A Career in Investment Banking
A career in investment banking includes a variety of financial services. This can include securities trading, mergers and acquisitions, and banking for companies and governments. Investment banks recruit on a number of different levels and there will be different career entry opportunities including entry level and graduate positions. If you thought this career choice was simply about selling stocks and shares then think again.
Investment Banking ServicesInvestment banks offer a number of different financial services, and as such there are a vast number of different job roles to be filled. Investment banking financial services includes:
- Investment management Corporate finance and advice
- Fund management
- Financial engineering services
- Banking for other governments and companies
- Investment and Securities trading, stocks and shares advice
- Acting as a treasury for companies
- Advice and investments for raising company funds
- Investment trust advisors
Qualifications Needed for Investment BankingThe type of qualifications needed to start a career in investment banking will be dependant on the actual career you want. Business diplomas and A level certificates may be all that is required for entry level jobs such as administration employees. Entry level jobs are an excellent way to get a foot in the door, and from there in house training will be a path to career development.
Graduates with a degree in any field are usually welcomed into investment banking and will start as trainees. A great number of graduates with a business or financial related degree such as economics, business studies or law will consider a career in investment banking. Those who show talent and dedication in their job can quickly progress up the career ladder.
Skills Needed for Investment BankingRequired skills will be dependant on the job role. However, basic skills for a career in investment banking will be leadership and team working skills, good time management skills and excellent numerical and analytical skills. Communications skills are also a requirement along with a dedication to the job and a desire to succeed. An ability to work under pressure and to meet strict deadlines will also be an advantage in this career.
Salary ExpectationsGraduate starting salaries as a trainee investment banker in corporate finance are usually around £35,000. However, within three years this salary can jump to between £50,000 and £80,000. Employees with a large amount of experience can expect a salary of around £150,000, and these high salaries are why many graduates choose a career in investment banking. These starting salaries are significantly higher than any other graduate career choice.
Performance Related PayPerformance related pay bonuses can significantly add to an annual salary. Many trainees can expect an extra 50% annual salary increase due to bonuses. As an employee’s investment banking career develops these bonuses can account for a great deal more than the actual base salary. However, it should be remembered that employees in this field are easily dismissed if their performances are poor. This is a challenging environment where performance counts for job safety and it is a volatile job market.
Travel OpportunitiesIf travel is important to you in your career then investment banking does hold a great many work related travel opportunities. Many of the large investment banks have branches around the world, especially in major European cities and in America. It is not unusual for trainees to begin their careers in foreign offices while they are training. Once fully qualified, employees, especially investment bankers, can spend a significant percentage of their careers in foreign offices.
A career in investment banking is not for the faint hearted. It is a tough and challenging environment and success is reflected in financial rewards. Competition for jobs is fierce and there are around 60 applicants for each job vacancy in this field. Having the skills, qualifications, work ethic and determination to succeed in this career is a must. But for those that do succeed it can be a very lucrative career option.