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Investment Banking in India

Investment Banking

Much has been written about investment bankers — especially about how much money they make — but very little about what they do besides trying to collect big fees. Investment bankers identify joint venture partners, define acquisition strategy, structure and enter into joint venture agreements and successfully execute mergers and acquisitions (M&A). They also help to raise private equity capital. The art of investment banking lies in understanding the different nuances of each transaction and then tailoring your services based on your understanding of what your clients are trying to accomplish within the context of their organisation and industry and where they actually stand — much of which comes from experience. Investment bankers are thoroughly conversant with the accounting, financial and legal issues that impact business. They also have a good understanding of all business facets. Although a CA is equally qualified for the job, an MBA with specialisation in finance from a good B-school is what companies look at the entry level. A stint at a real job in a big industrial enterprise would also help, especially if you intend to become a so-called industry specialist. It also helps to have at least a notional understanding of the business you are trying to finance, buy, sell, or restructure. There are pros and cons to following the investment banking track. Most investment bankers feel that though the downside in terms of doing menial work at times for hours and hours cannot be exaggerated, the rigours of the i-banking analyst programme are part and parcel of ‘paying dues’. This essentially means that by investing two years of your youth where your life is not yours and you are on-call 24/7, you are networking for the future by interacting on a daily basis with people in the league of company CEOs. These people prove to be good connections in the future. Client exposure has always been a big selling point for young 20-somethings to enter analyst programmes. Barring IT, there are few entry-level positions where you could be so important when you are so young.