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Microsoft Excel Best Practices For Investment Bankers Part II

A managing director decides to follow up with a client in terms of pitching a prospective acquisition target.


Hi Bob,

Hope you’ve had a nice weekend. Would you be interested in taking a look at some updated valuation materials for Paris Baugette as per our discussion in April?

Kind Regards,



Cn you take care of this?



Sent from My iPhone 13X



Is there junior capacity for this ask?




Some brief updates on this file that xxxx was working on before he left for Private Equity. Shouldn’t be more than a couple hours.




Hey buddy, have some longstanding plans with the girlfriend to go to the baseball game. Can you price refresh and take care of anything dated that needs to be addressed? Thanks, I’ll take a look later.

It is 6PM and you have a lot of work to do as part of a classic investment banking email chain. It is not ideal, but it would be a lot worse if you were awful at Excel.

Fortunately, with the 4-week Excel training the bank has given you and the pressure to figure out how to use Excel faster due to the fear of going home at 4AM, you have become quite proficient in progressing standard investment banking materials.

But for our readers, whether they are in banking, accounting or just putting together a spreadsheet at home, there are some very basic hotkeys that can cut the work time substantially. For most banking analysts, we expect that this list should be far too rudimentary to warrant a thorough readthrough – however, for aspiring bankers and people who want to just spend less time on Excel here we go.

We will have more in this series later, so that absolute Excel dusters can become wizards from reading our site religiously.

Moving Hotkeys on Excel

When you have a few blank cells between your current entry and your next one how do you get to the next input cell quickly?

Do you click on the cell after scrolling with the mouse? Absolutely not.

Do you tap the arrow keys very quickly or hold one of them down? Too slow.

Investment bankers know that CTRL + arrow key will bring you to the next cell with an entry. You can hop through Excel files fairly quickly this way. If you want to get to the end or back to the beginning you can do CTRL + End or CTRL + Home.

Similarly, if you combine these shortcuts with Shift, you will end up highlighting the entire entry, which you can subsequently cut, copy or format.

Shift + Space and CTRL + Space will highlight a whole row or column. Hot.

If you want to go to the next tab or worksheet quickly, do not click. Use CTRL + pgup or CTRL + pgdn.

If you want to go to a specific cell on the worksheet immediately press F5 and type in the Cell reference.

Very key for any sort of calculation – accountants, engineers, whatever, if you want to go to the precedent cell – so for instance if you know that you sell bacon for $5 per lbs and you currently have $30 in revenue, you can find the volume input of 6 by pressing CTRL + [.

Similarly, if you would like to find cells that are dependent on the cell you are highlighting, you can press CTRL + ].

Excel Paste Functions

Copy and paste is pretty easy – anyone who uses the internet is familiar with CTRL + C or CTRL + V. However, pasting in Excel is far more dynamic.

After using CTRL + C, you can use Alt + E + S + V to initiate paste special. Then you can choose between pasting the formula, the values only, or just the nice formatting that you spent time working on elsewhere.

The transpose option lets you change something horizontal to vertical or vice versa.

So instead of Foods I Like:

BBQ Pork

You can instead have Foods I Like: Bacon Cheese BBQ Pork Lemon Falafel

Slightly More Advanced Hotkeys for Actual Investment Bankers

Alt + D + T for Data Tables

This one is key for investment bankers when they have to run sensitivity analysis. There is also a longer hotkey by going to Data but never use a longer hotkey. Ever.

Alt + H + O + R

This will allow you to edit the name of your current tab.

Alt + O + C + A

This will automatically resize your column so you can see all of your numbers instead of getting ####.

Alt H + H + FC

This will allow you to change your font color.

Shift + F10

This will bring up the mouse right click menu, which has a host of useful options including resizing row heights, column widths, formatting, deleting and inserting rows and columns.

We will post more later.

Financial ModellingLBO Model Toggles · Looking at Capital Expenditures for Investment Bankers · Private Equity Modeling Test · Investment Banking Modeling Test / Case Study · Understanding a Merger and Understanding a Merger Model · Spreading Trading Comps for Investment Banking · Modeling Commercial Real Estate · LBO Modelling: Bank Revolver, Minimum Cash Balance and Cash Sweep · How to Get Cash Taxes for Financial Modeling · Microsoft Excel Best Practices for Investment Bankers Part I ·
Investment BankingElite Boutique Investment Banks Versus Bulge Bracket Investment Banks · Introduction to Fairness Opinions · Investment Banking Fee Study · Financial Sponsors Group · Investment Banking for Dummies · What Do Investment Bankers Mean When They Say “Sell Side” or “Buy Side”? · Should You Start Your Investment Banking Job Early? · Why Investment Banking? · Breaking into Investment Banking as a Big 4 Accountant in Audit · Equity Capital Markets · Debt Capital Markets · Activist Shareholder Defense · Investment Banking Interview Questions · Investment Banking in Canada · Investment Banking · Investment Banking Hierarchy – Analyst to Managing Director · How Has Investment Banking Changed Over Time? ·
ex investment banking associate

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