I get questions from readers about Investment Banking based on earlier posts where I mentioned work related matters.
So I thought I would provide some answers to the FAQs:
What is Investment Banking?
The definition is something along the lines of helping companies raise funds through debt or equity and broadly advising clients on investment opportunities.
Most of the time in Junior ranks you’ll be editing slide decks and helping with the materials for client meetings and communications. Once you’re a bit more senior you’ll be building out and reviewing models and managing teams
Does it pay well?
In short, yes.
These days I’d say $150k base is fairly normal starting out (Again this varies widely between front and back office, team and bank) bonuses can be as big as your base depending on performance
What are the hours like?
I’d say 12-hour days are the norm for most Analysts, however if you’re working through a complex M&A and the project is at a critical stage you could do more than 16 hours. Think worst for me was an 18-hour day. Also, on average I’d say one weekend a month would be expected.
What are the exit opportunities?
There are heaps of options. Many people try to continue the long hours but trade up for more pay by going into Private Equity. Some go work at clients and do in-house Corporate Development / M&A work. Others move into Technology companies and work in areas like Strategy. It’s a fairly broad spectrum of opportunities with the skillset you acquire.
If you have a good reputation with colleagues and clients there will regularly be opportunities coming up in conversations, but as you understand yourself more and realise what you like and don’t like – you’ll end up being far pickier with roles you’ll consider.
Do you need to go to a Top University?
It won’t hurt if you do. If you’re in Australia, given how small the intakes are, it would be a lot harder to get into an Investment Bank as a graduate from a lower tier University. Overseas in places like the UK or US, it’s a bit more open given there’s a much larger in-take. You can also move into banking as a lateral hire given the right employment background.
What are the different ranks?
Analyst -> Associate -> Vice President -> Director -> Managing Director
Is it for me?
if you’re a driven person whose interested in markets and corporate life you could enjoy it, however, there comes a sacrifice with the hours you’ll do in the job as well as the stress that can have harmful impacts on your health.