Investment banking is a lucrative job sector, although the streets around Canary Wharf or Wall Street are not paved with gold. Since the financial meltdown in 2009, when risky behaviour by the banking sector was largely blamed for the ensuing chaos, outrageous bonuses are mostly a thing of the past.
In 2007, bankers’ bonuses were around one-third of their annual pay packet, but by 2015, this figure had dropped to around one-fifth.These days, bankers can still expect bonuses, but the higher up the food chain you go, the more the cuts bite.
Salary and Bonus Expectations
A recent survey carried out by a London recruitment firm found that analysts working for a major bank in the City can expect to earn around £72k per year, a figure comprised of salary and bonus. This figure will rise to £202k in seven years. Not all banks offer the same compensation packages, however, so it is worth shopping around. JP Morgan pays analysts very well, but UBS pays its associates the most.
But, before you reach the point where you are comparing bonus payments, you need to secure that elusive first job as a junior analyst.To help you on your journey, here is a guide to getting a job in investment banking.
Whilst a demonstrable interest in finance, coupled with raw ambition will get you so far, without an appropriate education, you might not make it past the first hurdle. Recruiters look for candidates with a maths or economics degree. You may still score a place on a graduate training program with an arts degree, but you will need to show you can handle the maths element.
The earlier you show an interest in banking, the better.Look for work experience or internships while you are at university. This will give you a valuable introduction into the world of investment banking. It may put you off, or it may stoke the fires of ambition. Graduates who have relevant work experience or who have completed an internship are far more likely to be shortlisted for an interview.
Show an Interest in Finance
Start working on the CV early. Join relevant university societies and spend your spare time following the markets and trying out your skills. Open a demo account and trade currency or build a min share portfolio. Recruiters look for evidence that you are genuinely interested in working in investment banking.
You should include as many extracurricular activities as possible, although they don’t all need to be relevant to banking. If you coach a local sports team or you are an army cadet in your spare time, add it to your CV. It shows you are a well-rounded individual.
Lastly, don’t be shy about leveraging your connections.Investment banking is ferociously competitive. You will be up against thousands of graduates, some of whom will have degrees from the very best universities. If your uncle or a family friend works for JP Morgan, give them a call. Your peers will be doing the same!