What is a Deal Sheet?
A deal sheet refers to a process record of the work experience of an entrepreneur or an employee in past financial investment deals. The documentation of deals made by an individual in the deal sheet provides proof of suitability for working on similar projects. Most people who prepare deal sheets are looking to develop their careers and need to describe their specific roles in ensuring that the financial deals they get involved in are successful.
In investment banking, the specifics of every deal they’ve done, such as profit generated and yield per share, need to be kept. A business owner who wants to hire an investment banking firm or investment banker also needs to request for the deal sheets of every professional in the deal team. By doing this, they are able to get information on their abilities and experience in deal-making.
Tips for Compiling a Deal Sheet
1. A deal sheet needs to be compiled early and updated regularly
The compilation of a deal sheet should be done early enough and not only when there is a need to switch jobs. Apart from the hassle of drawing up a deal sheet all night because it is needed urgently, it is difficult to clearly remember all the relevant details when it is months or years later.
2. Describe your specific roles
When compiling a deal sheet, particularly for subordinate associates, it is important to go an extra mile and not only describe the things you worked on but also describe the specific role you played on each matter. It gives a clearer depiction of your personal experience and the level of work you did. It also shows the employer that you are serious about the job search, and you took your time to ponder on and keep track of your experience.
3. Don’t include any information that is confidential
You must be very cautious not to include in your deal sheet any confidential information except for matters that are already public. Generally, companies need to get consent to publicly list their clients. If you are in doubt is a matter is confidential, it is advisable not to include the identity of the client.
4. Date each deal
Including the dates (year and month) of each deal indicates how recent your experience is in different sub-practice areas. For each category listed on your deal sheet, you could choose to list deals in an order that is descending and chronological.
5. A deal sheet is unnecessary if you possess little experience
For the very junior people with very little experience, the compilation of deal sheet may not be very necessary. It wouldn’t be in order to hand over a deal sheet that lists a total of only two or three deals. However, such few deals can be included in your resume as bullet points. Your experience needs to be shown concretely.
Even if a separate deal sheet is included, you should consider adding a number of bullets to your resume with summaries of your most representative or most high-profile deals.
6. Note any unique legal issues in each matter
For each matter listed, include a note to offer an explanation for any particularly uncommon, complicated, or interesting legal issues that came up during your work, how you helped in handling the issue, and also how it was resolved. You should, however, be careful not to divulge any confidential information.
7. You can include deals that did not close
You can also include some of the deals that did not close if they contribute something to the fundamental breadth of your experience.
8. Organize information through categories and headings
Your experience should be organized into logical categories that are separated by headings. For instance, a litigator may choose to list general commercial litigations, arbitrations, and bankruptcy litigations separately. On the other hand, a corporate lawyer can list capital markets offerings, SEC reporting matters, and M&A deals separately.
9. Condense comparable deals into one entry
If you’ve been involved in several almost identical deals for one client, you can condense them into one entry. You don’t need to bore your appraisers by being over-inclusive.
10. Be ready to intelligently talk about all details in your deal sheet
You need to be fully prepared and able to properly explain what you’ve included in your deal sheet. In case you can’t fully recall the deal structure basics, the key issues that came up, the challenges you faced and how you solved them, ensure you revise them before the interview. Don’t include in the deal sheet parts of the deal that you weren’t involved in.
Completing a deal in a company needs joint effort. Investment banking personnel need to put a record of their contribution in completing the deal and use it for interviews and performance appraisals for similar positions. Preparing a deal sheet is a good approach to take stock of your experience and see the deficiency in your experience.
A deal sheet not only helps employees to be prepared for prospective jobs but also help the job interviewer or appraiser to prepare appropriate questions to ask according to the listed achievements.
CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful: