Overview of Investment Banking in New York City
Investment Banking is a part of broad banking and finance-related activities related to the creation of wealth for institutions, individuals, government or corporates. An investment bank offers a lot of services to its clients. They employ professionals from top universities with an attitude to succeed.
Investment banking functions in New York can be classified as below:
- Public Offerings of Debt and Equity Securities: Investment banks help Companies in offering their shares or debt securities to the public. This could be either an initial public offering or further to IPO or they also help a large shareholder to cash out his position in the Company by selling shares to the public. They also help in the underwriting of securities by which if they are not able to sell the securities to the investors, they would buy them from the issuing company.
- Private Placement of Shares: Investment banks help Companies to raise capital by privately issuing securities to an individual/ institution or a group of individuals/institutions. Such privately placed securities do not require too many disclosures as compared to the public offering and often give higher returns to the investors.
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As): M&As is a major activity of most of the investment banks where they would help the Companies to work out a deal at a fair price. The investment Bankers will lead the M&A and find, facilitate, finance, negotiate the deal.
- Structured Finance/Securitization: Investment Banks help in the securitization process for various asset-backed securities like MBS, CDO, CDS, etc. They help in finding investors for securitized products.
- Risk Management: The investment banks help enterprises with risk management and provide service to hedge positions in interest rate swaps, Fx, options, futures, commodities, etc.
- Public Trading of Securities: Most investment banks publicly trade in securities. They may be brokers, dealers, market makers. The investment banks do not restrict their trading capabilities to stocks and fixed income but also trade in other securities like derivatives, commodities, securitized products, etc.
- Investment Research and Analysis: Investment banks provide research and analysis on equities, debt products or IPOs, M&As, etc. Their research can vary from a corporate action to a detailed analysis of the Company and its stock price.
Investment banks are at the center of finance. They are involved in some form or the other in each financial transaction.
Recruitment Process in Investment Banking in New York City
The recruitment by investment banks in New York City is of two types – On-campus and off-campus. The structure and procedures for the two types vary. On-Campus recruitment is when the companies visit the B-schools and hire candidates. It is more structured and the best way for candidates to get hired by Investment Banks.
- The first step will be to submit the resume.
- The investment banks in New York City will shortlist potential candidates and call for an interview.
- The interviews for all candidates will be scheduled on a day given by the University Placement committee.
- Typically, 1 or a team of 2-3 investment bankers will interview the candidates and grill them on various technical and soft skills.
- Potential candidates are then shortlisted for the next round.
- The next round called the “Superday” is the final round which may involve a series of interviews with the analysts, associates, VP, MD, or Director.
- In off-campus recruitment, it becomes difficult for candidates to get an interview call.
- The investment banks get thousands of resumes every day for job openings. Thus, the best way is to apply through an employee referral.
- Once the resume is shortlisted, investment banks will call for the first round of interviews which could be either face to face, telephonic, or video conferencing.
- Next, if the candidate is shortlisted after the first round he will be called for the final round which will be similar to ‘Superday’ process of on-campus recruitment. The candidate will have a series of interviews with bankers at each level.
- The recruitment process varies from Company to Company. The mentioned process is somewhat similar to that commonly observed between investment banks in New York City.
There are some traits an investment bank recruiter looks into the candidate. While college GPA and related courses are important but they do not help much in the interview. They highlight the candidates’ resume and help them get shortlisted for the investment banking interview.
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The interviewer is mostly an investment banker with years of experience. They look for people with a winning attitude along with knowledge about finance. The interviewers evaluate the candidate on various skills like leadership, technical skills, motivation to be an investment banker in New York, etc.
Culture of New York Investment Banks
Investment Bankers in New York work typically work for 80-100 hours per week. Sometimes they need to work on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of the times the employees only work on a cup of coffee and don’t get time to eat the proper meal. Most of their time is consumed by research. This is why the recruitment process of investment banks is gruelling and they try to find the right person for the job with the right motivation.
But personal motivation is not the only factor that keeps an employee go. The employees are motivated to take high risks for better performance. This is because their long-term and short-term goals are mapped to compensation and bonuses. Such an alignment of goals would make them take high risks for short-term profits.
Investment banking is one of the best paying industries in the market. The salaries vary with skills, knowledge, and experience.
As per one of the career portals, indeed.com – an average salary of an Investment banker in New York is $ 116,578 per annum with the range between $ 24000 – $ 280000.
Glassdoor based on a survey reports an average salary of investment bankers in New York of $ 97,145 with a range between $81000 and $114,000.
Source – Glassdoor
While investment banking in New York offers good compensation but the working conditions are stressful with long working hours, tight deadlines, and too much peer competition.
Thus, most of the people work for 3-4 years and look for the exit opportunity. An investment banker has the following exit opportunities:
- Private Equity – Private equity would require research and analysis of unlisted Companies, start-ups where one can invest privately and earn good returns for the investors.
- Hedge Funds – Hedge funds can be an opportunity for those who have worked on the trading desk and know in and out of trading strategies. However, the roles at hedge funds are more stressful as a huge loss would take your job right away.
- Consulting and Advisory – Consulting and advising is a big market and people working in the area are specialists in their domains. One can choose an area of his experience and knowledge and choose to advise big corporations on various decisions like raising funds, mergers and acquisitions, risk consulting, etc.
- Fintech – An investment banker with a solid technology background can look for Fin-tech Companies. These companies are different from regular banks but provide a wide range of banking services using technology.
- Personal Trading – One can use his trading knowledge and experience and start personal trading. While it is risky because the person is trading his own money without a full-time job but could be rewarding both in terms of satisfaction and money-making.
- Equity Research – Equity research is for people who like data, reporting, financial modeling and would like to research stocks and advise on buy/sell decisions. Such a job is lucrative as it has similar compensation but less working hour and less stress.
- Boutique Banks – A person, especially senior investment banking professionals can look for the boutique bank which provides a good work-life balance than investment banks with similar activities.
While investment banks are lucrative but they come with stressful, long working hours and risk-taking corporate cultures. It is not for everyone to be on their toes every time and make deals in tight deadlines. People should weigh the pros and cons before making a career in investment banking.
This has been a guide to Investment Banking in New York, their services offered, recruitment process, their culture, top Investment banks in New York City, salaries, and exit opportunities. You may also have a look at the following article for learning more about Investment Banking –