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Investment banking: Master the art of making money

August 08, 2014 08:33 IST

Investment banking: Master the art of making money


Arsh Gupta, YouthIncMag

The lucrative world of investment banking is a thrilling ride for those who like making money. Find out how you can make a career out of it.

The talented American stock investor Philip Fisher once famously remarked, "The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing."

This is testament to the fact that investing without an education and research will ultimately lead to regrettable investment decisions.

It is the job of investment bankers to do this research and analyse it, as well as network and advice.

Who is an investment banker?

An investment banker works in a financial institution or a bank and is responsible for bridging those who have money with those who need money.

In this role, s/he invests in markets, analyses and interprets numerical data, assesses and predicts financial risks and returns, provides investment advice, prepares legal documents, and liaises with accountants, lawyers and financial experts.

"Investment bankers are much more powerful in the US, than in India," says Anubhav Singh, an investment banker with Yes Bank.

They are generally very well-paid individuals, but these positions require specific skills -- number-crunching ability, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the capacity to work very long, gruelling, and often, odd hours.

"On my second day of work at another banking firm, I had to come to office at 2 in the morning," says Singh while describing the untimely work hours.

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Image: An investment banker connect those who have the money with those who need it.
Photographs: Reuters


What it takes to be a successful banker

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Being an investment banker requires having a master's degree in business administration (MBA).

At the undergraduate level, one may study either arts, science or commerce, but must focus more intently on maths, economics and business.

Scope of career

Investment banking is one of the more popular career options among the youth of India, since it is a money-spinning job that provides opportunities to grow.

"Investment banking and its financial services are pretty established now," says Singh.

Banks are always in need of skilled investment bankers who can contribute towards the growth of the organisation.

With globalisation, the scope of investment banking has widened and new job opportunities have opened up. As an emerging economy, India is an exciting place to be for investment bankers.

How to get a job

Internships are a good way to get into the bustling corporate sector and they also add up in your resume, making it fancier.

The JP Morgan Investment Banking Internship and Citi Bank internships are popular among aspiring investment bankers.

"Big banks have now started coming forward to top colleges," Singh adds.

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Image: You need to have an acumen for analytics.
Photographs: Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi/Reuters

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What it takes to be a successful banker

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The Job: What they do

Investment bankers help people, companies and governments make money, and provide advice on various financial matters like fund and debt management, mergers, acquisitions and privatisation.


The average starting pay for an associate is Rs 6 to 7 lakhs per annum. Your professional experience strongly influences the salary you draw.

Skill sets required

Investment banks want employees with a combination of strong analytical and interpersonal skills.

Some jobs lean more towards one skill set than another (for instance, brokers need to be mainly sales people).

A typical job of an equities analyst requires both analytic and interpersonal skills

Where to study

  • Kaizen School of Business Management, Mumbai
  • Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
  • Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University (ICFAI) , Tripura
  • Symbiosis School of Banking Management, Pune
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi

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Image: As good financial consultants, bankers help people make crucial money decision.
Photographs: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Imges

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Who hires investment bankers?

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Top investment banks

  • BNP Paribas
  • Citi Group
  • Deustche Bank
  • JP Morgan & Chase
  • ING Group

Things to keep in mind

  • As a student, choose a degree that focuses on banking or a closely allied subject like finance, economics, business or accounting as part of your undergraduate specialisation.
  • Presentations are a big deal in investment banking. Make sure you sharpen your presentation skills in college.
  • Intern during your vacations. The ideal place would be a big investment bank, but you could also try at smaller firms (the 'boutique' investment banks). If you can't get an internship in either of these places, you could work at a regular bank.
  • Network, network, network. Join LinkedIn groups for investment banking. Talk to friends and alumni from college who have become investment bankers. Stay in touch with colleagues from past internships. Always keep your ear to the ground.

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Image: JP Morgan & Chase is among the leading companies that hire investment banking professionals.
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters

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The pros and cons

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Investment Banking: The sunny side

  • It is a highly rewarding job, both monetarily and otherwise
  • It is a fast-paced career with exciting new developments regularly
  • Opens doors to entrepreneurship

Investment Banking: The flip side

  • Challenging and stressful because of the intensive work load
  • Tough competition
  • Long and odd hours

So, do you think you have it in you to make it big in investment banking?

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and pursue it. We wish you all the best!

Image: For those who have the knack and passion to survive the gruelling work hours, the career is highly rewarding.
Photographs: Reuters
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