Banking in fifty shades of grey
I remember the days when deal pitch books were hard work but simple. We spent our time slaving away on the preparation, focusing purely on the substance of our message. But technology has ruined bankers now, making them far too reliant on the appearance of their perfectly crafted presentation slides.
I was recently moaning to my nephew about how young bankers are focused on doling out colourful booklets of stats during roadshows, with perfectly co-ordinated graphs and tables sporting umpteen amounts of data. My nephew laughed me off, telling me I didn’t understand the visual world we live in today.
But just days after, I had the last laugh. The lad had gone to a meeting with folders of graphs painted in glorious technicolour — in an attempt to sell a bond to investors. He passed the packets around and immediately launched into his speech, throwing around numbers to make his point.
He was soon distracted by two chaps at the table whispering between themselves. He paused, ready to answer a question. Instead, one of the portfolio managers told my nephew that he was colour blind and could not distinguish the lines on the data that he was presenting.
Red-faced, my nephew backtracked and fumbled his way through the presentation, struggling to communicate his points without his rainbow of visual aids.
Needless to say, I savoured the rare moment my nephew admitted he was wrong, and demanded he buy me a drink of my choosing — the most colourful cocktail on the menu.