What is an investment banking analyst?
Many investment bankers start their careers as financial analysts. This is the entry-level position for graduates looking to break into investment banking and is a two-year long program, which begins in the late summer. If the analyst performs well this may extend to three years, and later to associate level.
Financial analysts are responsible for completing most of the ground-work, which is commonly yet unceremoniously referred to as ‘grunt work’. This has been coined so because they will spend a lot of time carrying out the more time-consuming tasks for associates. This includes putting together pitchbooks, completing analysis in Excel and even carrying out administrative tasks, like scheduling meetings. Nevertheless, their efforts and research also underpin important decision making.
Other duties comprise:
- managing virtual data
- developing relationships
- completing research
- building M&A models
What to expect
Being an investment banking analyst isn’t for the faint-hearted. Working hours can vary from around 70 to 90 hours a week depending on the firm, which means there is little time left for spending outside the office. To put it bluntly, work will be your life. While there are some quieter days, financial analysts can expect to be on call 24 hours-a-day, with some nights demanding an all-nighter. On top of this, many weekends will require time spent in the office.
So, what’s the pay-off? Why does a career in investment banking appeal to so many?
Firstly, remuneration is high. Typically, investment banking analysts can expect a starting salary of £50 to £60k in the UK and up to $100,000 in the US, with plenty of room for additional bonus (note: bulge-brackets tend to pay more than smaller boutiques). Not only that, but financial analysts will earn a great deal of valuable experience in the role by carrying out day-to-day tasks and from the professional development provided. This will help to set graduates up for a promising future, whether that continues to be in investment banking or another industry instead.
Find out what it takes to break into investment banking here.
Have you read “How to write the perfect investment banking resume“?