Investment banking is one of the highest-paying jobs available today and one that demands long hours and competitive effort.
New graduates typically start as analysts before eventually being promoted to associates and then vice presidents. Their duties typically include conducting basic research and creating reports.
Equity Capital Markets
Investment bank equity capital markets (ECM) divisions specialize in helping companies access equity-based financing via initial public offerings (IPO), follow-on offerings and private placements. Furthermore, this department handles convertible bonds and equity-linked securities which start off as debt instruments but convert into shares if certain criteria are fulfilled.
ECM firms typically employ origination and syndication teams. Origination teams engage investors about why a deal makes sense based on market multiples and investor appetite, while syndication teams execute these transactions alongside communicating with other banks involved since many equity deals involve multiple bank syndications.
ECM careers provide the standard investment banking salary range, from base salaries plus bonuses. Senior staff spend most of their time developing business and meeting with potential clients, while junior and associate staff work to execute deals. Bankers in ECM will need to pass all three FINRA Series exams (Series 7, 63 and 79) before working in ECM in the United States.
Debt Capital Markets
Investment Banking’s debt fund raising division involves raising debt funds in the form of bonds. They help clients issue and sell them on secondary markets for profit; furthermore they provide assistance for asset-backed securities, convertibles and preferred shares.
These jobs are highly coveted, requiring excellent analytical, numerical and modeling abilities. Students, interns and recent MBA graduates typically vie for them. Unfortunately, however, long hours may prove stressful without an established work ethic.
Analysts and associates provide support to senior team members by producing analyses, pitches and other data-driven research for their clients. In addition to this work, analysts also conduct market research and client meetings in order to identify funding opportunities for corporate and sovereign issuers; work closely with banking, leveraged finance and credit analysis teams on debt transactions; collaborate with banking, leveraged finance, credit analysis teams to execute debt transactions; collaborate with banking leveraged finance teams on transactions of debt transactions – often leading to positions at hedge funds, credit-focused firms or asset management companies as well as providing an excellent stepping stone towards careers at private equity firms, rating agencies or corporate finance respectively.
Fixed Income Capital Markets
Sales and trading professionals typically sell or purchase corporate securities through major investment banks; research analysts provide in-depth analyses on industries or companies to assist investors with informed investment decisions; while private equity professionals acquire and manage privately held companies to improve performance and enhance value.
Many people associate finance with people on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shouting numbers, but it encompasses many other jobs in this sector. When beginning your career search it’s important to determine which job best matches your values and personality; higher education or certification such as obtaining a master’s degree can open doors to higher paying opportunities in this industry.
Corporate finance professionals assist a business in acquiring the funds it requires for daily operations and long-term financial activities. They make key decisions regarding capital budgeting and structure. Furthermore, they determine whether funds should be raised with equity or debt capital while developing working capital management policies.
Merger and acquisition consultants must analyze the advantages and drawbacks of mergers and acquisitions, develop financial models, consult with lawyers, accountants and regulatory bodies, juggle competing priorities of ensuring liquidity while increasing profits and negotiate agreements between those bodies and stakeholders.
Quantitative analysts (also referred to as quantitative traders) utilize statistical methods to solve risk management, valuation, and market regulation issues. Cybersecurity specialists specializing in data encryption and protection are another specialty within this field; many work for investment banks, hedge funds and asset management companies and are among some of the highest paid professionals within their respective industries.