A Day in the Life of an Investment Banker (With Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 26, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Building a career as an investment banker can be rewarding for people who enjoy math, economics, and finance. These professionals offer financial advice to clients on mergers and acquisitions, the stock market, and how to build wealth in capital markets. Understanding the daily duties of these professionals can help you decide if it's a viable career path for you. In this article, we discuss a day in the life of an investment banker, highlight their duties, describe their typical work environment, outline essential skills, and explain the benefits of this career.

Day in the life of an investment banker

Here's an overview of a typical day in the life of an investment banker:

Attending to correspondence

Investment bankers communicate regularly with banks, clients, insurance agencies, and other investment bankers. They spend most of their workday attending to e-mails and speaking on the phone. These professionals provide status reports, perform risk assessments with their team members, and discuss finances and investment portfolios with clients.

Related: How to Start an Investment Banking Career in 4 Steps

Researching market trends

A significant part of an investment banker's day involves researching various stock market trends to ensure they provide accurate and current information to their clients and other bankers. They typically monitor stock news and company websites to ensure they receive real-time notifications about market changes. An essential aspect of investment banking is risk management, involving research on liquidity, loans, business risks, foreign currency exchange, operational risks, investment risks, and legal and compliance risks. These professionals conduct regular research to learn about policy and regulation changes.

Related: What Does an Equity Researcher Do? (With Qualifications)

Attending meetings

Investment bankers usually spend hours each day attending meetings. They may use this time to discuss currency exchange rates, pitches, and presentations with other employees or meeting with clients to review negotiations involving sales, acquisitions, or bonds. Investment bankers may also schedule meetings with clients after regular office hours, such as on weekends or evenings, to accommodate the client's schedule.

For instance, in a day, an investment banker may attend two meetings with clients in the morning, then two meetings with team members in the afternoon. Then, they may schedule a meeting in the evening with a client who wasn't available during the day. These professionals also plan other activities, such as phone calls or market research, around these meetings.

Related: How to Get into Investment Banking in Canada: A Guide

Creating pitch books

These professionals create presentations, or pitch books, to attract new clients. With these pitch books, they explain to new clients how they can grow the client's investment traction and why their investment banking practice is the most successful. They usually use the results of their research to support their points during these presentations.

Investment bankers may also highlight examples from previous projects they've completed. They may also create presentations for their existing clients to show their portfolios, update them on recent transactions, provide insight into their recent investments, and inform them of the status of their investments and negotiations.

Related: 4 Steps for How to Become an Investment Banker (With FAQs)

Duties of an investment banker

These professionals help organizations and individuals raise capital by selling equity and issuing debt. They typically perform various duties, including:

  • planning and negotiating acquisitions, mergers, and other deals

  • referring potential investors to clients to help them build their pool of potential capital

  • reviewing the company's financial records before an initial public offering

  • pitching investment opportunities in an organization to potential investors

  • arranging an organization's structure for the sale of equity, bonds, and stock to raise capital

  • performing financial modelling to project a company's performance and profitability

  • researching market trends and investment opportunities to determine how they apply to their client's financial situation

Read more: What Does an Investment Banker Do? (And How to Become One)

Where do investment bankers work?

Investment bankers typically work in three primary sectors, namely:

  • Equity capital markets: Investment bankers in this field conduct extensive research of markets and products to advise clients on how much capital to raise, how to raise it, and where to receive the capital.

  • Corporate finance: These investment bankers specialize in raising clients' profitability, managing mergers and acquisitions, handling public offerings and lending, and protecting a company's market position.

  • Debt capital markets: Professionals in this field specialize in servicing debt obligations and typically work for privately and publicly owned companies, financial institutions, and agencies.

Essential skills for investment bankers

Here are some essential skills to ensure investment bankers perform their duties effectively:

Analytical skills

Investment bankers typically analyze a lot of data to identify the best opportunities for their clients. Information about the capital market changes regularly based on the prevailing economic climate. It's necessary for these professionals to remain updated on market information and investment news and use this information to identify viable investment opportunities.

Teamwork

Investment bankers work with other employees to conduct research, prepare presentations, create financial reports, and meet with clients. It's essential for them to collaborate effectively with others to create strategies that address the client's demands. Teamwork also includes sharing resources and data to ensure they maximize available investment opportunities.

Communication

Professionals in this field use their written and verbal communication skills when speaking with their employers, colleagues, and clients. For example, investment bankers usually explain investment concepts to clients who don't have the relevant technical knowledge. They also use their written communication skills to create presentations to attract new clients. Investment bankers typically use various communication channels to speak with their colleagues. It's necessary for them to understand how to use these channels to convey important information.

Time management

It's essential for investment bankers to have excellent time management skills to help them thrive in the fast-paced and unpredictable investment banking environment. For instance, these professionals may work late and long hours because of the rapid, constantly changing financial market. It's essential for them to understand how to structure their time to ensure they address all clients' demands. It may also be necessary for them to perform multiple tasks simultaneously or start a new project before concluding the initial one.

Benefits of being an investment banker

Working in investment banking offers various benefits, such as:

High earning potential

While the salary may vary based on industry, education, location, and organization, building a career in this field can be lucrative. You can also access employment benefits. For example, you may receive bonuses, commissions, and stock options. If you're seeking financial stability, a career as an investment banker provides opportunities for growth.

Related: How Much Do Investment Bankers Make?

Extensive networking

As an investment banker, you usually interact with company leaders across various industries. You can build professional and personal relationships with these industry leaders with your interpersonal skills. You can then use this extensive professional network to facilitate your career growth. For instance, an extensive network can help you find new job opportunities and provide references for you when seeking a promotion or applying for a new role.

Related: Why Is Networking Important? (With Benefits and Tips)

Professional development opportunities

The investment banking industry changes frequently to meet client needs as the market and economy fluctuate. The skills you learn at the beginning of your career may be relevant, but it may be necessary to learn new skills to ensure you keep up as the industry evolves. Investment banking can be an excellent career choice because it allows you to develop your knowledge and skills. This can help you remain engaged throughout your career and improve your overall job satisfaction.

Related: Learn about 13 Investment Companies in Canada to Work For

Working with driven individuals

Most individuals in this field typically want to succeed and work very hard to ensure they achieve their goals. This field also requires strong analytical capabilities and intelligence while requiring professionals to perform at a high level to ensure they maintain their competitive edge. As a result, this career offers you an opportunity to work with other highly motivated and driven individuals. This can motivate you to improve yourself to ensure you offer the best services to clients and can assist your colleagues.

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