Working With a Psycho Managing Director

This is going to spur on some horrible nightmares for the Wall Street folk that read this blog. For fun we have gotten requests to outline what life is like if you work for a psychotic person on the Street. Needless to say it isn’t pretty.

The Red Flag: So you’ve been asked to work on a new project with the most intense Managing Director in the office. You’re shaking your head. You walk in with the rest of the team to go over the material. The problem? He doesn’t even acknowledge that you are in the room he moves his chair so he is only looking and facing the right side of the table where the Senior Vice President is seated. You may as well be a chair. The meeting lasts over 20 minutes and he waits for you to get up and leave before shutting the door (still no eye contact of course).

Welcome to the bottom of the totem pole.

The Turn: Realizing the dire situation you are in you do everything in your power to avoid being reprimanded. Your company color code matches perfectly, there are no missed commas, instead of triple checking your work you have quintuple checked every single cell and formatting error known to mankind.

The slow moving train wreck begins.

All of your colors are wrong. Why? Your new psycho Managing Director friend does not like the Company color scheme so for his books the colors are different. You have to change every single slide in the 50 page book that you’ve created…

Didn’t you know there is a huge difference between Red 0, Green 0, Blue 240 and Red 0, Green 0 and Blue 241? You’re such an idiot. It could have lost you the deal…












The Grind: After spending your evening changing all of the colors in the boilerplate slide deck you look over and see your psycho SVP making edits to the document. Naturally, you know this is going to be horrible since a psycho Managing Director will only work with an equally psycho SVP.

“Hey why don’t we add a quick and dirty accretion/dilution analysis… You know just as an appendix.”

Well your night is done. You grab the material and intelligently pull up an older pitchbook to make sure the format is exactly the same.

The horror continues.

Build the Model: Usually, most Managing Directors are perfectly fine with the Company template but instead your new best friend has decided he likes a different format. You’re going to try and save yourself some time by copying the exact format and also realize you’ll be redoing a lot of cells.

Because a “ – “ instead of a “0” makes a significant difference in deciding if a deal is worth it. You are a horrible banker.







Emotional Roller Coaster: You’re still sane. You put in some eye drops because you know you’ll be working at least 20 hours today. Then it all hits the fan. Your best friend Managing Director is on the phone with his wife. It is getting heated. You know what this means. He is going to take his anger out on the team.

Your SVP’s phone rings and he heads into the office. 30 minutes later he is walking quickly to his office with 20 pages worth of new content.

You’re done. No where to run.

The Blow Up: Your SVP calls you into his office.

“Joe just spoke to an important client and noted that we need to add all of these items into the book”

(Lie and you know it)

“This isn’t that much work right?”

Of course not. (Now you are lying and you know it)

“Great! You know we really like your positive attitude around here!”

Smile and nod. (Well did I just accidentally get the wrong SVP to like me I better not get staffed here again)

SVP goes home and you’re finally alone.

Near All Nighter: You go back to your desk and crack open a redbull or begin chugging coffee. Whatever needs to be done will be done.

Fast forward.

The sun is starting to rise in the background and you can catch a couple hours of sleep. No use in going home.

Good Morning: You’re on tilt. No one cares that you didn’t go home last night and you certainly don’t get to complain about it. You’re walking to the restroom and cross paths with your new best friend Managing Director.

He looks at your shoes, notes they are not shined and shakes his head. Of course he ignores you.

You come back to your desk and see the final edits before the meeting that will occur in 3 hours. Thank the lord that this train wreck is over with.

Printing Disaster: You feel like death. Your body is giving out and you know the banker twitch is coming at some point in the near future. All you have to do is get the printing crew to get the books bound and you’re set. You click print…


You know that when you work with a psycho even more things tend to go wrong so you run to the printing center on the second floor… Lo and behold…. No one is there, just your luck they are on “break” whatever the f*** that means.

The meeting is in 25 minutes. You frantically put the books together and finish the task in a mere 15 minutes.

10 minutes before the meeting you hand over the final presentation to the SVP and watch as he hands the document to the Managing director…

“Why weren’t you at the desk for the last 10 minutes you need to learn to prioritize and multi task appropriately” – SVP

You quickly explain you bound the books, but of course neither of them listen to you and continue to walk to the meeting room.

You sit back and close your eyes. You then go back to the client folder and have a horrible realization. Your Managing Director has pitched this company for the last 5 years and has landed zero deals.

All of your work has a zero percent chance of turning into anything. Better work on those politics. 


    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Well this is turning back the clock a little bit but the two answers are as follows:

      1) Realize you can’t do anything. When you get stuck with a psycho boss you’re basically going to get the work done no matter what. There is no use in complaining because that will just make the situation worse.
      2) Extreme emphasis on politics. If you work for the wrong people this story will become your routine day. You do not want to be this person.

  1. Psycho VP says

    This has brought back horrible memories.

    I remember a VP who would literally yell at me if i brought in a pitch book bound with a medium sized alligator clip instead of a small sized alligator clip

    Then one day we ran out of alligator clips so I went to a home depot just to spend the $2 to get the other alligator clips…

    Now i look at an alligator clip and can’t help but remember the VP. Permanent scars.

  2. S87 says

    “This isn’t that much work right?

    Of course not. (Now you are lying and you know it)”

    This interaction happens all of the time…

  3. Dollars and cents says

    I can never look at a graph again! Every time I see a row of dollar signs instead of a single dollar sign at the top of the graph I cringe…

    The macros always have to be refreshed god. Damn. It.

  4. Financial Samurai says

    Oh man, I feel the pain! That must be crushing to work so hard and have nothing come out of it year after year. I think this is a main reason why I did Equities. Transactions completed daily.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Haha true. Love your blog man! You’re welcome to drop relevant links any time, we don’t know wtf we are doing around here in terms of web design!

  5. Gabriel says

    I have perused WSO for a long time and just today read a headline article that you posted in regards to office politics. After drifting over to your website, I must say that I am very impressed by your cold-blooded letter-writing and love it like a fly on shit. Thank you for giving us the business, cold-cut and dry. No bullshit. No facade.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Thank you! We are doing our best to put reality out there, it isn’t pretty. Better to spread the truth with a slap than hand out lies on a silver platter.

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