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Investment Bankers are financial advisors for corporations who help their clients merge, acquire, and invest in capital markets. They work at investment banks, government entities, and financial advisory firms. Investment Bankers work with other staffers, like Analysts, research teams, sales staff, senior-level positions, management, a Director, and administrators. Investment Bankers often work more than 40 hours per week, but those who can keep up with this demanding position will certainly earn major financial rewards.
Mornings in the life of an Investment Banker are typically dedicated to analyses, research, and making adjustments to presentations or agreements. The afternoons usually involve working on all the aspects of their active deals like initial public offerings (IPOs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Most Investment Bankers, at nearly all levels of position, work in the evening as well. They’ll go over the next day’s work, resolving comments from senior-level staff, and making revisions.
There are multiple levels of Investment Bankers, from Associates all the way up to Directors, Vice Presidents, and Managing Directors. Typically, all of these positions, regardless of their level, are referred to as Investment Bankers. The higher their position, the more they work with cultivating relationships. The tasks of an Investment Banker might also vary based on the industry and department in which they work.
Nearly every level of Investment Banker has someone working under them and they should take advantage of these people by delegating the appropriate tasks to them. This could be anything from administrative tasks to research, analysis to presentation compiling. An Investment Banker will likely be in charge of onboarding or showing a new employee who is working under them the ropes and keeping up their teams’ morale and reputation. Investment Bankers will also be constantly working toward creating lasting, trusting relationships with their clients, which requires email and phone etiquette as well as good posturing in meetings. These tasks, along with most investment banking tasks, will require great communication skills.
Investment Bankers should be strong negotiators, pay close attention to detail, and be prepared to work long, high-stress weeks. They should be proficient in Microsoft Office programs such as Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint. They must have deep knowledge of investing, accounting, and financial and data modeling.
Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft that runs on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It is used for calculation, graphing, data visualization, and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro programming.
Financial modeling is the use of a tool built into Excel to forecast the future financial performance of a business. These predictions are based on the historical performance of a company, and inferences of the future.
Finance involves the management, study, and creation of money and investments. Finance dictates how a company, individual, or governing power acquires necessary capital. Finance typical uses tools like Quickbooks, Oracle, and Excel.
Accounting involves processing, measuring, and communicating financial information about businesses. Accounting often uses software like QuickBooks, Excel, and other office communication tools.
Investing is allocating money with the expectation of a future benefit. Benefits accrued through investment are called returns.
A Investment Banker in the United States makes, on average, $62,277 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Investment Bankers vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Investment Banker salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
Investment Bankers are almost always required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, statistics, or a related field. An MBA is not required for this position but is desired by most employers. Investment Bankers can earn certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Financial Modeling and Valuation Analysis (FMVA), which is for corporate financiers. These certifications are not required but may give a competitive boost to the job-seeking Investment Banker.
Investment Bankers have nearly limitless earning potential, as they are compensated for the value they provide. Their salaries are usually supplemented with quarterly or yearly bonuses, which makes this an extremely lucrative and financially-stable position. Investment Bankers can find jobs at investment banks, government entities, or financial advisory firms. They can only find full-time employment and most positions are in-person. Most finance jobs at larger institutions beyond entry-level are acquired by networking or word of mouth, but we’ve compiled the most useful finance job boards for your search here.
Investment Bankers can look for jobs on these sites:
Investment Banking is an extremely competitive industry. Landing a position at a firm within a financial hub will be difficult. Examine the different types of investment banking you want to do and the type of bank you’d like to work at. You’ll need to be sure that the culture of the bank you want to work at is a good fit for you and your aspirations.
Location matters for this job. You’ll likely need to be in a larger city and you should look into banks in the region that you’d like to live in before applying to jobs because it is unlikely that you’ll find an investment banking job that is fully remote. The school you go to also matters for this position. Investment banking firms will often hire candidates from specific schools. If you haven’t gone to school yet, consider this when applying.
In banking, networking is absolutely essential. Have conversations with people who are already in the field to learn more about the job and the bank that they work for. You’ll get exposure to the experiences of that person’s position, which can ease your onboarding experience. Leverage any connections to make more connections with others by asking for recommendations on who else you should talk to within the bank. They might not be able to refer you to someone else, but you might be able to ascertain whether this bank is right for you, learn more about the bank to boost your knowledge in your interview, and get you name-recognition among employees at the bank, which would help during the recruitment process.
Beyond your resume and technical qualifications, you’ll need to stand out among a large pool of candidates through three major questions: “Why should we hire you?”, “Why do you want to work at this bank in particular?”, and “Why did you choose an investment banking career?” These questions may be expressed in a way that tests your culture-fit, by asking about how you’ve acted in team settings or challenges. Practice these particular questions through mock-interviews, with anyone you can - like friends, family, classmates, a mentor, or even in your mirror or on camera by yourself. You’ll need to know your answers to these questions and be able to say them with confidence.
Investment Banker is typically used as more of an umbrella term. Any position above the entry-level Analyst or Associate is technically an “Investment Banker,” but you aren’t likely to find many positions on job boards labeled Investment Banker. Try searching for the positions we’ve listed here instead.
Investment Bankers can find jobs with these titles:
Investment Bankers enjoy mid- to high-level roles at investment banks. They can level-up their career further by becoming a Senior Vice President, Executive Director, or Private Equity Associate.
If you’re looking to become an Investment Banker, you should look to become an Analyst first, then an Associate, and lastly a Senior Associate. Financial Analysts, Research Analysts, and Investment Analysts are all roles that could lead to a higher-paying Investment Banker or Private Equity Associate role.
Most of these roles require bachelor’s degrees in finance, math, statistics, economics, or accounting, depending. It would be worth obtaining a Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification or a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to elevate your chances at success.
Financial Analysts make the least in Finance roles, while Research Analysts and Investment Analysts are comparable promotions, and Private Equity Associates are at the top of the Financial hierarchy, breaking into six-digit salaries and seeing a significant surge in rates recently.
Financial analysts use their business, finance, or accounting background to analyze data and make recommendations for investments. They study past, present, and future business and economic trends to provide data-driven insights for business decision-making. Financial analysts take on roles as fund managers, portfolio managers, investment advisors, and risk analysts. Many earn additional credentials in the field, such as Certified Public Accountant or Project Management Professional certifications.Learn about becoming a Financial Analyst
Investment analysts are experts in analyzing financial and investment information and using it to make recommendations. Buy-side investment analysts help mutual fund managers target investment opportunities, and sell-side analysts work with investment banks. Using their deep expertise in stock, bonds, commodities, and currencies, these financial professionals continuously analyze trends to forecast performance. Experienced analysts can become certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).Learn about becoming a Investment Analyst
A Research Analyst researches, analyzes, and interprets data on markets, operations, finance, economics, and customers in their industry. They can find work in nearly any industry but are found at the highest concentration in the financial services sector.Learn about becoming a Research Analyst
Private Equity Associates are responsible for leading deal processes from beginning to end. They work with private equity firms to analyze and monitor data, look for potential investment opportunities for their firm, and raise capital from outside investors.Learn about becoming a Private Equity Associate