Investment banker job profile

What does an investment banker do?

Investment bankers are employed by banks, but offer support to clients in a variety of industries. An investment banker’s main role is to provide a range of financial services to companies and governments. As an investment banker, you will use your expertise to advise your clients on how best to reach their financial goals.

Duties of an investment banker

Typical duties and responsibilities include:

  • Implementing long and short-term financial plans
  • Recognising new business opportunities
  • Working with other professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, to help your clients
  • Creating financial models
  • Structuring and negotiating financial deals
  • Researching new marketing conditions and developments

Investment banker working environment and hours

Investment banking is one of the most highly paid jobs available. Because of this, they work long hours – sometimes working up to fifteen hours a day. Although the job is mainly based on weekdays, you will be expected to work over weekends at certain points, especially as you are approaching crucial stages in your projects.

Investment banking is an international career, so you may be expected to work with people all over the world. Working within many different time zones means your work schedule may vary.

Key skills to become an investment banker

Self-motivation

You will need a lot of passion and drive to succeed at what you do, working in a high energy environment over long hours.

Teamwork

Investment bankers are only one part of the financial sector, and you will be expected to work alongside other experts and professionals.

Numerical skills

Your clients will be relying on you to make important decisions regarding their investments and finances, so a confidence in numbers is essential.

Communication

You will be working with a wide variety of people within your company, as well as clients from all over the world. You will also be networking, meeting firms and other bankers to create strong relationships and contacts.

Analytical skills

As a financial expert, you will need to analyse data to ensure you are providing the best service to your clients.

Creativity

Sometimes a career as an investment banker means you will have to think outside the box. Investments bankers come from a range of different backgrounds, each bringing different things to the role.

Ability to work in a fast-paced environment

You will have to handle fast moving and high pressure situations, constantly adapting and multitasking.

Commercial awareness

You will need to have a strong understanding of business structures and how businesses are positioned.

Salary

How much do investment bankers make a year?

Investment bankers enjoy a large salary from entry level positions. As you gain more and more experience, you will progress within the industry and see an increase in your salary.

The average starting salary for investment bankers ranges from £30,000 to £40,000. After gaining three years of experience in the industry, you can expect to earn between £50,000 - £100,000. The more experienced and qualified you are, the larger your salary. Senior level positions can often earn up to £150,000.

A key part of working as an investment banker is the addition of bonuses to your salary. Employees who perform well in their role may receive bonuses which are higher than their base salary.

How to become an investment banker

600x400

Find out more about the process of becoming an investment banker, including the qualifications you need to work as an investment banker in the UK.

Qualifications and training

To become an investment banker, you will first need a university degree. To be accepted on to your degree course, you will need to achieve high grades in your A Level or Foundation programme. The higher grades you achieve at this point, the better university you can attend. Graduating from a high-ranking university can mean better career prospects are available to you.

A Levels at Bellerbys College offer a good range of subjects to prepare you for a career in investment banking. The A Levels you choose will depend on what degree you choose to study at University, but some good options include:

You may also choose to focus on a subject area by studying a foundation programme in Business, Finance and Management.

Investment banks hire their employees from all disciplines, not just those with finance degrees. As long as you have a good university degree (2:1 or above), you can pursue a career as an investment banker.

You may also want to consider completing an internship with an investment bank. Many companies offer full-time internships to recent graduates, with applications open to university students.

You could also choose to spend your university holidays working in an investment bank. As well as gaining practical experience, showing you are dedicated to your career will help you to stand out to employers.

Once you have started your career as an investment banker, there are a variety of additional qualifications you could gain. These credentials include:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

After interning and achieving an undergraduate degree, your first role will typically be as an analyst. These are usually for two or three years, training you for higher roles. 

You can soon progress to an associate role before eventually working your way up to vice president. With lots of experience you could move into an executive director role or even managing director. 

Investment banker career path

You will gain a wide range of transferable skills during your investment banking career. By working in a larger bank, you will be able to work with bigger clients and complete bigger projects. However, working in a smaller bank could mean faster career progression opportunities.

If you chose to work only within investment banks, you will find they are split into three main categories:

  • International investment banks (e.g. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley)
  • Investment banking departments of commercial banks (e.g. Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citigroup)
  • Independent investment banks (e.g. Rothschild & Co., Greenhill & Co.)

You can also use the skills you have gained in a variety of other careers such as stockbroking, as well as other financial roles in investment or capital firms.