An investment banker is a consummate professional who manages the overall finances and investment decisions of a company, government, or a set of investors. These professionals help companies raise capital, set prices for securities, issue stocks, and also negotiate merger and acquisition deals. An investment banker is a go-to finance expert for senior management. An investment banker is also an important link between the company and its investors.
If you are someone who is data-driven, analytical, calculative, well-spoken, methodical and has a knack for finance, investment banking will be like a dream career for you.
Becoming an investment banker requires a combination of education, work experience, and technical and analytical skills. This article will serve as a comprehensive guide on how you can become an investment banker in India. If you’re a fresh graduate or a working professional looking to switch careers, this article can be your go-to guide to entering the investment banking industry.
What Does An Investment Banker Do?
An investment banker works closely with the top management of the organization to set the right direction for the company’s financial growth.
Here are some key responsibilities of an investment banker:
- Monitor the current investment scenario in the market, identify the risks associated with any particular project, and help their clients to make informed decisions regarding investments.
- Forecast the business performance by carrying out company valuations, financial modelling and financial metric calculations.
- Guide companies on setting the initial stock price, its Initial Public Offering (IPO) price, and issuing stocks to various stakeholders.
- Conceptualize, draft, edit and present research reports, PPT presentations, and pitch documents to clients or senior management
- Ensure that the company is complying with all the rules and regulations that are set by financial regulatory agencies.
- Analyse and support mergers and acquisitions so as to bring maximum value to the company.
- Raise capital by underwriting municipal bonds, issuing securities, and making debt and equity offerings to potential investors.
- Oversee all the financial transactions by coordinating with legal, accounting and other relevant teams to ensure a successful outcome.
- Build relationships with potential clients and investors to generate new business opportunities constantly.
Investment bankers shoulder an array of responsibilities. Their day-to-day work may highly vary depending on the industry or the client they work for.
How to Become an Investment Banker?
Clear the HSC Exams
The aspiring investment bankers must have passed their 12th Std exams with a minimum aggregate score of 50% or more from a recognized board or university. Having a basic knowledge of mathematics, accounting, economics, computer technology and business can be beneficial.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree in the field of finance, business, economics, or any other related field is good-to-have if you want to pursue a career in investment banking. Graduates or students in the last year of graduation can seek internships in investment banks or brokerage firms as Junior analysts. This can be a great opportunity to get hands-on experience.
MBA in Finance
A strong finance background is a must-have in investment banking. One of the most sought-after degrees for a bright career in investment banking is the 2-year MBA degree. An MBA finance candidate from a prestigious B-school can get great opportunities in the banking, finance, and insurance industry. This specialization can open doors to various industries such as Investment banking, Research analyst and Financial consulting, etc.
Cracking a Chartered Course like CA or CFA
A Chartered Financial Analyst can easily find employment in financial institutions, investment banks, brokerage firms, insurance agencies and management consultancies. The CFA program provides thorough knowledge about economics, corporate finance, derivatives, fixed-income, alternative investments, and financial reporting and analytics. Knowledge about all these subjects can be handy when you start working in investment banking.
Another qualification that is well-suited for a career in investment banking is Chartered Accountant. A typical CA is proficient in taxation, IPO listing, mergers & acquisition and many other skills that are required in an investment banking job.
Even a qualification like ACCA that equips an individual with a strong foundation in financial management, accounting principals, and financial analysis can be quite beneficial for a career in investment banking.
Develop Technical Skills
Apart from academic qualifications, aspiring investment bankers need to have sound knowledge of financial modelling and analytics. Even if you’re not a charter holder or MBA, you can still learn important skills needed for investment banking.
The investment banking certification course by IMS Proschool equips you with skills in transaction valuation and operations. You can also learn tools like Excel and Tableau which are needed in the day-to-day job in investment banking. This program is available in both offline and online mode. It comes with placement assistance and an average salary package of 4.6 lakhs.
Apply for Internships & Jobs
Many investment banks in India have a structured training program for interns. You can even get internships for as less than 2 months. During this course, you can learn various basic business communication etiquette, the basics of Excel, learn how to prepare and present PPTs and much more. Based on your performance, you can even stand a chance to earn a pre-placement offer or a permanent entry-level position as an investment banker in the same company.
Networking – The Hidden Key to Success
An investment banker is the heart and soul behind any successful financial transaction or merger and acquisition. From doing research on where the money lies to actually negotiating and closing the deals, investment bankers handle the end-to-end process. Networking is a very important part of an investment banker’s job, and even more important if you want to enter into this field.
Create a list of aspiring companies that you would want to work for. Reach out to people who work in a similar role you’re looking for if they could refer you. The right words in the right ears can create new opportunities.
Benefits of Investment Banking As a Career
Great Professional Development
Investment banking is one of the most rewarding and high-growth career options in India. You can get a high-paying job as a beginner with a salary of 6-10 lakhs per annum. Since it is one of the most in-demand careers, you can increase your income and move up the ladder to the role of a senior executive or also a managerial role. You can even enter the coveted C suite of the company.
Want to have a career where you can travel or even shift abroad? Investment banking fits the bill! Investment banks have a global presence and they also offer opportunities for you to transfer to different offices across the world. If you want to develop a global network or explore a different culture, this is a career to pursue!
Social Status & Reputation
There’s no denying the fact that an investment banker adds a lot of value to their company and economy. They are the strategic advisor to senior management for all things related to financial transactions. The work that investment bankers do is elite in every aspect. Their work establishes them as successful professionals who have made it big in life and hence, they hold a good reputation in society.
