20 November, 2023

Ali Hikmet KALKAN

Investment Banking Software Tools

This article explores the important role of advanced software tools in improving efficiency and accuracy in the high-pressure field of investment banking. It covers five key categories: information tools, data analytics and visualization, deal management and collaboration, lead generation and mass mailing, and risk management and compliance.
In the fast-paced and competitive world of investment banking, efficiency is crucial. With intense competition for prime opportunities, a complex and often extended lifecycle from sourcing to client mandate, and the need for precision at every turn, investment bankers are constantly striving for efficiency and accuracy. In this demanding landscape, cutting-edge software tools play a paramount role. These tools silently empower financial experts to stay organized, precise, and relentlessly focused on achieving financial excellence.

When it comes to software tools for bankers, several options come to mind. This article will review these tools by categorizing them into 5 main headlines:
Information Tools
Data analytics and Visualization
Lead Generation and Email Outreach
Deal Management
Virtual Data Rooms

1. Information Tools

Information tools for investment bankers can be analyzed from different angles. It is crucial for bankers to understand industries, target companies, and have all the relevant information about them. In addition, live market data is highly important. Recent updates from companies, including executed M&A deals or employees' job updates, provide valuable insights into what is happening in the industry. Key private markets information databases include Dealroom, PitchBook, and Crunchbase.

Dealroom is a global data platform that provides intelligence on startups, innovation, high-growth companies, ecosystems, and investment strategies. It streamlines the sourcing and execution process by offering both a macro overview and granular data on individual companies.

PitchBook is a comprehensive financial data and technology provider focused on the private and public equity markets. It offers insights into private companies, venture capital, private equity, and M&A activities, serving as a valuable tool for investment professionals seeking detailed data on the financial ecosystem.

Crunchbase is a platform that provides information on startups, companies, and the people behind them. It offers data on funding rounds, key personnel, company profiles, and industry trends, making it a valuable resource for investment research and due diligence.

While PitchBook, Dealroom, and Crunchbase may appear similar at first glance, each information technology provider has its unique advantages. Crunchbase is a market leader in data about early-stage startups. Its extensive global coverage of emerging companies is made possible by crowdsourcing, where anyone can submit a company to the database. However, this approach can result in unverified and sometimes incorrect data.

On the other hand, PitchBook and Dealroom strive to verify every piece of information they have. While PitchBook was once the preferred tool, Dealroom now aims to surpass PitchBook in terms of the number of deals it presents. Below, you can see a comparison of early-stage rounds by region and globally, provided by Dealroom.

2. Data Analytics and Visualization

Data visualization is essential throughout the entire investment banking lifecycle. It is used to visualize data sourcing, provide clients with market insights, and analyze internal operations.

Platforms like Tableau and QlikView are commonly used to create interactive data visualizations and gain insights from financial data. These tools can assist in investment analysis and reporting.

However, many investment banks prefer to have control over data manipulation and create their own graphs and charts in Excel and PowerPoint. These two tools remain the most popular among investment bankers even though platforms like AIRTABLES or Miro have not gained much popularity in this industry due to their loyalty towards Excel and PowerPoint.

3. Lead Generation and Email Outreach

Finding the right contact within target companies and reaching out to them at each stage of the process is a crucial part of investment banking. LinkedIn remains the most commonly used tool for investment bankers due to its ease of directly contacting the appropriate individuals. The industry rarely relies on lead generation tools to gather generic contacts, instead depending on their own network and the networks of colleagues. This is where the importance of a CRM comes into play, as it brings together networks of individual bankers to achieve synergy and broader relationship coverage.

Established relationships are crucial in the investment banking industry, which is why email outreach tools that are popular in other industries are rarely used. Even when there is an opportunity to automate processes, such as sending NDA agreements to multiple counterparts, it is often done manually one by one. This creates an opportunity for systems like DocuSign and personalized mass mailing, which are designed specifically for investment banks, to enter the space.

Pro Tip

Dialllog introduced mass mailing which will allow its users to send out personalised emails within the CRM. For example, you can filter potential M&A buyers within your team's network according to your unique criteria. Once the right M&A counterparties are in your workflow, you can launch email campaigns and send personalised intro emails. By tracking who opens emails and who spends time reading information, you can gauge early interest in the deal.

4. Deal Management

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is important for investment banking because it allows bankers to manage and track their relationships with funds, corporates, prospects, potential buyers and sellers, other stakeholders. A CRM system helps bankers stay organized, keep track of important interactions, and ensure that no opportunities or leads fall through the cracks.

When it comes to CRM, the first names that come to mind are Salesforce, Dealroom, Hubspot, and Pipedrive. CRMs can be categorized into generic CRMs and industry-focused CRMs. Traditional sales CRMs often fall short in meeting the needs of bankers and require extensive customization. This leads to large budgets being invested in customizing CRMs like Salesforce, and unfortunately, many bankers dislike using complex old-fashioned CRMs and rely on their secretaries to enter data for reporting purposes. Additionally, many industry-specific CRMs are also complex to use. For example, we have heard from several banks using Dealcloud CRM that they only upload Excel files once a month and do not use it on a daily basis due to their clunky and slow nature.

Dialllog CRM is a new player in the market. It is the first workflow-based CRM specifically designed for investment bankers, with the goal of making CRM easy to use. Unlike other CRMs, Dialllog brings together all the conversations bankers have across their business, from sourcing to client management to mandate execution, in one place. It offers personalized email campaigns, automation, data enrichment (including investor information and funding round details), and many other useful features for bankers.

5. Virtual Data Rooms

Virtual data rooms (VDRs) play a crucial role in investment banking, particularly in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities. They facilitate the confidential exchange of important documents among relevant stakeholders.

Investment banks typically suggest specialized data and providers to their clients. Virtual data rooms come in various forms, sizes, and costs, as different deal types require different data rooms. Clients should be given the option to choose the data room that best suits their needs and budget.

Here are some of the most commonly used data rooms in investment banking:

  • Intralinks: Intralinks is a leading provider of virtual data rooms that offers secure document sharing and collaboration solutions. It is known for its advanced security features and user-friendly interface.

  • Merrill DataSite: Merrill DataSite is another popular choice for investment banking data rooms. It provides secure online document storage and sharing capabilities, as well as advanced analytics and reporting features.

  • Box: While not specifically designed for investment banking, Box is a widely used cloud storage and collaboration platform that offers robust security measures and customizable access controls.


In the ever-evolving landscape of investment banking, where opportunities are ceaseless, competition is relentless, and financial life cycles extend into the horizon, the role of software tools has never been more paramount. The 21st century has ushered in a wealth of technology, offering an array of powerful tools, each designed to bring automation, precision, and organisation to the fingertips of investment bankers. In a world where time is money, the ability to streamline workflows and consolidate features under one software platform has become a priority for professionals in this industry. As the financial world hurtles forward, investment bankers are left with a choice: adapt to the demands of the modern era with the aid of these indispensable software solutions or risk falling behind in the relentless pursuit of financial excellence. The tools are at their disposal; the future of investment banking lies in their astute utilisation.

Pro Tip

Dialllog is the only CRM and project management tool designed specifically for investment banks and advisory firms. It is the only CRM that brings together in one place all the conversations you have across your business, from sourcing to client management to mandate execution. Book a demo to see Dialllog in action.

What is Dialllog?

Dialllog is the first ecosystem relationship CRM software designed specifically for PE, VC and M&A funds to manage the full investment cycle.
No more endless Excel spreadsheets, docs, notes and emails. Dialllog brings all the sporadic information into one PE software to create data-driven workflows.