Dylan Hood is a Incoming Analyst, London
How did you come to join Lazard?
Prior to university, it had been my aim to pursue a career in professional sport, having competed internationally in swimming. Upon starting university, I became increasingly more interested in the financial sector, due to a combination of the Covid-19 market crash and speaking to a friend who had experience in Asset Management.
As time went on, my swimming training was further disrupted by the pandemic, and I began to undertake a number of extracurricular projects and internships to further my interest in banking. As I began to take these endeavors more seriously, I realised that I wanted to work in investment banking upon graduation.
I applied for Lazard's Industrial Placement year and was lucky enough to be offered a place on the programme commencing August 2022. I worked at Lazard for 12 months before returning to university for my final year. I was also lucky enough to be offered a full-time role with the firm upon graduation.
What was your role during your 12-month placement at Lazard?
During my placement, I sat within the Financial Services and Technology (FST) team at Lazard, providing financial advisory services across the Banking, Insurance, FX/Payments and Fintech industries. Having such broad coverage, we often worked with other sector / product teams within Lazard, such as Equity Capital Markets and Venture Growth Banking.
Being exposed to various teams and working with a diverse range of individuals is great for building a rounded skillset and learning more about the industry as a whole. Upon joining the team I was given a lot of responsibility from day one, including preparation of key materials used by Managing Directors, financial modelling, execution of live deals, and attending meetings with clients. With so many tasks to consistently juggle, the team is extremely efficient and hardworking.
Being in this environment really helped get the most out of me on a day-to-day basis. In addition to this, the team are super supportive, and strive to make sure you learn as much as possible and become the best analyst you can be. More widely, the variety of the job means that no two days are the same. The breadth of industry coverage, from traditional banking to high growth fintech, enhances this variety.
What is your top piece of advice for prospective candidates?
Whenever I talk to individuals applying to investment banking roles, I always try to reiterate this point: the chances are that most other applicants have attended a top university, have good grades, and have prior experience, so you need to focus on getting across the reasons why you're different.
For me, coming from a background in sport was a great way to talk to this point, and something I leveraged heavily throughout the process. It doesn't have to be anything to do with finance, but your experiences should highlight the formation of certain skills and interests which you can indirectly apply to the job.
What has been your greatest achievement during your placement at Lazard?
One of my proudest achievements during the placement was producing and managing all of the modelling used in a pitch to a client, which we subsequently won. This involved building out comprehensive financials from limited company data, flowing this into a DCF model, and making certain assumptions to specifically tailor the model to the current valuation environment. I also handled the trading and transaction comparables which fed into this valuation.
Although I felt out of my depth at first, it was a great learning opportunity, and has massively helped my technical proficiency, allowing me to feel comfortable in subsequent situations. It was also great to win the pitch!