Arnav Rajan Morgan Stanley Graduate Profile Picture

Arnav Rajan

University of Melbourne
Investment Banking Analyst
Arnav graduated in 2015 with Bachelor of Commerce (Honours in Accounting) with a Diploma in Languages (Spanish) from The University of Melbourne

1) What's your job about? 

I work with Morgan Stanley, a US financial services firm, in the Investment Banking Division. Specifically, we advise our clients (including corporates, governments and financial sponsors) on their long-term financial strategies, which cover: (a) mergers, acquisitions, privatisations and divestments consistent with our clients’ long-term strategies, and (b) refining their capital structure (through equity and debt raisings).

As an Analyst, my core responsibility is to assist senior bankers in advising their clients on how to create value in their deals / transactions through analysing, synthesizing and presenting information useful and relevant to the transaction. This includes analysing financial statements and data, creating financial models to determine a company’s valuation or industry deep-dives to determine actionable opportunities for our clients. The Analyst role also involves a bit of project management, which can involve organising client site visits, setting up and maintaining a dataroom, running the transaction timetable and other logistics.

With Morgan Stanley I’ve had the chance to work on multiple projects across multiple sectors (for example, agriculture, retail banking and transport infrastructure). The different nature of transactions (i.e. sellside, buyside and capital raisings), coupled with the operational differences across sectors and the variety of Analyst tasks and responsibilities, means that each day is unique and this is one aspect that I love about my job.

2) What's your background? 

I grew up in three countries: Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. As such, I’ve always been interested in the increasingly globalised world that we live in, and how this is expected to change over time.

During high school, I learnt that I had a passion for interpreting accounting information and financial statements to understand a company’s performance. This naturally drove my decision to undertake a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.

After starting University, like many other students, I went through the process of determining what career I wanted to pursue by attending networking events, researching online and catching up with a lot of current professionals from a broad range of careers (including auditing, forensic accounting and consulting).

Learning more about the cross-border nature of the Australian M&A environment, coupled with a strong focus on using accounting information to determine company valuations, really appealed to my interests and career goals. I then decided I wanted to pursue a career in investment banking, so I ended up applying for the 2014/2015 summer internship programs offered in Melbourne by various investment banks and was lucky enough to receive an offer from Morgan Stanley.

I accepted my summer internship offer at Morgan Stanley, where I worked 12 weeks over the summer with the M&A team in Melbourne. At the end of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to start in the Melbourne office as a Graduate, which I accepted and I started full-time with Morgan Stanley in February 2016.

3) Could someone with a different background do your job?  

Yes! Although I have a fairly traditional background, anyone interested in business with a quantitative mind would be well suited for this job. For example, one of my colleagues has a degree in Journalism but can clearly display their interest and passion in M&A and finance.

We have a variety of resources and training programs (including 5 weeks of training in Hong Kong) which serve to develop the Analyst’s financial “toolkit”. On-the-job learning is also invaluable. When all of this is all combined with the right attitude, I think that’s the recipe for a strong Analyst (irrespective of one’s background).

4) What's the coolest thing about your job? 

The people that I work with, both at a junior and senior level. In this industry, you work with extremely bright, hard-working and commercial people who are prepared to give their best day in day out, which creates a great learning environment to kickstart your career.

In terms of tasks, I particularly enjoy financial modelling, which involves working with clients closely to forecast the value of their business. Understanding the way that clients think about their business and the key value drivers has helped my commercial acumen significantly and is an opportunity I’ll never take for granted.

5) What are the limitations of your job? 

Investment banking is by no means an easy job – as an Analyst you will be expected to balance multiple projects with different teams, deadlines and responsibilities. As a result there are times where you will work hard which will involve working some weekends and late nights, which can be stressful.

I think the best way to manage this is to take stock, relax and reflect when you have spare moments (which there definitely are), and make sure you maintain a balance where possible (i.e. always make time for the important things in life).

6) 3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student... 

  • Before applying, do your due diligence. Make sure you understand what each career path offers in the short and long term, and most importantly whether it’s what you want to do!
  • Embrace the process. Each firm’s application process may seem daunting, but give it your best shot: it’s a great opportunity to learn more about each firm and yourself.
  • Make the most of your time at University – put yourself outside of your comfort zone! You’ll be all the better for it.