- What do investment bankers do?
- Investment banker career path
- Investment banker salaries
- Qualifications and training
- Investment banker skills
- Pros and cons of being an investment banker
- Investment banker work-life balance
- Typical employers
- Related jobs
- More information
Are you fearless and willing to take risks to make money? Are you great at giving advice? If you want to use your interest in investments to make money for your clients, a career as an investment banker could be perfect for you.
Are you interested in working as an investment banker? Explore the investment banking graduate opportunities available to you right now.
What do investment bankers do?
Investment bankers work with their clients suggesting investment opportunities. The objective of an investment banker is to make money for their clients by taking charge of their invested assets. Here are the responsibilities that you might have as an investment banker:
- Meet with clients to discuss the size of the assets that they have and what their goals for the money are.
- Create financial plans for the client.
- Build relationships and trust with clients so they are happy for you to manage potentially large sums of money.
- Look out for investment opportunities that you could bring a client into.
If you want to know more, complete this Bright Network Academy Investment Banking Sector 101 module led by Macquarie to learn more about what investment banking entails, the skills you need and why you might enjoy the career.
Investment banker career path
Your career in investment banking can take you high within a company. You also have the opportunity to explore other related career paths. For example, if you like the financial side but not the investment, you can become a financial advisor. Here is the career path associated with investment bankers:
You begin your career in a trainee or analyst role. In one of these roles, you’re learning the skills you need to do the work. You also do background work, for example, researching investment opportunities and supporting senior colleagues in their work. These roles typically require really hard work and dedication with long working weeks so you can get the most out of the experience for your future career.
With experience and proving your skill, you become an associate investment banker. In this role, you model potential investment strategies, work with clients to discuss their needs and make presentations to pitch to clients. You’re given more responsibility with this role, but it’s still considered a time of training so you’re not working in the big leagues yet.
With much work and several steps, you can become a managing director. This is a senior role and involves you taking a step back from doing any investment banking yourself so you can manage the department. Your job involves bringing in new clients to the company and making sure existing clients are satisfied with the service they’re receiving from your department.
Investment banker salaries
Working in investment banking could give you great salary options. The salary you earn often depends on your experience and the organisation you work for. Here are the salaries for different levels of investment banking work:
- In entry-level positions like investment banking analyst, your salary could begin at £40,000 per year and extend to an average of £55,000 per year.
- In mid-level roles like investment banker associate, you earn an average of £90,000 per year which can extend to above £100,000 per year.
- As an investment banking managing director, you could earn an excess of £200,000 per year.
Qualifications and training
Securing a role in investment banking can be difficult and having the right qualifications can be helpful to get you noticed by a hiring manager and begin your career.
Most investment bankers have a degree before entering the career path. This is because most entry-level jobs are acquired through graduate schemes and internships. Relevant degrees are finance-based but maths and economics degrees are often accepted as well. These degrees teach you the relevant maths skills and theoretical knowledge that you need for investment banking but also the contextual information that can help you succeed in the role.
Having a master’s degree isn’t a requirement of the role. If your degree isn’t in finance, maths or business, completing a master’s degree in one of these subjects or even a specialised master’s in investments could help you get into a training scheme because it gives you a more in-depth understanding of the subject and specialise in an area that interests you or will be useful for your career.
Getting into the investment banking career path as a graduate typically requires getting into an internship programme. These internships are often intended for you to demonstrate your skills and work ethic and prove to a bank why they should employ you after the internship finishes. These internships are highly competitive and require you to work really hard. You can explore the current financial services sector internships available right now and complete this Bright Network Academy module on converting your internship into a permanent job.
Investment banker skills
Combining your education with your skills is a great way to impress a hiring manager. You should have examples of how you can demonstrate these skills during your education and in your work experience. Here are the skills you need for working in investment banking:
- Maths and finance. Having great maths and finance skills is necessary for working in investment banking. This is so you can manage money and give out great advice to your clients based on your mathematical and financial knowledge.
- Multitasking. As an investment banker, you need to be on top of all the clients you’re working with. You need to manage each of their accounts separately, making sure that you do great work for each client. This means being great at multitasking but also being good with time management and organising yourself.
- Attention to detail. You need good attention to detail to be an investment banker. This is so you can spot great deals which might be relevant to any of your clients.
- Presentation skills. Part of being an investment banker is pitching your ideas to clients. You do this through presenting to them. Having great presentation skills means you’re more likely to persuade them to get on board with your ideas. If you need to brush up on your presentation skills, complete this Bright Network Academy module on developing effective presentation skills.
Pros and cons of being an investment banker
As with any job, there are positive and negative parts to working as an investment banker. Understanding the good and bad helps you decide whether it’s the right career for you to pursue. Here are the pros and cons of working in investment banking:
- You usually earn a large bonus every year as a perk of the job.
- You can work your way up from low-level positions fairly quickly in the career path.
- Upward movement is connected to your job performance so if you do well, you’re rewarded.
- It’s a pretty safe career to choose because once you get into the sector, you can work your way up.
- You can have really long working weeks which means maintaining a good work-life balance is difficult.
- It’s quite difficult to enter the career path.
- It’s a very competitive field and competing with other investment banks as well as your colleagues might not encourage a positive working environment.
- The actual work you do can get boring after a while because it’s fairly repetitive.
Investment banker work-life balance
Maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult in the career because of your very long working hours. This is particularly relevant to the first few years of your career where you have to work very hard in the role. Being committed to dedicating the majority of your week to working is a requirement of the role, at least until you reach more senior positions. This can mean the job causes high stress levels. Having healthy stress management strategies which you develop before beginning the role can make your working life more productive and enjoyable in the long run.
Knowing about the typical employers that hire investment bankers means you can conduct your own research into the companies and explore which ones you’d like to be involved with. This means you can tailor your applications to the companies you’re most interested in. Here are the typical employers hiring investment bankers that you could work for:
Want to know more? Learn about working in investment banking with Bright Network member Carmen.