A Guide to Becoming an Investment Banker

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If you are smitten by the agility of markets and have a passion for number crunching, then investment banking is the profession for you. The investment banking profession comes with several perks, including a fat pay cheque, a flashy lifestyle, and a good deal of networking. This sounds like a narrative from the film, ‘Wolf of Wall-Street, but it’s not that easy. It takes a dint of hard work and a great deal of knowledge to make your mark in the division of Investment Banking.

What is investment banking?

It is defined as a special segment of banking operation that aids individuals or organisations at raising capital and provide financial consultancy services to them. They act as bridge between investors and security issuers and enables new organizations, and start-ups to go public.

Investment bankers need to wear their confidence on their sleeve. An aspiring investment banker should be armed with the necessary certification and make the employer aware of their credentials and skill set. Underline the skill set by building a case and summarising it effectively to help employers get a good understanding of what one is capable of while profiling the role.

Also read| Career Wise: What it Takes to be Quantitative Analyst? A Guide to Becoming One

Educational Criteria

The educational criteria required to become an investment banker involve acquiring a degree in any commerce or business-related fields. This would include anything from an:

1. B.Com

2. MBA

3. CFA

4. M.Com

An investment banking zealot can also start with an internship role after completing class 12 in commerce or arts field. In a nutshell, to pursue a course in investment banking you need to be 18 years or above.

Skill set

It takes a perfect synergy of domain skills and soft skills to succeed in any profession. Investment banking is no exception to the rule.

Soft skills

Communication Skills – Communication is key! One needs to be able to communicate, read, write, and essentially understand the minute nuances of the English language to become an effective Investment banker with a multinational bank. It is quintessential to communicate effectively to meet mutually beneficial agreements that will require good negotiation skills.

The perfect team player – Investment bankers work together as a collective team to ensure that their clients get nothing but the best. This is why striking a rapport with your teammates can take you a notch higher up the career graph.

Analytical skills – Analysts profile a critical role in the Investment Banking Division. They act as key negotiators to their clients. They build a case for or against a certain investment in an organisation.

Attention to detail – Number crunching can be fascinating, but a small mistake could have damaging consequences on the client’s portfolio. Hence it is essential to pay attention to detail.

Organization and Time Management – Investment bankers are often found neck deep in work and must be able to organize their day and manage their time to ensure that required deliverables are sent out at the right time.

Domain Skills

Financial modeling – An Investment banking professional should be able to create and work with elaborate financial spreadsheets that calculate the impact of future events or decisions.

Knowing the Office Suite – Investment bankers, or any professional for that matter, must know their way around PowerPoint, Word, and Excel at the back of their hands. The hacks around these applications and programs could help them save the day.

Understanding the Bloomberg Terminal – An investment banker should have access to real-time market data to understand the market dynamics clearly.

Understanding Math and Accounts – A rooted base in marketing and accounts will help an Investment Banking professional to effectively synthesize large volumes of data that can help at demonstrating valued propositions and projected returns for the parties involved.

Key insight on Financial Terminology – there is a growing need to understand the importance of financial terms like security valuation, asset management, equity, debt, and other derivative instruments.

The Indian economy is perceived as a hot-bed for financial opportunities giving marketers an impetus to invest and a boost for investment bankers to proliferate. The demand for investment bankers is expected to surge by 16.5 per cent till 2025. This forecast means that there will be ample manpower requirement in Investment Banking division in the future.

— Written by Girish Singhania, CEO EduBridge

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