Just as banks operate at the hub of the global marketplace, investment bankers play a crucial role in structuring the financial deals that facilitate business operations and help keep the economy moving forward. These skilled professionals advise companies on issuing stock and configuring stock offerings. Individuals seeking the specialized financial knowledge required for a career as an investment banker may begin by enrolling in an MBA Finance degree program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in the securities, commodities and financial services category will grow by 11% from 2012 through 2022. As global markets increase levels of investment and baby boomers move into their retirement years, demand for investment bankers’ expertise is expected to grow. Individuals with a background in accounting, finance and economics, as well as industry certifications and advanced educational qualifications, such as an MBA in Finance, should have stronger prospects for securing one of these competitive positions.
Job duties of investment bankers revolve around connecting the businesses that need financing to the investors who will provide it in the form of bonds or stock. These professionals help private corporations go public by structuring initial public offerings, or IPOs. These offerings are subject to strict financial regulations and companies that undergo IPOs must meet stringent requirements.
Mergers and acquisitions are another specialty area of investment bankers. When companies are interested in becoming acquired or purchasing or merging with another firm, they seek the expertise of mergers and acquisitions experts. Investment bankers in this specialty advise clients on how best to structure a deal, analyze potential gains or losses and develop detailed agreements.
Much of an investment banker’s time is spent consulting with clients. Other daily tasks may include conducting research, maintaining data in spreadsheets and creating reports. Analyzing data and making recommendations are additional activities of investment bankers.
In addition, these professionals may spend time outside work meeting with current and prospective clients, and building industry relationships.
As of May 2013, the average annual salary for financial services sales agents nationwide was $102,510, with the top 25% of earners averaging almost $141,000, according to the BLS. Additionally, investment banking professionals often are paid commissions on the financial products they sell; success in sales can lead to higher salaries.
Recent bachelor’s degree graduates typically start out toward the lower end of the pay scale and boost their salary with additional experience and training.
It’s important for prospective students and job-seekers to conduct independent research as potential salaries, as well as employment opportunities, vary based on numerous factors, including a candidate’s education and experience.
Success in the investment banking field requires a high level of education and skill. Typically, employers will expect candidates to have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics or a related field. Entry-level positions usually involve on-the-job training. Individuals with advanced degrees may begin at the associate level and could have enhanced opportunities for promotion.
The road to becoming an investment banker can begin with enrolling in a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance degree program. Coursework typically includes portfolio analysis, financial markets and institutions, managerial accounting and investment management.
Employers should expect that graduates of MBA Finance degree programs are able to:
The prestigious nature of an investment banker’s job makes this a desirable and competitive field. If you have an aptitude for finance, outstanding communication skills, and sharp analytical and mathematical abilities, you may have what’s required to explore opportunities in the profession. Add in the knowledge you can gain from an MBA in Finance degree program, and you could be primed for a rewarding career as an investment banker.