A day in the life of an Investment Banker

For an investment banker, everyday can be full of challenges and daunting tasks that may require one to have an ability to work under pressure and put in long hours of work. This is how a day in the life of an I Banker looks like –

  • A typical day starts off with either continuing with a project or getting staffed on something new or both. Throughout the day, the analyst helps senior bankers put together client presentation materials including company and industry pages, valuation pages or just basic research.
  • Apart from client related work, there is usually some internal database or market update that the analyst is responsible for on a daily basis (at least in the first year). There maybe several other administrative items that need to be done (e.g. compiling client meeting notes for the senior banker).
  • If the team has a lot of deals or pitch work going on, the analyst can expect to be very busy – maybe even put in all-nighters. However, there can be low activity periods where the analyst has nothing much to do and has to just wait around for work. The workflow therefore is quite unpredictive, both in quantity and quality. It is often a function of what the larger team is doing and what the client requirements are.
  • Of course, there is a daily dosage of mails to be attended to – from clients who request information or guidance on certain matters. Pressing matters may require the I Banker to alter his routine time table and attend to it on priority basis.
  • If the I Banker is lucky enough to have some time off, he has to keep himself abreast with the latest trends: through magazines, news and of course, the Internet. Research is one of the major activities, hence, he cannot skip this task of keeping in touch with what’s happening in the stock market and the industry, large, tax reforms, changes in laws and regulations etc. He also has to dedicate some extra time for studying new things that can be helpful in his work.

Salary and perks:
• Investment Banking in a bulge bracket IB is a financially rewarding career

  1. The starting salary for front-end analysts in bulge bracket IBs is over INR 25 Lakhs/annum. This is just the fixed pay and there is usually a bonus that could range anywhere from 20% to 70% of the basic pay. In great market conditions, one has even heard of fat bonuses upto 100% of the basic! Those were the glorious pre-recession days however, and right now the market is not offering such generous bonuses. However, things may improve as the market picks up again
  2. As one climbs up the ladder, there are often ESOPs as well
  3. Other perks of the job (mostly at senior levels) are meeting high profile clients, traveling, wining and dining in style (though recent cost cutting measures have curbed a few of these things)

• If one joins the offshore units, they could hope to start off at a fixed pay of around INR 10 Lakhs/annum with a bonus in a similar range as above. Once they move on to the global program the salaries are on par with front-end roles as mentioned above
• In Indian boutique investment banks, one may have to start a bit lower at around INR 7 Lakhs/annum or so and a lower bonus than the bulge bracket firms