FIX THE PITCH

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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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be a better banker

Professional development and career advice to help junior bankers become rainmakers

The cost of a personalized pitch

For investment bankers, the smaller the audience, the more expensive the content creation process. Why this needs to be rethought. It may be pretty obvious that the more personalized a piece of content, the m…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Investment bankers should think like content marketers

Borrowing the content building block approach from marketers can help bankers personaliz and reuse content. If you ask any investment banker about what they do each day, producing content will be at the top o…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The evolution of the data table

It's really difficult to present a standard data table. So can you use a more intuitive design to show the same data (and have a better meeting)? If you've spent any time in the trenches of an investment bank…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What’s missing from pitchbook creation?

When creating pitchbooks, testing ideas and applying existing knowledge can elevate a pitchbook. So why doesn't this happen? I’ve spent almost 20 years working in the trenches of investment banks, producing a…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Shareholder payout cannot directly plug TSR shortfalls

Why recommending a dividend hike to improve share price performance is a bad idea. A couple years ago I was asked to help in an assignment where the client was unhappy with the performance of its share pr…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

The grittier the banker, the better

Investment banking is a competitive environment. And while you may be talented, do you have the "grit" necessary to get ahead of the bell curve? You may have come across Angela Duckworth’s best-selling book G…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Step-up to better pitchbook line charts

Some data and chart combinations simply don't work and will result in a bad meeting. Why this is a better chart to use for target price data. Understanding data before plotting it is the critical first step i…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Benchmarking pitchbook charts: Spotting trends and showing change

Eric Rattner discusses Pellucid's recent benchmarking chart expansion. Chief Content Officer, Eric Rattner, shares his thoughts on benchmarking charts series and how they should be used. Why use a ben…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

Junior bankers can only write what they know

If we don't nurture the writing skills analysts and associates, are we creating an industry where no one knows how to craft a pitchbook? The ability to write—to clearly convey ideas, thoughts or concept…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What pitchbook content was trending in February?

Comps ranking with summary table, Comps index with intensity bars, and Grouped comps bubble charts. Pellucid’s content library is designed specifically for investment bankers and strategic advisors. It’s fill…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Junior bankers, do you know your optimal stopping point?

When creating pitchbooks for senior bankers, when is an further effort a waste of time? Recently, I wrote an article discussing the differing perspectives of junior bankers versus senior bankers when it comes…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Scatter charts, regressions, and what to look out for when plotting data

Eric Rattner shares best practices about scatter charts and visual treatments. Chief Content Officer, Eric Rattner, shares his thoughts on scatter charts and how these charts should be used in pitchbo…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

“Similar. But different”: innovation in pitchbook visualizations

Is a benchmarking ever just a benchmarking chart? At Pellucid, we spend a lot of time thinking about pitchbook content. And we’ve noticed that similar to the adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” inno…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What pitchbook content is trending at Pellucid?

Share price chart with future uncertainty fan, marginal histograms, and grouped comps bubbles Pellucid’s content library is designed specifically for investment bankers and strategic advisors. It’s filled wit…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

You created a pitchbook. So what?

When creating a lengthy pitchbook for a client meeting, how asking "so what?" can ensure you are delivering insights and not just repeating data. “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation;…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why your pitchbook needs a rearview mirror

Backtesting is an unsung hero of investment banking. Why this analysis should be included in your pitchbook. Rationally, clients know you can’t see into the future. And I’m sure no-one wishes that wasn’t the…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The two ways you need to calculate pitchbook costs

Most banks don't really know how much is spent on pitchbook production. Here's how to break down the costs. In meetings with clients, one thing we always talk about is how to evaluate the power of Pellucid.…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Junior bankers: avoid the pitfalls of a bad histogram

A badly labeled chart can throw a wrench in a client meeting. Avoid the perils of a poorly executed histogram. Perhaps before you began your banking career you were introduced to histograms in a statistics cl…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Should investment bankers optimize email subject line length?

The average person receives over 100 emails a day. How can you ensure yours is read? The average business person receives 125 emails a day. That’s one every three minutes. When I worked at Credit Suisse, I re…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Has Google made knowledge workers irrelevant?

The evolution of the knowledge worker and why bankers should consider themselves "smart creatives." Investment bankers can be categorized as belonging to the “knowledge worker” employee pool. A term coined by…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

How many pitches result in a mandate?

How recording client insights, timing meetings correctly and increasing speed to meeting can boost your ratio of pitch:wins. What is your pitch:win ratio? How many of your pitches become mandates? Or, put ano…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Labeling axes vs. labeling data

Poor chart labeling leads to confusion. Eric Rattner, Chief Content Officer, outlines the rules for labeling a pitchbook's chart and axis. While a chart visually represents a numerical data set, labeling is c…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

What pitchbook content is trending at Pellucid in September?

Pellucid's library is filled with content specifically for pitchbooks. The three charts that were trending in September. Pellucid’s content library is designed specifically for investment bankers and strategi…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

For memorable pitchbooks, three is the magic number

Asking clients to remember 12 things is asking them to work too hard. How to make your pitches more memorable. If you really want to feel good about yourself, the day after your next client meeting ask the cl…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

An alternative take on the share price chart

Instead of another share price chart, use a waterfall chart to break down share price movements and take your analysis one step further. One of the things we spend a lot of time thinking about at Pellucid is…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What bankers can learn from the military

The army's "after-action reviews" help it perfect strategies and learn from mistakes. Which is exactly why you need to adopt the process. The U.S. Army’s Opposing Force (OPFOR) is always the enemy. Based in…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

Why you should think twice about adding aggregates to stacked benchmarking charts

Why adding summary stat overlays to stacked benchmarking charts gets tricky. Bankers love to benchmark. Or at least this can be assumed based on the number of benchmarking charts in a pitchbook. Comparing a d…

Eric RattnerEric Rattner

No one is reading your executive summary

How tapping into the knowledge of designers can increase the visibility of your pitchbook content to make sure your key points land. If you’ve ever worked with designers you will know that, on the whole, they…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

What pitchbook content is trending at Pellucid in August?

Pellucid's content library is filled with content for pitchbooks and analysis. Here's what was popular in August. Pellucid’s content library is designed specifically for investment bankers and strategic advis…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Pellucid book club: The Design of Everyday Things

How "signifiers" and "affordances" can help investment bankers guide their audience to different conclusions. How the Pellucid Book Club works: Each month two books are nominated. A vote is taken on which to…

Team PellucidTeam Pellucid

Nice guys finish first

In banking, focusing on practical skill development will get you far, but it won't get you the corner office. Clients need to like you before you can execute their deals. Type A. Competitive. High achiever. A…

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 “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

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

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

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

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

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

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