Career Guide – Investment Banker Career Guide

Career Guide – Investment Banker Career Guide

The job of an investment banker is different from that of other types of bankers and requires a different skill set.  The role is about working with companies and commercial clients as opposed to just individual investors with the aim of helping them make intelligent investments and maximising their profits.

What does the job entail?

The range of investment banker jobs can be diverse in their exact details, depending on the needs of the company involved.  But in general, investment bankers work within financial institutions that work primarily to raise capital for companies, governments and other entities.  Sometimes they work in a large division of the bank that is solely focused on these efforts, often known as an investment bank.

Investment bankers also offer other services such as mergers and acquisition advice.  They may even help clients with specific transactions such as the reorganisation of the business.  Their role will often involve profit forecasting and risk analysis as well as bond and equity financing and the buying and selling of securities.  Lastly, they are responsible for ensuring all transactions are within government regulations.

Skills and attributes

Movies and TV shows have created a certain image of investment banker careers but the reality is usually quite different.  Investment bankers are about growing the business, making profits but also about building good relationships with clients and other businesses.  They are organised professionals with a smart appearance and friendly manner, far from the shark-type characters often seen on TV.

In terms of the skills needed to do the job, a strong background in mathematics is crucial as are logical thinking and problem-solving skills.  You need to have that self-confidence that allows you to negotiate the best deals and the skills to do this.  Good commercial awareness will also mean that you can understand the full picture and ensure your advice to your clients is sound.  Drive and determination are good for any banking career as is the ability to work well under pressure.

Qualifications and working life

Because these are important roles with a high salary, companies require certain standards for people working in them.  usually a 2:1 degree with strong, consistent academic performance would be in the background, although not always strictly from a financial subject area.  Experience in a similar role or in roles leading to it is usually favoured, though some companies will be looking for juniors to start in the area and add to their existing training.

This is a job that requires a lot of commitment and this means working outside the normal office hours.  Salaries can start from £30,000 and rise substantially with bonuses and experience with the top level of investment bankers earning around £150,000.  It does require long working hours, flexibility and a dedication to the job that doesn’t always leave a lot of time for a social life.


Investment banker careers require a high level of qualifications and commitment and offer a high level of salary and benefits to reward the dedication.  It can also offer the chance to be involved in some of the biggest deals in the country and is always an interesting work day.


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