Investment Banking Graduate Jobs

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Investment Banking Graduate Jobs overview

Investment bankers help clients and particularly companies to raise funds for their activities, either through raising debt or equity as well as advising clients on mergers and acquisitions.

Activities include:

  • Undertaking valuations of companies.
  • Managing transaction for the sale and purchase of companies.
  • Developing strategy papers for clients.
  • Producing presentations to clients.
  • Developing financial models.
  • Preparing prospectuses for listing on the share market.

As investment bankers progress through their career, the role becomes much more about developing and building relationships. You will be involved in managing client relationships as well as identifying and selling to new clients.

Investment bankers are primarily employed by investment banks, similar work is also available in accounting and consultancy firms who have teams offering advice to companies on mergers and acquisitions, raising funds and investment strategies.

What to expect as a graduate and career progression

As a graduate, you will assist with the development of models, presentation and documents for clients. You will work as part of a team supporting these clients. Depending on the size of the bank you may specialise in an industry grouping. The amount of interaction graduates have with clients and senior management will depend on the size of the bank or firm and the culture of the bank or firm. The work hours are often long with tight deadlines. You will be working on projects for different clients with competing deadlines.

Many of the investment banks have formal training programs as part of their graduate program which you will be required to complete. These programs will give you the specialist skills you need to work as an investment banker and is one of the reasons the investment banks are willing to recruit graduates from a range of disciplines. There is often a strong sense of camaraderie amongst graduates in the programs.

Graduates are appointed as analysts and after two to four years are promoted to an associate where they take on greater responsibility for the development of models and presentations including reviewing work undertaken by analysts.

Investment bankers then progress through various levels in the bank or firm with roles becoming more client relationship focussed the more senior the position.

Best and worst aspects of this job

Investment bankers have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of companies and provide support with strategic company decisions.

Salaries are above national averages and there are often have the chance to work overseas. Investment bankers have a clear career path and the banks and firms have a proactive approach to developing staff.

However, long hours are expected as part of this job and initially the work can be mundane preparing and updating documents for presentation to clients and updating spreadsheets.

When and how to apply:

Because of the high salaries earned by investment bankers, competition for positions at investment banks is fierce. Applications for the graduate programs at the large investment banks and firms usually close early April and many of the positions available are filled by students who complete internships with investment banks while at University. Applications for internship programs usually close in July and are for students in their penultimate year though there is occasionally flexibility around this.

Some investment banks offer programs for those with two to five years’ relevant work experience and advanced degrees to apply for associate programs, the level above an analyst.

Salary expectations:

Graduate salary: Well above average. Depending on bonuses the salary can be 6 figures.

Salaries for investment bankers can fluctuate significantly as much of the remuneration includes bonuses. Bonuses will vary depending on the results the bank or firm have achieved.

Best and worst aspects of this job

Investment bankers work with a wide variety of companies and provide support with at the strategic decision level.

Salaries are above national averages and there are often opportunities to work overseas.

Long hours are expected as part of this job and initially the work can be mundane preparing and updating documents for presentation to clients and updating spreadsheets.

Future of this career choice

The skills developed as an investment banker are in demand with growth predicted in this sector.  The career is impacted by financial conditions with less activity in the investment banking sector likely to occur in a financial downturn resulting in reduced job opportunities and reduced bonus payments. Technology has not significantly impacted on opportunities but has affected the nature of the role.

Choose this career if you:

  • Have strong data analysis and mathematical skills with the ability to see trends
  • Have good interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively.
  • Enjoy solving problems.
  • Are good at time management.
  • Are interested in global markets and the corporate sector.
  • A graduate with a finance or mathematical focussed degree and excellent results.