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Monkey Business Paperback – 1 Apr 2001
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About the Author
John Rolfe graduated from Virginia Tech, The University of Florida, and Wharton Business School. At Wharton, he was the editor of The Wharton Vulgarian. Following his sentence with DLJ, he spent several years working at a private investment fund. In 2001, he co-founded an equity-oriented money management firm, and today manages the firm from a top secret location deep in Vermont. He lives with his wife and two children, and is currently attempting to learn how to produce maple syrup.
Peter Troob graduated from Duke University and Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was the humor editor for Harbus. After a gross error in judgment caused him to return to the investment banking world at DLJ, he left for the greener pastures of distressed debt investing at a private investment fund. In 2002 he co-founded a debt-oriented money management firm, which he continues to manage today. He lives with his wife and two children outside of New York City, where he can often be seen limping around the neighborhood and complaining about his bad knees.
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It gives a very realistic first-hand account what it is like working in a Bulge Bracket firm like DLJ (which was representative of most other firms). It presents the ambition and greed that drives some people to pursue careers like investment banking, the hours and all-nighters, the disillusionment over their meaningless corporate existence, and the eventual realization that $200,000 per year (or $500,000 per year for a VP) is not enough to keep them going.
It is filled with humor that is not always so politically correct and it does have a sadness to it. Both eventually leave investment banking. Their views on their careers as investment bankers is filled with both disdain yet some appreciation over what they learned and the connections they made. I think their experience is representative of the fact that very few people remain in investment banking for more than a few years (the burn-out rate is very high).
This book was an easy read, but got a little redundant after the first half or 75% of the book. I would not say it is really laugh out loud funny and does lack substance I usually hope for when I read. There is no real story per se, it's just a collection of experiences that gets a little bit tiring after a while. I compare it closely to overhearing someone at a party complain about their job the entire night, it has interesting moments but in the end you decide it's more depressing than entertaining.
For those who are investment bank bound I still think this is almost a must read. Mostly so you know what to expect of each component of the process and you come in with your eyes open to what your role might entail. For people who just thought this would be a good book, I may choose some of the other business related books that have more substance.