A pitchbook is an essential sales tool in investment banking. It helps bankers pitch their services to current and potential clients.
The guide below aims to explain how a pitchbook works and how to create it.
What is a pitchbook?
An investment banking pitchbook is a marketing document created and presented by investment banks to existing and potential clients to sell their advisory services.
An investment banking pitchbook is also referred to as a merger and acquisition pitchbook, sell-side pitchbook, or Confidential Information Memorandum. For startups, a pitchbook is typically called a pitch deck.
What is a pitchbook used for?
A pitch, a presentation made using a pitchbook, aims to persuade a potential client company to choose your investment firm to handle a financial transaction like M&A, IPO, restructuring, or raising capital.
Thus, each investment banker wants to make a pitchbook concise, informative, convincing, and attractive enough to attract and win prospective clients.
Types of investment banking pitchbooks
General pitchbooks provide an overview of the investment bank. They contain
- General information like the company’s vision, mission, global presence, and key management personnel
- Information on recent deals, including client lists and services provided to them
- Firm’s ranking in comparison with its competitors
- Statistics related to recent deals and successful investments
A general pitchbook should be regularly updated with current information.
Sell-side M&A pitchbooks
When a firm wants to sell its business or a part of it, it turns to investment banks that can help them find potential buyers. Investment bankers, for their part, create sell-side M&A pitchbooks to convince the client to choose them to handle the M&A transaction.
A sell-side M&A pitchbook contains
- A list of potential buyers most suitable to the client’s needs and requirements; if there is no known potential buyer, they may include examples or a generic profile of a potential buyer
- Bank overview highlighting the bank’s main advantages over its competitors
- Valuation overview specifying the value of the company
- Recommendations helpful to the client to complete the transaction successfully
- Appendix including additional details of the deal, potentially interesting to the client
A deal pitch book is created specifically for a particular deal with the purpose to prove that an investment firm can specifically cater to its client’s financial and investing needs. Here’s what it contains:
- Lists of the firm’s major accomplishments and clients
- Graphs that demonstrate the market growth rate, the firm’s positioning overview, and the valuation summary that shows the firm’s potential to serve its client
- Relevant financial models and statistics wherever necessary
- Examples of how the firm might execute the deal. Details depend on the nature of the deal; for instance: for an M&A, a list of potential partners, buyers, or sellers; for an IPO, the profile of investors; for private equity funding, profiles of financial sponsors; etc.
A deal pitch book should be concise and contain the most relevant information to demonstrate how the firm can contribute and help achieve the client’s goals.
After clients settle for a deal with an investment bank, they create a management presentation, aiming to pitch to potential investors. The presentation includes:
- A firm’s main attributes and specific details such as products, services, customers, market overview, key company executives, organizational chart, financial performance, and growth forecasts
- Company’s valuation analysis showing the estimated value or worth of an asset
- Financial strength highlighting the firms’ advantages and arguments to invest
- Investment needs and details about the project that needs to be financed
- Client’s goals and how the investment firm can help achieve them
- Weaknesses and recommendations for improving them
To prepare a management presentation, investment bankers should actively interact with their clients and have regular feedback sessions. Only in such a way a pitch book will be comprehensive and contain sufficient information about the company to attract investors.
Investment banking pitchbook examples
Investment banking pitch publications are difficult to find as they contain confidential information. Consequently, good examples to follow when preparing your presentation are very rare.
A few pitchbook examples have been filed with The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are now available to the public. Find them below.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is a company offering investment advisory services, such as financial planning, portfolio management, asset allocation, etc. With the presentation, they pitch to AmTrust, a property and casualty insurer, to become their sell-side advisor.
Perella Weinberg Partners is a financial services firm focused on investment banking advisory services. With the presentation, it pitches to retailer Rue21, evaluating a buyout by private equity firm Apax Partners.
Goldman, a leading global investment bank, is pitching to Airvana, a mobile broadband company, to become their sell-side advisor. This is a typical sell-side pitchbook that focuses on why the client should choose Goldman for the transaction.
This is a pitchbook template to be used by investment bankers, designed by Dell, a well-known technology company. It includes a description of the transaction process, perspectives for the client, an overview of financial forecasts, and an evaluation of strategic alternatives.
How to create an investment banking pitchbook
Find out how to create pitchbook presentations.
Who prepares a pitchbook?
The pitchbook preparation involves several contributors—anyone from analysts and associates to senior bankers like a managing director and a vice president.
The VP and the managing director define the structure of the pitch. The outline should be focused on the financial solution required by the client. After that, the outline is given to the associates and analysts. They research, analyze, and propose numbers relevant to the client’s industry.
Before the pitchbook is completely ready for presentation to the clients, it undergoes many changes and drafts. Such a diligent approach ensures there are no mistakes that might compromise the firm’s reputation.
Usually, the whole process takes from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on how much time the deal team has to devote to creating the pitchbook.
When investment bankers prepare a pitchbook, they need to double-check every detail and ensure they’re using the most up-to-date information and statistics. It demonstrates professionalism and shows clients they can rely on the firm to achieve their financial goals.
What to include in an investment banking pitchbook
Here are the main components of an investment banking pitchbook that aims to win a new client:
Start with the title, logos, and date. Then give a table of contents indicating what the pitchbook consists of.
- Current state overview
State the purpose of the pitchbook—the client is looking for growth and your firm can help with it.
- Bank introduction
Tell about your bank, its achievements in the client’s industry, and why you’re better than competitors. Also, mention people that are going to be involved in the transaction, highlighting their experience and explaining why they are the best for this job.
- Market overview
Describe the market trends in the client’s industry. Use visual aids like charts and graphs to make the pitch book presentation clearer.
- Valuation methods
Show what valuation methods the bank used to determine the worth of the asset. The most common methods are DCF analysis, comparable company analysis, and precedent transactions.
- Transaction strategy
Emphasize key points of the strategy that the bank will use during the transaction—timing, fees, the capital the bank can raise, etc.
Provide the additional information that wasn’t included in the main pitchbook but that the client may need to look at. For example, calculations or financial reports.
How to deliver the pitch
The pitch is usually delivered in person at the bank or client’s office by senior members of the investment banking team. As a rule, it’s the managing director who leads the meeting.
Junior members like analysts or associates may be present but don’t actively participate in the presentation. They can just take notes or look for additional information when required.
Here are a few helpful tips for delivering the pitch:
- Make the presentation engaging and clear
Ensure that everyone can hear and see you well. Also, don’t overdo it with jargon—speak so that everyone can understand you.
- Clarify the opportunities and risks
Describe the opportunities the client will have working with you, but also be honest and straightforward about the challenges the client will face during the transaction. It’s also essential to propose possible solutions to the difficulties.
- Show the change your service will create
Be descriptive and let the client feel the positive change they’re going to experience if working with you.
- Answer the questions
Be ready to deal with different questions, including uncomfortable ones. Make sure to return to the client with the answer, in case you don’t have it at that moment.
- Explain why you and not someone else
Give the client something that makes you unique and attractive to them as they have probably heard other pitches very similar to yours.
Here are the main points to remember about an investment banking pitchbook:
- An investment banking pitchbook is a document or presentation created by an investment bank and then used by its sales department to sell products and services to attract new clients.
- The main investment banking pitchbooks are general, sell-side M&A, deal pitchbooks, and management presentations.
- A pitchbook is prepared by a managing director, a vice president, analysts, and associates.
- The main components of an investment banking pitchbook are the intro, current state overview, bank introduction, market overview, valuation methods, transaction strategy, and appendix.