What is the role of an investment banking associate?
Typically, an investment banking associate is a newly graduated MBA or an analyst who has been promoted after three years within a firm. Associates normally stay in the role for three years before either advancing to VP level or leaving a firm.
Associates play the role of the ‘middleman’. On the one hand, they are responsible for meeting the demands of their boss and, on the other, they may also be held accountable for the analysts within their team.
Despite being a step-up from the position of analyst, investment banking associates still have to carry out a lot of the fundamental tasks. This includes creating and formatting slides, arranging client meetings and performing financial analysis. However, associates tend to produce much more complex financial models than analysts and bear the responsibility of more complicated challenges.
On top of this, they are expected to project manage their deal teams. This includes allocating jobs set by senior bankers, and ensuring analysts meet deadlines on time. To safeguard quality, associates are also in charge of checking analysts’ work. This not only means scrutinizing completed models and presentations, but also making sure that the analysts know what is expected of them in the first place.
Other duties comprise:
- recruitment (of analysts)
- client relations
- legal compliance
- meeting agendas
What to expect
As a general rule, associates can expect to be in the office working 65-75 hours a week, however this can vary depending on the workload or the firm itself. Much of this time will be spent on the phone trying to appease VP’s and directors while also chasing up analysts to get work done. There is an immense amount of pressure placed on investment banking associates, mainly because they are held accountable if anything goes wrong.
So, what’s the pay-off?
Investment bankers receive generous remuneration to compensate for the long hours and work they put in. Investment banking associates based in London receive an average salary of £75, 000, while those working in New York earn around $129,785 a year. Not only that, but it is a rewarding position which allows junior employees to have more of a direct impact on deals and face important clients.
Associates are one step away from progressing to a more senior position, which means it is an essential role for anyone interested in a long-term career in investment banking.
Have you read ‘Explained: Investment banking analyst‘ yet?