Investment Banker

Investment Banker

Investment Bankers help firms and governments manage high-level financial issues such as: managing risk, raising capital to fund operations (e.g. issuing stocks or bonds), or assisting in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and selling non-strategic business units. The role involves maintaining relationships with a broad range of senior executives and experts to lead all aspects of high-level deals.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Investment Bankers is likely to remain strong, though the field is highly competitive

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree required as a minimum.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office and regular travel; long working hours almost guaranteed

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Investment Bankers is likely to remain strong, though the field is highly competitive

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree required as a minimum.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office and regular travel; long working hours almost guaranteed


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Researching and identifying high-level corporate investment opportunities: Work with organizations and governments to identify market opportunities and manage high-level financial issues.

Negotiating and structuring revenue-generating deals: Coordinate how the ‘deal’ is going to happen, including M&A activity, divestiture of non-strategic assets and risk management.

Managing relationships with senior executives and experts: Network to make introductions for organizations, interact with senior officers and work with other Investment Bankers, research/financial analysts, bond/equity traders and salespersons, lawyers, accountants and tax specialists to understand and manage all aspects of an investment banking transaction.

Focus Areas

Investment Bankers typically start in Analyst positions, where they research clients, industries and market trends to support the work of Investment Bankers. As an Investment Banker, the focus shifts to business development: acquiring clients, identifying new opportunities for existing clients and closing deals. This typically involves:

  • Sales (Origination): Identifying opportunities where clients may require the support of an Investment Bank.

  • Underwriting: Helping organizations obtain new sources of funding (e.g. corporate lending, release of shares) and writing prospectuses (i.e. reports detailing information about the firm, its structure, and the nature and purpose of the funding).

  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Advising on opportunities for mergers and acquisitions based on analysis of the potential future value of the organizations involved, and helping structure the agreement between the companies.

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Investment Bankers generally:

Perform business development:

  • Identify new business opportunities and approach existing and/or potential clients with ‘the pitch.’

Research investment banking opportunities and provide advice on deals:

  • Use quantitative modelling to determine the value of organizations, future cash flows and sensitivities associated with outputs/forecasts.
  •  Stay attuned to capital markets, financial and investment information, developments in specific organizations/companies, and industry, political and economic trends to develop recommendations on investments and/or deals.

Negotiate and structure deals:

  • Coordinate investment teams (e.g. other Investment Bankers, researchers, accountants, lawyers, administrative staff) and company management to structure and negotiate terms of deals, managing the cycle from initial contact through to contract signing.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Excellent Relationship Management: Strong interpersonal skills to build and sustain long-term relationships with clients and professionals
  • Financial & Statistical Analysis & Modelling: Ability to analyze technical outputs from models, financial data from the organization and statistical data from the marketplace
  • Data Interpretation, Sense-making & Communication Skills: Clearly synthesize and interpret information for reports and recommendations
  • Team Collaboration & Information Sharing: Ability to collaborate to develop recommendations and structure deals
  • Knowledge of investment products and trading of financial instruments (e.g. trading of derivatives, foreign exchange, commodity markets, equity securities)
  • Knowledge of regulatory and legislative policy and procedures for the financial sector (e.g. risk management policies and limitations in trading, derivatives and investing)
  • Knowledge of risk and credit management in the financial sector

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Strong understanding of financial markets and a background in analysis and research and/or investment trading
  • Previous experience using specialized analytical and quantitative skills (e.g. engineers, finance officers)

Education & Credentials

Entry-Level positions typically require:

  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Law

Senior positions may require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Business Commerce
  • Economics
  • Law

Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

Additional certifications and/or training may include:

  • Canadian Securities Course (CSC)
  • Law degree
  • FINRA Series 63 & Series 7 license for investment bankers working in banks with U.S. operations

Associations may include:

  • CFA Institute
  • Investment Bankers Association (IBA)
  • Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA)
  • Law Society of Upper Canada

WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

Advancements depend largely on job performance. Investment Bankers may advance through:

  • Increased Seniority: You may progress into management, supervising others and/or taking on responsibility for an investment area or type of fund.

  • Deeper Specialization: You may continue to develop expertise in a chosen field and become recognized for specialist knowledge and results, or work on more specialized markets/industries or with more complex deals.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • Technology: Technology continues to play a role in improving knowledge, quantitative depth of analysis and response time for Investment Bankers.
  • Complexity: Some financial models have grown so complex that post-graduate math skills are needed to design them.
  • Risk Perception: Increased focus on risk management and regulatory compliance may impact the role.


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