- Work on behalf of some of the leading global corporations
- Utilise your analytical skills to help breakdown financial data
- Be involved in some of the biggest global financial deals
As an investment banker, you'll work in investment banking departments (IBD), which consist of three main departments and one relatively smaller one. These are mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets (DCM) and leveraged finance being the smallest department.
Your typical day will depend on the department you work in, for instance if you're in M&A (the process where two companies join together or one company wants to purchase another), you'll be advising companies on how to acquire their target, while also determining the value of their target through complex financial models.
In ECM you will be helping companies to list shares of their company on the stock market, helping your client determine the value of their company and advise them on how many shares to issue and what price they should issue it at.
In DCM you will be helping your client gain access to borrowing. Leveraged finance is similar to DCM, but the borrowing tends to be riskier, and you tend to work with a different set of clients, such as private equity firms.
As an analyst in investment banking, your day might involve building and working with complex finance models. Your work will also involve helping design pitch-books, where your bank will go out to corporations and try convince them to use the bank's services for a certain project.
You'll work in an office, work very long hours and your working environment may be stressful at times.
To be an investment banker, you'll need strong numerical and analytical skills; communication skills; ability to manage your time well; dedication and commitment; team-work and leadership skills; and the ability to work well under pressure.
You would usually need a degree to go into investment banking. A common route into investment banking is to do an internship while at university. Most banks tend to offer summer and off-cycle internships for university students/recent graduates, and if you perform well on your internship, they might give you an offer to join them once you have completed your studies.
For an alternative route, it is possible to go into investment banking later on in your career. A very common move is for people working at an accountancy firm to transfer to investment banking once they have gained their ACA qualification. Therefore you do not necessarily need a degree for investment banking as a number of the accountancy firms now offer school leaver programmes.
As you progress through the ranks, your work will shift towards getting new clients and business for the bank.
A very common exit route for some investment bankers (mainly bankers working in M&A and leveraged finance) is to go into private equity after a few years of working in the role. Some investment bankers go on to work for corporates and startups.