Stable Career Option
From excellent communication and project management skills to proficiency in financial analysis and risk management, an investment banker has an abundance of skills! Hence, it is a stable career option as they can get jobs across industries and geographical locations.
For instance, an investment banker with strong financial modelling skills can be well-suited for a role in the venture capital industry. Similarly, a professional having good project management and communication skills can crack a job in consulting.
In short, you’ll never be short of work as an investment banker! You can any day get a job with a hefty paycheck!
Other Non-Academic Skills Required to in Investment Banking Career
Strong Analytical Skills
All good investment bankers possess great analytical skills. Whether it is financial modelling and data analysis or the ability to do industry research, investment banking is all about analysis and problem-solving. If you can break a complex problem into small actionable steps, you are likely to ace this job.
Analytics skills will not only be tested in the interview but also help you progress in your investment banking career.
Preparing presentations and pitch documents, and analysing chunks of data is an everyday affair in an investment banking job. Hence, proficiency in preparing PPTs and using Excel is necessary. Apart from this, even knowledge of advanced tools like Tableau and SQL is good to have.
Excellent Communication Skills
In the investment banking job, you’ll be regularly working with a diverse group of clients and stakeholders, each with different backgrounds and objectives. There will always be complex financial concepts and strategies that will have to be communicated clearly and concisely. Clear communication will help increase trust and improve decision-making.
Investment bankers are also actively involved in any financial transactions happening in the company. Hence, good communication skills will be handy in helping you negotiate deals and close transactions.
Basic Finance Skills
An Investment banker must be proficient in financial modelling and financial statement analysis. You need to interpret financial data and use this information to advise clients on potential investments and financial strategies. You also need to have a knack for finance and keep up with the latest updates and trends in the industry.
Strong Research Skills
To excel in an investment banking career, it’s essential to gather and assess information on different businesses and sectors, stay up-to-date with market trends, and spot potential investment prospects. This involves conducting thorough research on the overall market, a company’s financials, and its leadership.
Attention to Detail
The job of an investment banker is a high-pressure job where the stakes are high. In such a situation, even a small minor error can have significant consequences. Hence, you need attention to detail to ensure accuracy and match the high-performance standards.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Investment Banker?
After passing the HSC exams, it takes 3 years to complete a bachelor’s degree. An MBA degree takes additional 2 years but it can be beneficial if you want to seek a mid-managerial position in investment banking.
You may even opt for a different career path and pursue courses like CFA or CA which can take several years to complete after the 12th exams.
Overall, after 12th std exams, it may take 4-9 years or even more to become an investment banker. The exact time depends on the career path you choose, the type of course you pursue and your other career goals.
How Much Does An Investment Banker Earn?
Investment bankers are amongst the highest-paid professionals in the finance industry. The investment banking salary in India comprises base salary, variable component and sometimes even ESOPs (employee stock options).
According to Payscale, the average salary of investment banker in India is approximately 9 lakhs. The salary for an entry-level position can be from 5-12 lakhs per annum.
However, the salary also depends on other factors like the type of company, the job location and educational background of the candidate and his/her performance in the interview. A mid-level investment banker in India can expect a base salary of 25-35 lakhs per annum with an additional annual bonus of 10-20 lakhs.
Senior-level investment banking professionals can even earn a salary of 1 crore or more in India. Investment banking is one of the most in-demand jobs in India and when it comes to how much money an investment banker earns, the sky is the limit!
The Right Courses to Become an Investment Banker
The right courses equip you with the right knowledge and skill that you need to build a good career in investment banking.
PGCM in Investment Banking by IMS Proschool
IMS Proschool offers a 12-month PGP-IBCM in association with Jain University. It is an AICTE-approved program.
The Investment Banking course by Proschool covers a range of topics, including capital markets, risk management, transaction valuation and many other topics. During this course, students can also appear for exams and gain certifications from NISM and NSDC.
It comes with placement assistance. Based on previous records, the average salary is 4.6 lakhs per annum.
- Financial Modelling Course by IMS Proschool
The Financial Modelling course by Proschool provides basic knowledge and practical skills needed in equity research, investment banking, portfolio management and financial planning. It also offers NSE certification.
The program comes with job assistance, with the average salary being 4.5 lakhs per annum.
- CFA Course by IMS Proschool
IMS Proschool provides a training program for CFA aspirants that also comes with placement assistance. You can get job assistance right after clearing your CFA Level 1. The curriculum in our CFA training course is designed to engage students through case studies and problem-solving. Our faculty members are charter holders themselves with a combined industry experience of 30+ years.
Is an MBA degree necessary for investment banking?
No. While an MBA is good to have, it is not a mandatory criterion for a career in investment banking. You can even secure a job in investment banking with an advanced field of study like CFA, CA or PGCM in Investment Banking.
What is the work environment like in investment banking?
The job of an investment banker is a high-pressure and demanding one. Long working hours, tight deadlines, multiple meetings in a day, and extensive travel are all quite common in this field.
Which companies hire for investment banking roles?
On a global level, the top investment banks like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase keep hiring qualified aspiring investment bankers around the year.
Other than big investment banking firms, even private venture capital firms, hedge funds and equity firms hire investment bankers.
Can I pursue a career in investment banking after completing the BTech?
Yes. You can enrol for a certification course in Investment banking or Financial modelling that teaches you the basics of financial analysis, equity research and financial modelling. Post that, you can find entry-level internships and jobs in the field of investment banking to gain hands-on experience. An MBA in Finance can also be a good option if you wish to get into investment banking.
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