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Investment Banks offer a variety of services to their clients. They can work on behalf of Corporations, Governments and high net-worth individuals. Roles vary greatly between business units, but will include: investing, raising or managing capital on behalf of their clients through sales and trading activity on the financial markets, offering research and analysis on potential investment opportunities or offering advisory services and managing mergers and acquisitions. An Investment Banking graduate career can be highly rewarding for those that are willing to dedicate the time and effort to fully understand the industry.

Average Investment Banking Salary

Investment Banking Graduate Career Path

An Investment Banking graduate career can offer a variety of avenues, and this is dependent on both the organisation that you join, and the business area. Making sure you understand the different business units, and the types of positions available in each, is key. Quite often, graduates will be drawn to Front Office roles, as this is what they have seen and heard, when quite often their skill-set will be more suited to a Middle or Bank Office roles, which can still offer great levels of exposure and responsibility. Make sure you read up on all areas of Investment Banking before starting to apply, as quite often, you will only be able to make one application to each organisation; it is essential you choose the roles most suited to your skill-set.

Here, we outline potential career progression within an Investment Bank:

This is the title given to the most junior positions within investment banking.

Associate is the next level of progression. The work of an investment banking associate is similar to that of an analyst, with the only difference being that they should expect to serve as a liaison between senior and junior bankers. They may also be in charge of supervising analysts.

Assistant Vice President
Sometimes a high performing analyst will be rewarded with a more senior title but their responsibilities will remain the same.

Vice President
This is the step between junior and senior positions. They work with associates and analysts in order to maintain their performance. It is likely to take 3-4 years in order to progress into a higher position.

Senior Vice President/Director
The penultimate role before MD.

Managing Director/Partner:
This position is generally the top of the food chain in terms of Investment Banking. This is aimed at bringing in new clients and developing relationships with them. Networking here is key.

Qualifications and Skills Needed

What proportion of candidates as a percent we place into Investment Banking graduate careers and the typical qualities graduate employers look for.

GRB Placements for Investment Banking by Degree

Typical Candidate Attributes

Investment bankers generally welcome individuals from all academic disciplines. However they prefer individuals with banking, technical or IT degrees.

You would usually need to have a 2:1 or a first with relevant internship experience in order to become a considerable candidate.

Skills needed include:

  • Being able to learn quickly
  • Excellent numeracy skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm and motivation
  • Team player
  • The ability to learn quickly
  • Interested in finance
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Great attention to detail

Sources for Further Information

The Institute of Assessment Management:
Investment Management Association: