Investment Banking Industry

Becoming an Investment Banker is a dream career option for almost all finance graduates. But do you know what is it really like to work for an Investment Bank? Read below to find out.

What are the jobs really about?

Generating Funds, Enabling Growth

All jobs in an Investment Bank revolve around generating funds for an individual or an organization so as to help the organization or the individual grow financially. They help a business survive and/or grow by arranging finance for it. Investment Banks serve as a link between the individual/organization that has the funds and the individual/organization that requires them.

Investment Bankers perform a number of activities that revolve around the generation of funds such as Trading Securities (Stocks, Debentures etc.), Underwriting Shares and Bonds, Providing Financial Advice, Analyzing Financial Statements, Conducting Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) when a company decides to go public, handling Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Restructuring etc. Additionally, the job of an Investment Banker might also include creating Pitch Books (to convince organizations to work with their particular bank) and Wealth Management (helping rich individuals/organizations manage their funds so as to earn profits).

As an Investment Banker, you can get a job in a big Investment Bank like Goldman Sachs, or in the Investment Banking division of a commercial bank. Some large companies also hire Investment Bankers to solely work for them. Experienced Investment Bankers also find jobs in Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Firms.

Find out about the Top 7 Careers in Finance.

Why do people work in Investment Banks?

Passion To Grow Companies

Investment Bankers are passionate to see companies grow and expand their operations. They like to see ideas come to life and arrange funds to finance the ideas.

Excellent Pay

The biggest reason behind people choosing to work for an Investment Bank is the kind of pay this career offers. The salaries that Investment Bankers receive are generally among the best in any job – centric career. Even entry – level Investment Bankers receive extremely lucrative pay packages that are way above what entry level professionals in other careers receive.

Find out about the Top 7 Money Making Careers.

Growth Opportunities

Investment Bankers get a lot of opportunities to grow in their career. They start off as Investment Banking Analysts and move on to becoming Associates, VPs, Directors and even the Managing Directors of an Investment Bank, provided they have the skills and aptitude for their job. Needless to say, the higher you grow, the better the pay gets. Additionally, experience Investment Bankers can also move into Private Equity or Venture Capitalist Firms, which offer even better pay and more professional independence.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Private Equity Industry.


Working in an Investment Bank offers professionals with the opportunities to travel across the country as well as abroad for work purposes, primarily to negotiate deals and deliver presentations. This is an attractive proposition for people who like to travel and visit new places. However, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of travel you will be required to do varies across the profession; senior Investment Bankers travel much more than their junior counterparts.

Interacting with Intelligent People

Due to the high monetary benefits of this career, the best and the most intelligent finance professionals choose to work in an Investment Bank. This means that as an Investment Banker, you will get to regularly interact with skilled and intelligent individuals on a regular basis. This will help you grow both personally and professionally as well as make strong connections with highly competent individuals.

What is it like to work in an Investment Bank?

Long and Irregular Hours

Working as an Investment Banker involves sacrificing a lot of your personal and free time for work purposes. It is a common practice for Investment Bankers to work for very long hours and even put up ‘all nighters’ as and when required, which is often.

As a professional in this field, you will not be able to follow a fixed routine and your life will revolve around your work. You might be asked to report to work early in the morning, work till late at night and report to work early in the morning again. Leading such a lifestyle takes a toll on a person’s health as well as social relations. People who succeed in this profession are the ones who are driven to dedicate their life to their work and let everything else take a backseat.

Find out about the Top 7 Fixed Hours Careers.

Fast Paced, Stressful and Competitive

Investment Bankers lead very fast paced lives which involve constantly tackling new problems and obstacles to ensure that you meet all deadlines. The profession is stressful and there is a lot of competition between professionals within an Investment Bank as well as within different Investment Banks. You are always required to be on your toes and be performing up to your maximum. Professionals who succeed in this field are the ones who can deal with the fast paced and stressful nature of the job and keep their cool under all circumstances.

Responsibility and Accountability

Working in an Investment Bank generally involves taking up a lot of responsibility and being accountable towards your superiors and your clients. This is primarily because there is a lot of money at stake and your decisions play a huge role in determining whether your client benefits or not. The work involves focusing a lot on details which cannot be overlooked. A small mistake from your side can result in massive losses for the Investment Bank as well as for the client. People who succeed in this profession are the ones who are responsible towards their work and never take their job or career for granted.

Dealing with Clients

Investment Bankers are essentially required to safeguard the financial needs of their client at all times. This involves constantly dealing with clients and attending to their demands, which might often be unreasonable. For example, a client might ask you to prepare a report on a very short notice and deliver a presentation.

It becomes very difficult to say no as the clients of an Investment Bank are generally huge organizations and there are big deals at stake. An unhappy client can result in the deal not going through as well losing out on that client forever. Investment Bankers who become successful are the ones who always prioritize the client’s needs and are willing to deal with their demands, even if they are unreasonable.

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.