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Corporate Investment Banker

What is an Investment Banker?

An Investment Banker is an accredited professional to provide financial services to clients and help them to raise the capital required for investment.

What does a Corporate Investment Banker do?

Corporate Investment Bankers provide a range of financial services to companies, institutions and governments. This might include mergers, acquisitions, bonds and shares, lending, privatisations and Initial public offerings (IPO). They also provide advice on management buyouts, raising capital, providing strategic advice to clients, as well as identifying and or securing new deals.

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Types of corporate investment bankers

Investment banks deal with these three main areas:

  • Equity capital markets - advising clients on how much capital they need to raise, from where and when by providing recommendations based on their market research and product analysis
  • Corporate finance - providing specialist recommendations to clients on mergers & acquisitions, diversity, expansions and safeguarding market position
  • Debt capital markets - working with lenders including banks, financial institutions, agencies, private and public companies to discuss and redesign debt obligations. 

How to become an Investment Banker?

Becoming an Investment Banker involves studying finance or accounting related degrees and getting relevant working experience. Many undergraduate finance degrees offer work placements or gaining experience during their studies. Our Employability services provide complete personalised support including creating a CV, cover letters, arranging interviews and offering networking and work experience opportunities. 

Many employers in the financial industry offer internships and work placements, helping students to learn the day-to-day realities of financial markets. You can gain work experience from various financial companies and institutions including the London Stock Exchange (LSE), The Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), venture capital firms and brokerage firms.

Any experience you can gain will be beneficial, reflecting your commitment to this profession. By studying the right degree and gaining working experience, you will develop in-depth knowledge of all the issues that could affect clients’ success and learn the skills on how to provide the right solutions. 

What degree do you need to become an Investment Banker?

A university degree in finance, accounting, economics or mathematics can help you to become an Investment Banker. Investment banks and financial institutions hire candidates from all disciplines, not necessarily from finance backgrounds. However, a good knowledge of current financial markets and relevant degrees will be essential to get you into the financial industry. At The University of Law, we offer a variety of finance degrees to help you become an Investment Banker. Please see below recommended courses.

BSc Accounting with Finance
MSc Corporate Financial Management

What skills does a Corporate Investment Banker need?

  • Commercial awareness and knowledge of financial markets
  • Strong numerical and analytical skills
  • Ambition
  • Leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Adaptability
  • Strong communication skills and ability to present ideas
  • Time management ability
  • Problem solving skills
  • Numerical and analytical skills
  • Self-confidence and the ability to make difficult decisions, work under pressure and cope with stressful situations.

What are working hours?

Investment bankers work very long unsocial hours. They need to sometimes work during the weekends to complete the deal. In a busy period, they can work around 100 hours per week.

How much do Investment Bankers make in the UK?

Average starting salaries for graduates are between £30-£40k. After three or more years, this can increase by up to £50k. After a couple of years, investment bankers can earn a base salary of £150k, plus bonuses. Bonuses can sometimes be five or more times higher than the base salary. 

What are the career prospects for Investment Bankers?

New graduates/trainees need to complete FCA training and exams to be able to work in the financial industry in the UK. When you start as a trainee you will be introduced to your new role by intensive company induction programmes. Some employers will provide additional training after induction and some might require additional professional qualifications such as MBA Leadership.

From being a trainee, you can progress to an associate role with a team of analysts/trainees working for you. After a few years, you might be promoted to vice president (VP) position, managing both analysts and trainees. As a VP, you will frequently meet clients and probably have your own customers; the next promotion would-be director or executive director. However, promotion beyond VP isn’t easy. 

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