How to Become an Investment Banker after CA?

Change of career can be a decisive moment in a person’s career and is usually accompanied by many questions, fears, and doubts. Will it be worth it? How do I make the switch? What if it doesn’t work out? Don’t worry; we are here to clarify your doubts and answer all your questions regarding this giant leap in your career. We will help you chart out a roadmap to facilitate your entry into the world of Investment Banking and make this transition as smooth and hassle-free as it can be.

Why make the Switch?

Investment banking is usually considered a glamorous job, with excellent monetary compensation and unparalleled exposure to the nitty-gritty of the finance industry. Being one of the most sought-after jobs in the current times, people from various fields transition into Investment Banking jobs due to its appeal, including the Chartered Accountants. Chartered Accountancy is a well rewarding career in itself. The knowledge that the CAs have concerning taxation, IPOs, tax, law, to name a few, is an advantage for the shift into the role of an Investment Banker.  

Let’s begin by understanding the role of an Investment Banker

An Investment Banker is a finance professional who undertakes many responsibilities for a client. One of the main tasks includes raising capital for clients or firms by issuing or selling securities and issuing public bonds. They use their knowledge of the financial models to help clients with estimating the best price of these financial instruments. Taking into account the client’s risk appetite, they make the decisions regarding the financial instruments. They are involved in the Initial Public Offering(IPO) and ensure compliance with the financial decisions as directed by financial regulatory institutions of the country they are working in. To sum up, we can say that Investment Bankers help large companies or governments to make financially informed and sound decisions.  

Is Investment Banking a suitable career for you? 

This is a well-known fact that Investment Bankers pocket a large sum of money every month, but the money comes with adverse working hours. Although dynamic and growth-oriented, the role of an investment banker is accompanied by working in a stressful environment, especially in the early years. On the brighter side, besides the monetary benefits, you get great exposure and a steep learning curve. If you are someone who thrives in a competitive environment and can perform well in the most challenging situations, then Investment Banking can be your calling. Your efforts will be rewarded with a luxurious lifestyle and way above the average salary. With more experience, the compensation you get is higher than most professions. Investment Bankers with 10-19 years of work experience earn up to INR 30 LPA.

The difference between Chartered Accountancy and Investment Banking 

Chartered Accountants have many responsibilities, such as managing budgets, advising clients on tax planning, among several others. On the other hand, Investment Bankers’ main job includes raising capital for clients and analyzing financial data supporting capital generation. There are various similarities and differences between the two. Investment Banking requires thorough knowledge of financial modelling, financial projects, to name a few, among many other finance-related skills that the CAs usually lack. 

How can you make the jump from CA to Investment Banking?

There are many ways to enter into the world of Investment Banking. Some of which are listed below.

  1. Getting an MBA

MBA is the preferred choice for most individuals, including Chartered Accountants. It gives you a clear direction and platform for your foray into the Investment Banking world. It can be a good decision as it opens up doors for several other possibilities, and you can take your time and decide where your calling lies. 

        2. Courses on Investment Banking

There are many courses available online, which if you complete diligently, can prep you with the knowledge required to clear the interviews and perform well in your new role as an Investment Banker. Platforms like Zell Education can help make your transition smoother and worthier into the arena. 

         3. Network and apply online

If you feel you’re ready to take up the role right away, you can make use of professional platforms like LinkedIn to reach out to industry leaders in the field for guidance and apply online for positions that you’re interested in. The larger your network, the higher are your chances of getting employed as an Investment Banker in a good organization.

        4. Interning at an Investment Banking Firm

Many Investment Banking companies offer summer internships for students as well as graduates. Having work experience as an intern will increase your chances of getting a job as an Investment Banker, and you can even be offered a full-time opportunity at the company you intern at provided you do a fabulous job.

What skills do you need, to be an Investment Banker?

Investment Bankers are charismatic individuals, strategic thinkers, and avid problem solvers. Some soft skills along with technical skills required to venture into the world of Investment Banking are as follows-

  1. Mathematical skills

Mathematical skills are almost a necessity for Investment Bankers. The finance field in general and Investment Banking, in particular, involves a lot of math. You need to be good with numbers. 

  1. Communication skills

This job involves dealing with clients from different backgrounds, from company executives to high-ranking government officials. You can gauge by the nature of the job how much importance communication skills hold for an Investment Banker.

  1. Analytical skills

You have to be well versed with financial modelling techniques and Microsoft Office, particularly Excel and PowerPoint. 

  1. Discipline

You require a significant amount of patience and discipline to thrive in the pressurized environment of Investment Banking, where you are always on edge.

Comparison between the salaries of a CA and an Investment Banker

Investment Banking, any day, trumps Chartered Accountancy concerning compensation. The average base salary of a Chartered Accountant in India is INR 6.25 lpa compared to INR 11.9 lpa for an Investment Banker.  

FAQs

  1. Is it necessary to have an MBA to become an Investment Banker?

An MBA is not the only path to becoming an Investment Banker, although an MBA from a prestigious institute can boost your resume. Companies also recruit graduates from Business or finance-related degrees such as Economics and Accounting. You must have a strong foothold of the required knowledge for the job irrespective of your degree.

  1. What are the big four investment banks?

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, and Morgan Stanley are considered the big four investment banks. They offer great exposure and excellent compensation as compared to other companies, but at the same time, they have a rigorous selection procedure. 

  1. What are the different types of investment banking firms?

Investment banking firms can be classified into three broad categories: Bulge bracket banks, Middle-income banks, and Elite Boutique banks. 

We hope you have a pretty good idea about Investment Banking as a career choice and what it entails by now. It will help you make an informed decision regarding the paths to follow to venture into the field. Investment Banking is undoubtedly a lucrative career option and has vast potential in the coming future. Changing your career is a big decision and should be taken with a sound mind and after accumulating all the information possible. As with any other profession, it has its pros and cons. You must weigh your strengths and weakness against the job requirements and decide accordingly.  

A simple piece of advice from our side- Don’t let anyone or any article on the internet let you down or question your decisions. It is your life, and only you know yourself better than anybody else. 

The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at reachus@zelleducation.com.

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