CFA CFA General A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

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    • Zee Tan
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      A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

      By Sophie,  Regular Contributor .  Check out her  previous posts  to learn how to optimise your life and ace the CFA exams in 18 months, even with a full-time job. She can be found lurking (very…

      Read the full story here

    • Franz
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      Thank you very much for sharing, Sophie! I’ve always wondered about what it’s like in IB!

    • Sophie Macon
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      @Franz – my pleasure! What work area are you in at the moment, and is IB something you wanted to explore?

    • vincentt
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      @sophie do they accept only fresh grads?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Nope @vincentt – experienced hires too. Is this something you’re looking into?

    • vincentt
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      @sophie i think so as you mentioned that it would open doors to say equity research. Even irrelevant experience?

    • Sarah
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      I hope they offer generous amount of time for vacation given the long hours.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @sarah – I suppose we have ‘longer’ holidays in the UK, I had 22-25 I think then (+7 national holidays)

    • Franz
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      @sophie – I’m in the Audit & Assurance Group at one of the big 4. I love what I do, but I’m considering moving to finance.. I’m still not sure whether to do research or corp. finance (M&A, IPO, etc).. Is it true that they have high turnover rate there?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Franz – I guess you can say that about turnover, it does have lots of exit opportunities or people just get fed up of the hours… but if you like what you do currently, what aspect are you looking to change?

    • Franz
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      @Sophie – Well, I did a research report for a company back in my 4th year univ, and I kinda enjoyed it.. Sorry I have lots of questions, but where is the best city to have an IB career? I can’t choose between NY or London.. I’m in Canada now, and there aren’t many IB positions here..

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hehe no worries @Franz – there’s no apologizing here about questions 🙂 Best city in what sense? Lifestyle, career, weather? :)) It can be quite different!

    • matthewjf2
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      Given that two of my flat mates are M&A bankers (Analysts) – I really don’t know how you managed to complete a CFA on top of this. I’m working in AM, and I’m complaining I don’t have enough time to study!!! Where the hell did you find the time to sleep!?!?!! 😐

    • Sophie Macon
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      I know @matthewjf2 – don’t ask me. I don’t want to remember that painful period. Well I basically worked like crazy on weekdays, tell my colleagues I’m taking CFA and study weekends, luckily they are considerate most of the time..

    • AndrewKok
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      Hi @Sophie – I might be a little late on the comments here but I would like to ask about your opinion on the comparison of work hours between IB and Audit. Are they similar? Also, what advice would you have for someone who’s interested in IB/Corporate Finance work but can’t get in to any graduate programs? What would be their next best move to get in?

      Thanks!
      Andrew

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hey @AndrewKok‌ – welcome to the community 🙂

      Work hours differ from country to country, and it may be a culture thing. In Singapore I would expect both to be equally long, mainly due to culture. However, Audit is more predictable in terms of “busy period”, whereas IB’s schedule is dependent on deals where it’s harder to predict. 
      Are you in audit now? Do you have an accounting qualification? Tell us more about your background, experience etc …
      I think the skills in audit and CF are transferable, especially at a junior level. There are plenty of places that have a CF practice besides IBs, in fact audit firms normally have their CF practice too – an internal transfer may be an easier route if the job market is tough there. Let me know more about your situation before I suggest further.

    • AjFinance
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      @Sophie Great article as always, although I seem to notice it rather late. I’ve been taking a classroom training course on Financial Modeling which includes case studies and some sessions on M&A and PE. Although, I know PEs usually recruit straight out of B Schools, just wanted to know, how long does modeling skills and CFA Level 2 go in terms of getting recruited for such roles. (assuming a decent interview performance).

      Also, could you give an approx. of the percentage of time you spent on different functions within your role?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hey @Ajfinance, PEs also hire aggressively from banks. They normally prefer experienced, trained analysts who went through IB training since they are smaller establishments.

      It depends on the interviewer, and the competition really. Having modelling skills course and CFA do help, but if for example you’re up against an experienced candidate who have relevant work experience, they may choose the latter. It’s all quite hard to know as it’s different for each employer and region. The only way to find out yourself is keep going for loads of interviews and you’ll not only improve your interviewing skills (which to me is most important) and you’ll get there. 

      What do you mean the approx time of different functions of my role? What sort of function breakdowns are you looking for?

    • AjFinance
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      Thanks for replying @Sophie‌ . Let me rephrase it, I meant as an investment analyst, what job functions you covered and what usually was the most important function. By functions I mean working on deals, financial modeling, etc

    • Sophie Macon
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      Oh, thanks for clarifying @AjFinance‌ . There’s never a set % though.

      But if I have to guess a “typical” day, 50% pitching (means research, modelling etc whatever fact finding you need to do to complete a pitch deck on powerpoint), 30% follow up analysis (financial modelling, updating powerpoint presentation), 20% deals (although deals can involve some financial modelling but most of it is probably done upfront in the pitching phase).

      Deals can get more operational (meetings, note taking, organising logistics (yes!), reviewing legal documents with legal team, writing/reviewing press releases) although can be interesting if it comes with a fundraising element, where you work internally with your capital markets team to help coordinate a fundraising associated with an M&A event. There’s no “typical” day like I said. If you were put on 3 live deals, the % flips to 10% pitching, 60% deal work, 30% financial modelling, for example. Deal intensity also varies according to industry you’re working in, your client’s deadline, and whether any (or how many) regulatory approval is needed. 

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