Where could I be working?

Find out about the key teams at an investment bank – which one do you want to join?

Mergers and acquisitions

In a nutshell... Advice is given to clients involved in transactions where one business is purchasing another, or a part of another.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank can charge significant fees for the advice and assistance it provides.

What might analysts do? Mostly research and financial modelling, though you may get to liaise with clients to check the details of the deal.

Essential skill needed: Project management.

Working day: Unpredictable, with many very busy days and a few quieter ones.****

Other guises: Takeovers, LBOs, private equity, investment banking.

Asset management

In a nutshell... Managing large sums of money on behalf of clients such as pension funds with the aim of ensuring a good return for investors.

Why is this work important to the bank? Clients pay a fee, usually a proportion of the sum under management, for the services provided by the bank.

What might analysts do? Analysts will be given a small area to monitor for potential investments at first, and will gradually gain greater responsibility.

Essential skill needed: Inquisitive nature.

Working day: Varied. May occasionally be long.

Other guises: Fund management, investment management, wealth management.

Wealth management

In a nutshell... Advising high net worth individuals (those with £1 million or more of assets) on how to manage their money.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank charges fees for the services it provides in this area to clients, who may be key employees of significant corporate clients.

What might analysts do? Analysts could be assisting with technical research, or working directly with clients to understand their needs.

Essential skill needed: Ability to get on with people, and to explain complex financial concepts to nonspecialists.

Working day: Varied, may involve significant amounts of client entertainment, and being available if issues come up.

Other guises: Private wealth management, private banking.

Risk management

In a nutshell... Monitors the bank's exposure to credit, market or operational risk, and how best to protect the bank against these risks.

Why is this work important to the bank? If the bank failed to assess risk constantly, it could suffer losses of significant amounts of money, damage to its reputation, or even regulatory action.

What might analysts do? You might be involved in the creation of risk models, or dealing with situations where the bank find itself subject to an actual risk.

Essential skill needed: Confidence in your own judgement.

Working day: Varied, can be very long.

Other guises: Credit committee.

Corporate finance

In a nutshell... Assisting clients who want to raise money through a debt or equity capital markets issue, a bank loan, or in a combination of ways.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank can charge the client a proportion of the money raised in fees.

What might analysts do? Research into the markets and financial modelling are significant parts of the role.

Essential skill needed: Client knowledge - both to understand the financials, and to build a good relationship.

Working day: Unpredictable, and likely to be long.

Other guises: CorpFin, global banking, merchant banking, equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets (DCM), syndicated finance, structured finance, leveraged finance, LBOs, investment banking.

Sales

In a nutshell... Advising clients on what investments they should buy or sell. Can include investment structuring work.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank earns commission on every transaction arranged through its sales people.

What might analysts do? Analysts start by listening in to calls, but will soon be asking traders for prices, and dealing with clients themselves.

Essential skill needed: The ability to understand a product and sell it to the right client.

Working day: Sales people tend to start early but finish by around 5.30pm, except when they have clients to entertain.

Other guises: Global capital markets, brokerage, structuring.

Finance

In a nutshell... Monitors the bank's accounts and financial prospects, and authorises the release of money to be used in transactions

Why is this work important to the bank? It's crucial that banks monitor their financial position and their dealings to protect both themselves and their clients.

What might analysts do? Analysts could get involved in reviewing the bank's financial records, or might be liaising with other departments across the bank as they request funds.

Essential skill needed: Ability to conduct specialised financial analysis.

Working day: Usually regular - around 9am to 6pm.

Other guises: Treasury.

Operations

In a nutshell... Ensures that the bank's transactions and all its other processes run smoothly.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank would be unable to function effectively and generate revenue without it.

What might analysts do? Analysts might be checking trades, monitoring one or more of the bank's systems, or assisting clients with operational queries.

Essential skill needed: Ability to think logically.

Working day: Often a 9am to 6pm working day, but hours can be longer if issues come up, or if urgent work arises.

Other guises: Infrastructure, business services.

Trading

In a nutshell... Buying and selling securities and commodities on behalf of clients or for the bank in order to make a profit or to protect against risks.

Why is this work important to the bank? The bank earns commission on every trade made through it.

What might analysts do? Monitor markets, check that trades have been executed correctly, and eventually make trades of their own.

Essential skill needed: The ability to make a good decision quickly.

Working day: Closely dependent on market hours -

usually around 7am to 7pm.

Other guises: Global capital markets.

Research

In a nutshell... In-depth analysis of a particular financial product, industry sector, or region, and presentation of findings to other teams, or clients. May involve product structuring work.

Why is this work important to the bank? Research is needed by others across the bank to generate revenue. The findings of research teams may also be provided directly to clients.

What might analysts do? Will start out assisting with research, and as they progress will be given greater responsibility, and opportunities to work with clients.

Essential skill needed: Excellent analytical abilities.

Working day: Market hours - usually around 8am to 6pm.

Other guises: Global capital markets, structuring.

Compliance

In a nutshell... Ensures that the bank is in compliance with laws and regulation applicable to it, and also any corporate social responsibility policy it subscribes to.

Why is this work important to the bank? A bank needs to stay in compliance with legal, regulatory and CSR obligations to avoid incurring any regulatory censure, criminal prosecution, or damage to its reputation.

What might analysts do? Analysts might assist teams elsewhere in the bank on legal, regulatory or CSR matters, or be involved in researching incoming legal or regulatory changes.

Essential skill needed: Ability to pay very close attention to the detail of complex issues.

Working day: Often regular, but can be long on occasion.

Other guises: In-house legal team.

IT

In a nutshell... Constructs and monitors the IT systems needed by the rest of the bank to function, and also some for the use of clients.

Why is this work important to the bank? Bankers today rely heavily on technology to operate, and to access the information they need to stay ahead.

What might analysts do? Here you could get involved in designing a new system, or in speaking to another department about their IT needs.

Essential skill needed: Problem solving skills and creativity.

Working day: Usually a regular 9am to 6pm day, but hours may be longer when big deadlines are approaching.

Other guises: Technology

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