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Investment bankers can earn substantial sums for closed transactions, either sell-side or buy-side. But how many deals actually close? Probably less than 50%. So, there is a high risk of spending countless hours on one deal, often with difficult personalities, and then not getting past the finish line. High risk translates to high reward.

We have experienced countless times when deals get so close to completion, but a very small matter (dollar-wise) causes a "failure to launch". To the extent we can judge the future, we carefully choose our clients on the basis of their maturity and reasonableness, and how they should respond to the tedious negotiations just before a closing. Sometimes we guess wrong.

Unfortunately, as with many things in life, there is usually no roadmap to success. What we rely on is persistence without being pushy. To remain self-aware and forthright in the negotiations, that is our path forward. We often have to sooth ruffled feathers/egos in order to keep the deal on course. That is our role, and why we earn the "big bucks" when a deal closes.