American Film Institute lists Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dw…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

31 hottest fintech startups defining New York

Pellucid Analytics is named one of New York's hottest fintech startups by Let's Talk Payments. To me, the unique thing about fintech startups is that the companies are often working in tandem with the financi…

Jenn GiacobbeJenn Giacobbe

How to find the best answers to client questions

When, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" leads to oddball questions from clients. “Is there anything else I can help you with?” How many of you conclude client meetings with this question? If you d…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Will the cost benefit of floating-rate funding continue if the Fed acts?

What would a tightening of credit mean for interest rate swap payouts? Bloomberg Business reports that futures traders think there is a 70% chance the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this week.…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Two ways to get better spaghetti charts

Are there ways to make spaghetti charts clearer and more intuitive to read? Two design enhancements to improve your pitchbooks charts. The spaghetti chart. Probably one of the most common visualizations in a…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Rankings Chart: Which is the best Star Wars movie?

The first six movies ranked by ratings, box office, and awards to see which could be called "the best." A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… It is a period of anticipation. A new Star Wars movie, the se…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Not even Goldman Sachs can clone bankers

As banks introduce solutions to attract and retain employees, what are the technology strategy considerations? Goldman Sachs recently announced new initiatives for its analyst program. Notably quicker promoti…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The democratization of data and investment bankers

The ubiquity of data means clients aren't impressed by a share price chart. Three ways to channel your inner data scientist. "I used to be like a magician. Pulling out smart things from analysis like rabbits…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why I had to leave Wall Street to fix it

One thing I know for certain to be true about today's investment bank: The pitchbook process is broken and it's time to fix it. “That’s not how we do things around here.” It was my ninth day at an investment…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett