3 Best Laptops For Investment Banking (2020)

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Winner
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED XA-7US5130SP 15" Thin Bezel Samsung UHD Amoled, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Samsung 16GB RAM, 512GB Intel 760P SSD, W10 Pro, RGB KB, 94W Ultra Slim Laptop
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Silver
Best Price
Newest HP Spectre x360 13t (10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7, 4K OLED, 16GB, 1TB SSD, Precision, WiFi 6, with Stylus, 2-in-1, B&O, 3 Years McAfee Security, Windows 10 PRO, Worldwide Warranty) Nightfall Black
Model
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED
Apple MacBook Pro 16
HP Spectre x360 13t
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent May 2020
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good May 2020
Test Result 9.4/10 Very Good May 2020
Manufacturer
Gigabyte
Apple
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
RAM
16 GB
16 GB
16 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Intel Core i7-9750H
10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB)
Amd Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics (4GB)
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.5 lbs.
4.3 lbs.
2.9 lbs.
Pros
  • OLED display with 4K resolution
  • Great performance
  • Good keyboard
  • Excellent coverage of the color range
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Strong processing
  • Practical touch bar
  • Compact and chic
  • Bright OLED display
  • Strong contrast and good color space coverage
  • Crisp, illuminated keypad
Cons
  • SSD could be bigger
  • SSD could be even faster
  • USB type C interfaces only
  • Battery life could be better
Recommended by us?
Winner
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED XA-7US5130SP 15" Thin Bezel Samsung UHD Amoled, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Samsung 16GB RAM, 512GB Intel 760P SSD, W10 Pro, RGB KB, 94W Ultra Slim Laptop
Model
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent May 2020
Manufacturer
Gigabyte
RAM
16 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB)
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.5 lbs.
Pros
  • OLED display with 4K resolution
  • Great performance
  • Good keyboard
  • Excellent coverage of the color range
Cons
  • SSD could be bigger
Recommended by us?
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Silver
Model
Apple MacBook Pro 16
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good May 2020
Manufacturer
Apple
RAM
16 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics Card
Amd Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics (4GB)
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.3 lbs.
Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Strong processing
  • Practical touch bar
Cons
  • SSD could be even faster
  • USB type C interfaces only
Recommended by us?
Best Price
Newest HP Spectre x360 13t (10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7, 4K OLED, 16GB, 1TB SSD, Precision, WiFi 6, with Stylus, 2-in-1, B&O, 3 Years McAfee Security, Windows 10 PRO, Worldwide Warranty) Nightfall Black
Model
HP Spectre x360 13t
Test Result
Test Result 9.4/10 Very Good May 2020
Manufacturer
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
RAM
16 GB
CPU
10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7
Graphics Card
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
1TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.9 lbs.
Pros
  • Compact and chic
  • Bright OLED display
  • Strong contrast and good color space coverage
  • Crisp, illuminated keypad
Cons
  • Battery life could be better
Recommended by us?

Finding the Best Laptops For Investment Banking

Millions of Deutsche Bank clients have only recently become aware again of the IT problems their institution is facing. The systems went on strike and there were double bookings. Deutsche Bank is by no means alone when it comes to IT breakdowns. In many cases, hundreds of old systems at the banks are still running alongside more modern solutions; the complexity is hardly manageable. In addition, new programming is constantly needed for regulation, mobile banking, but especially investment banking.

A day in the life of an investment banker

Against this background, it is hardly surprising that more and more banks are abandoning outsourcing and increasing their internal IT capacities in investment banking. The best example of this is once again Deutsche Bank. “Outsourcing clearly went too far, the balance was lost,” said Deutsche Bank IT boss Kim Hammonds, for example. Consequently, the career opportunities for IT experts in banks are brilliant. Being skilled in many programming languages and finance specific applications is mandatory for every investment banking recruit.

Therefore having the right equipment, like a Laptop which can handle finance and analytics applications is very important. It is your daily tool as an investment banker and you should not accept any compromises when it comes to your most important tool. We tested three of the best laptops for investment banking on the market.

Test Results: Best Laptops For Investment Banking

Ranking First: Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

Pros

  • OLED display with 4K resolution
  • Great performance
  • Good keyboard
  • Excellent coverage of the color range

Cons

  • SSD could be bigger

Best performance for a Investment Banking Laptop

Gigabyte relies on an aluminum case for its and thus saves a little weight. In general, the body appears very valuable and extremely stable – also in terms of workmanship there is hardly any reason for criticism. Merely the wrist-rest is a bit too sharp-edged and can cut unpleasantly, depending on your posture.

With its dimensions of 14 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches, it belongs to the 15.6 inch notebook range and weighs about 4.4 lbs. As with many Windows notebooks, this adds another 1.6 lbs for the power supply unit, so you have to carry a total weight of about 6 lbs.with you. Other notebooks, weighing around 4.8 lbs. and some only only 4.4 lbs total weight, prove that it can also be done more light.

The keyboard and touchpad are well made and provide excellent ease of use. However, there may be some users with large hands for whom the keys are a touch too small. As almost all higher priced notebooks, you can assign an RGB color to each key thanks to Fusion Engine. Even if the touchpad doesn’t have separate mouse buttons, it works precisely and triggers exactly. We found no reason for criticism here.

A Coffee Lake processor works inside the laptop with the Intel Core i7-9750H. The six-core works with a clock rate of 2.6 GHz as standard and can be clocked up to 4.5 GHz thanks to Turbo Boost. The integrated “Intel UHD 630” GPU is supported by an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 as a dedicated graphics card. This has 8 GByte VRAM – but the somewhat faster GDDR6 variant. In this respect, the fantastic display is not wasted a bit; of course, for example, a RTX 2080 Ti would be even better as a graphics driver. Nevertheless, the RTX 2070 is well suited for image and video applications. Only in Triple-A games will you have to do without high resolution and many details. But during analyst tasks on a typical investment banking day there are no games to be played anyway.

Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

In addition, there is 16 GByte RAM, which pleasantly supports working on photos, graphics and videos, so that you can also copy larger files into the memory for a short time without noticeably slowing down the notebook’s performance. If you wish, you can also upgrade the memory to up to 64 GByte. A 512 GByte Intel 760P-m.2 SSD is available for the system, programs and your own files. However, if you want to work on larger projects, you may quickly reach your limits here.

The Aero 15 OLED NA is impressive when it comes to connectivity. For connections, in addition to Bluetooth 5.0 and WLAN according to the 802.11ax standard, an RJ-45 interface is also available, which can be used to establish a 1 GBit connection – here Gigabyte relies on the “Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650” and “Killer Ethernet E2600” modules. For connecting external devices you will also find one Thunderbolt port, three USB A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and one USB C 3.2 Gen 1 port, which also supports DisplayPort in standard 1.4. Otherwise, you can connect an external monitor, beamer or television to the laptop using the HDMI 2.0 port. The notebook also has a UHS-II SD card reader and a webcam. The latter is not located in the upper edge of the display, but is located behind the keyboard in the device body and can be covered with a flap.

Fantastic display and good battery life

Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

Outstanding on the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED NA is the OLED display already mentioned in the type designation. It has a resolution of 4K, i.e. 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, at a refresh rate of 60 Hz, and also ensures first-class coverage of the color spaces we tested – such as: 100 percent sRGB and also 100 percent DCI-P3 and 96 percent AdobeRGB. These are figures that professional users value. We could measure the maximum brightness at 355 candelas per square meter. Thus, the display shines sufficiently for working outdoors. A checkerboard contrast of 204:1 rounds off the excellent test result.

Not surprisingly, the 4K OLED display, among other things, ensures that the battery life doesn’t stand out from the mass of creator or workstation laptops, but doesn’t spoil the test score of “good” in the end. More precisely, 7 hours 44 minutes in video mode and 4 hours 53 minutes in office mode are still in it.

Verdict: Best performance for an Investment Banking Laptop

In our test, the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED was convincing in all points and scored “Excellent” in every category. The 4K OLED display deserves special attention, as it excellently covers all color spaces we tested. However, the SSD should have been larger. Especially those who work on extensive video projects would have been happy about more storage space. But for regular financial analytics work in investment banking the Aero 15 OLED is our performance winner.

Ranking Second: Apple MacBook Pro 16

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Strong processing
  • Practical touch bar

Cons

  • SSD could be even faster
  • USB type C interfaces only
  • Price

Apple MacBook Pro 16: Great Laptop for Investment Bankers

Anyone looking for a powerful laptop for video editing, rendering processes, music production and graphic design, and intense financial analytics tool, as they are needed in investment banking, still needs to take a look at the pioneer of mobile editing computers: Apple. With the MacBook Pro 16, Apple has earned a well-deserved top spot in our Workstation and Creator laptop best list at the time of testing.

Turning a few set screws was already enough to eliminate various problems of the predecessors and to further improve important comfort features. Among the main factors that convinced us in the test are the improvements in the keyboard, cooling and performance.

Chic aluminum, better sound:

The MacBook comes in its familiar aluminum unibody and, as usual, is packed with the same great looks and feel. Apple’s new 16-inch display features narrower display bezels – but the enclosure is only a few millimetres larger than its 15.4-inch predecessor. With a total weight of around 4.3 lbs., the extra weight is hardly noticeable on the scales and in the backpack. The built-in sound system benefits from the larger chassis. Six loudspeakers, including woofer and Dolby Atmos certification, provide a really good, voluminous sound – which, in our experience, is rarely used, as most users will probably use headphones when out and about.

Some things were better in the past

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Finally, the keyboard returns to its best roots, as Apple was forced to say goodbye to its own butterfly keyboard and initiate the long awaited change to the good old scissor mechanism. The classic, but improved scissor switches offer a significantly longer stroke, a quiet stroke and are less prone to errors due to dust and dirt particles. In the past, Apple has had to struggle with problems here time and again and even had to set up a repair program.

The fact that the Escape, Touch ID Power Switch and arrow keys now also have more room for precise typing is just as noticeable in practice as the huge trackpad and the preserved touch bar. Despite the praise, the typing feel doesn’t come close to that of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme or Lenovo Yoga C940, though.

Apple MacBook Pro 16: Top performance, lean features

Performance is at the heart of every Apple MacBook Pro, and the top model stands out from its compact 13-inch siblings in the Pro and Air lines. Our test system relies on the Intel Core i9-9980H processor, which is accompanied by 16 GB RAM and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 GB VRAM. Thanks to improved cooling, Apple can better dissipate the heat generated by the processor and graphics card, which ensures that high performance is maintained over a longer period of time. Thus, nothing stands in the way of longer and more complex rendering processes up to the 4K range. But meanwhile, the competition with Windows 10 manages this very well. The MacBook Pro is only three out of eight performance benchmarks ahead of the competition.

Apple MacBook Pro 16

The relatively unspectacular transfer rate in the PCMark 8 Storage Benchmark is striking: This benchmark measures the pure speed of the mass storage during various read and write operations. The result is an average data throughput in megabytes per second. The higher this value is, the faster the mass memory can process read and write operations. And the faster video files are rendered and data is moved. For years, Apple was unparalleled in this area – but now the current MacBook Pro 16 has to settle for just 432MB/sec and ends up in the midfield. The much cheaper Schenker XMG Fusion 15, for example, works noticeably faster here with a very strong value of 612 MB/s.

What else you got?

Besides the potent duo of Intel CPU and AMD GPU, there is a WLAN ac and Bluetooth module as well as the already mentioned Touch-ID power button. The data is stored on a 512 GByte SSD – plenty of space for lots of 4K RAW files. Four USB type C ports with Thunderbolt protocol are available as interfaces. This can be quite impractical at times, for example many digital creators will probably have to rely on a CardReader and therefore have to use adapters that are sold by Apple at salted prices.

Apple MacBook Pro 16: Display with small weaknesses

The 16-inch retina display of the MacBook Pro features a high-resolution 3,072-by-1,920-pixel display, 98% coverage of the P3 color space, and a peak brightness of 508 cd/m². The checkerboard contrast of 190 to 1 is very good, but not the best value. The bottom line is that the screen is very good, but we find the MSI Prestige 15’s display, for example, even better.

Apple MacBook Pro 16: Overtime is no problem

Apple MacBook Pro 16

The MacBook Pro 16 also looks good on battery power. Thus, we measured a very good video battery life of 14:10 hours under MacOS and even in pure office mode, you can get along well with the MacBook Pro during the workday and even after work.

If you’re not afraid of the wrath of Tim Cook and are ready for any outrageous deeds, you install Windows 10 as OS and find soberly that the dedicated Radeon GPU is permanently in use. This greatly reduces battery life, even if you use MacBook Pro on Windows as an office laptop.

But if you’re looking for a powerful digital creator laptop and are familiar and happy with MacOS, you can safely access it and have a loyal and hard-working companion for years to come. Friends of Windows 10 should take a look at our alternative.

Verdict: Great Business Laptop for Investment Banker & Finance Professionals

Apple fully convinced us with the MacBook Pro 16 in our review. The notebook shines with an excellent performance, very good battery life as well as outstanding handling and workmanship and is thus an ideal and reliable work tool, especially in investment banking. However, Apple’s radical interface minimalism somewhat dampens the MacBook Pro 16’s high-flying in the equipment rating – other models in this price range offer considerably more comfort.

Ranking Third: HP Spectre x360 13t

HP Spectre x360 13t

Pros

  • Compact and chic
  • Bright OLED display
  • Strong contrast and good color space coverage
  • Crisp, illuminated keypad

Cons

  • Battery life could be better

HP Spectre x360 13t: Best price-performance ratio for an Investment Banking Laptop

With the HP Spectre x360 13t, HP refreshes its 13-inch convertible with Intel’s current Ice Lake generation Intel Core i7-1065G7. The configuration we tested includes 16 gigabytes of RAM and a large 1,024 gigabyte SSD. This is also connected to an Optane memory, which is supposed to get a speed advantage during program starts. In practice, however, the HP Spectre x360 13t doesn’t achieve particularly high data transfer rates in the PC Mark 8 suite, which focuses on everyday tasks. Nevertheless, the processor, and especially the integrated graphics unit, provide an overall very good performance.

Apart from the chic case, the OLED display is the HP Spectre x360 13t’s highlight. OLED displays can really shine, especially in the black level, as they offer a deep black. This is not converted from a backlight to a pale black, as is the case with other panel types, which is also reflected in the very good chessboard contrast of 210 to 1. The very even illumination with a white image is also worth mentioning: no differences in brightness can be found with 99.4 percent.

Another special feature is the maximum brightness: OLEDs are at a disadvantage in comparison to IPS panels in a purely white picture – the HP still offers a good brightness with 355 cd/m², though. In the VESA test with a pure black picture and a white area of 10 percent, the panel then scores with a maximum brightness of 450 cd/m². Thus, everything is in the green range here.

But we haven’t yet reached the end of the touch display’s advantages: Each display loses contrast values when viewed from the side. We measured when the contrast is only half as high as when viewed from the front. This is the case with classic IPS panels at about 30 to 40 degrees in each of the four directions. The display tested here goes beyond our measuring range in this measurement, so that even at 50 degrees in each direction, more than half the contrast is still available. Outstanding!

HP Spectre x360 13t

Enough of the advantages? Not quite: The display has an Ultra-HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) and offers a razor-sharp image. Moreover, with a colour space coverage of 100 percent of the DCI-P3 and sRGB colour spaces, the colours are vivid and the device is a boon to cineasts – as long as you can keep the reflections of the glossy display surface at bay with the position.

HP Spectre x360 13t: Extensive connections nicely packed

The case makes a noble and chic impression from the very first time you take it in your hand. It is not emphatically plain or simple – or even a simple aluminum block. Instead, it has milled edges that glow in silver to copper colors and offer a nice contrast to the dark blue shimmering, slightly roughened case. At the same time, the case has so many edges and bevelled corners that a designer could ponder it endlessly when introducing a product. And yet, it still appears discreet and not obtrusive, or even martial, but just special. There are also two advantages when it comes to the connections: The power button is placed in a bevelled corner at the back left, so it is easy to feel. One of the two USB-C ports is located on the other side, which gives enough lateral distance to other sockets.

You already know it from network connections that they can be opened to offer a flat case. HP also uses this trick in the Spectre 13 for a USB-A port. While this port is increasingly being eliminated in other devices, it is fortunately still present here – because as advantageous as USB-C may be, most users still use USB-A devices for the most part.

HP Spectre x360 13t

In total, the notebook thus offers 1x USB-A 3.0, 2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 and a micro-SD card reader. The included USB-C adapter offers further possibilities: HDMI, USB-A 2.0 and 3.0 and again USB-C.

Further features: An active stylus is included in the package, a slider on the side of the housing allows the webcam to be disconnected from the power supply and thus deactivated, authentication works via the fingerprint sensor or IR webcam and the keyboard is of course backlit.

HP Spectre x360 13t: The important key data for on the go

With its housing measurements of 12.08 x 7.66 x 0.67 inches, the device is positioned exactly in the middle of the premium test field. With a housing depth of just 7.66 inches, it is the smallest in this respect. This means it takes up about the space of a sheet of paper and with a weight of 2.9 lbs. it is just incredible light. The power supply weighs 0.6 lbs. including cable. HP has given the Spectre a 61 watt hour battery for sufficient battery life. The high-resolution, power-hungry display and the processor, however, take their toll on the battery life: The device lasts for just under 10 hours in pure video playback, a little over 6 hours in demanding surfing and the battery is empty after about 4.5 hours in productive use – also because the graphics chip can consume a lot of power due to its performance.

HP Spectre x360 13t

The battery’s quick charge function is pleasant: After 30 minutes of charging time, 51 percent of its capacity is available again.

The clickpad follows the case’s narrow depth: It is very wide at 4.4 inches and quite squat at 5 inches. Nevertheless, you can see that the manufacturer tried to make the clickpad as large as possible within the framework of the case stability. The keyboard shows the same tendency: it fills the space to the maximum and the stroke length is not limited to a minimum. Thus, the keyboard offers a pleasant stroke, a good counterpressure and in the test it conveyed a pleasant typing feel right from the start.

Verdict: Best price-performance ratio Laptop for Investment Banker & Finance Professionals

The HP Spectre x360 13t presents itself with rough edges in the test. The noble and extraordinary case accommodates an excellent OLED display and a large memory capacity. The input devices are very good and the connections are extensive, also thanks to the included adapter. While the device’s performance is still very good, the battery life suffers a bit from the graphic-strong processor and the touch display, which has an Ultra-HD resolution. In the video we show you important points in the premium notebook purchase. All in all the Spectre x360 13t wins our best price-performance ratio award, as you get all th performance you need for your daily tasks in investment banking while paying a fair price.

The hottest programming languages in Banking & Finance

NoSQL solutions on the advance

The handling of huge amounts of data, New Big Data, is a topic of the future. Unfortunately, the data volumes can hardly be handled with classic relational database models. “SQL – which is actually the query language – is actually just a series of two-dimensional tables arranged in a three-dimensional container with relational references,” explains Hans M. Mantell, a personnel consultant from Indigo Headhunters in Frankfurt who specialises in technology in finance. “That’s why NoSQL solutions such as the Hadoop Framework developed in Java are gaining in importance, which breaks with this tradition and, with the help of Google’s MapReduce algorithm, is able to process large volumes of data at high speed. This is an important approach to derive the desired insights from unstructured or partially structured data in a structured way”.

Statistics is great: R, MATLAB and SAS

The topic of Big Data also promotes statistical solutions such as R and MATLAB or tools from SAS. “These approaches were developed in a scientific context and are aimed at numerically identifying patterns and trends in larger data sets,” says Mantell.

IT headhunter Mark Dowsett of the Stamford Group in Zurich sees things in a similar way. “The applications in Big Data are something completely new”. That’s why specialists are needed for technologies from the statistical environment such as R, MATLAB, Hadoop or even SAS.

C++, C# and Python

“We see a certain development away from Java and towards C#,” continues Dowsett. Credit Suisse, for example, has made the strategic decision to carry out all new developments in C# only”. Experts for C# and the development environment .Net are therefore in demand. A few years ago, something like an FX trading system would have been programmed in Java on a Unix platform.

In many core banking systems, speed and availability are crucial. “Hardware-related programming languages such as C, C++, C# and Python dominate here,” Mantell adds. “Python is also an easy-to-read, syntactic code that can execute time-critical program parts in machine-oriented subroutines.” Another advantage is that Google also uses Python, adds Dowsett.

In the back-end area of banks, candidates who have already gained experience with similar core banking systems at other companies have advantages – quite different from those in the front-end. There, developers and UI/UX designers are sought who have already gained experience with user interfaces and customer journeys outside the banking world, e.g. at Amazon, says Mantell.

Java

When it comes to the spread of programming languages, Java is still in first place. According to the TIOBE index of June 2016, Java is in first place with a distribution of over 20 percent, ahead of C, C++, Python and C#-Sharp. But in banking, Java is rarely used for core tasks due to speed reasons. “Java plays a major role when it comes to developing cross-platform solutions for customers and these solutions have to run on smartphones or tablets, for example,” says the expert.

COBOL

The ancient language COBOL is still ranked 20th in the TIOBE index. There are also reasons for this. According to Mantell, many systems of banks and insurance companies would still rely on the language from the 1960s. This proves once again what organically grown and outdated solutions banks have to struggle with.

Conclusion

In order to be able to satisfy their hunger for IT staff in the long term, the banks would have to break new ground. The institutions would have to be more open to programmers whose appearance and approach might not fit into the classic banking environment. They must also be prepared to hire programmers who speak only English and their respective native language rather than other languages. “Many top executives simply do not attach importance to learning other languages as well,” comments Mantell.

Everyday life in Investment Banking

I got it. The company said yes, the contract is signed, the daily routine begins. There are two strands of work that structure this day-to-day life in an investment bank: first, the bank develops new ideas and presents them to its clients (pitching); second, the bankers carry out work within the framework of mandates that have already been won (deal execution).

Develop new ideas and execute mandates received? This is the much-acclaimed world of investment banking, the electrifying and fascinating crown of banking? Sounds as exciting as attending the annual meeting of insurance actuaries.

Not only spectacular transactions

It is high time to do away with a few prejudices and fill abstract concepts with life. Investment banking is not a breathtaking sequence of spectacular transactions, as is often claimed.

Investment banking is above all the careful development and meticulous cultivation of client relationships. Trust is the foundation, the many years of precise work for the client the catalyst for the very large mandates, for example in mergers and acquisitions.

Years of precision work

No CEO, no CFO will entrust an investment bank with a transaction that will decide the fate of his company and in which billions of dollars are at stake, if this investment bank has not proven in years of detailed work and consultation that the company’s trust in it is justified in every respect and at all times. And yet – another prejudice – it is not only the client’s contact with the so-called “rainmakers”, the managing directors of the investment bank, that counts.

Teamwork is the key to success in investment banking

On the contrary: a team of bankers of different seniority levels is put together to support each project, each client (for career levels in investment banking, see figure). How the team looks like depends on many variables: the amount of work involved, the necessary product and industry know-how, the knowledge of the conditions in a country or region. Teamwork determines the success or failure of a pitch and the quality of deal execution. That’s why even beginners at a very early stage – and of course this only applies to a limited extent to interns – bear a great deal of responsibility for the success of the team

The analyst is responsible for coordination and is therefore involved in all steps of a project. The field of work is as broad as the number of products in Investment Banking is large. This includes advising clients on strategic issues as well as on the various capital market products such as equities, bonds, derivatives and credit products, to name but a few. The analyst prepares the client presentations, researches and analyses the market in which the client operates. This is a major task, after all, the quality of the market analysis determines the quality of the advice, and this is a basis for winning an M&A mandate.

The M&A business

In the M&A business, the strategic analysis of the industrial sector or company positioning is complemented by the valuation of companies. Depending on the situation, the analyst “builds” different valuation models (discounted cash flow model, leveraged buy-out model, merger model) and calculates a price for a company or parts of a company using other valuation methods (company and transaction multiples, premium analysis).

Due diligence

If the bank advises a client on a company acquisition or merger, the analyst is also responsible for due diligence. Due Diligence means the precise examination of the economic strength and finances of a company. The analyst evaluates the data that the company provides to potential buyers in a protected data room; he or she coordinates Q&A sessions, attends management presentations and plant visits, meets with executives up to and including the CEO. In short, he collects and evaluates the information that forms the basis of the purchase decision. This gives newcomers deep insights into the “holy of holies” of companies at an early stage.

Tombstones – the Fifa trophies of the bankers

Analysts who advise a company over several years as part of a team acquire not only knowledge of the industry, but also extensive knowledge of economic topics. Ideally, the analyst is directly involved in the transformation of an entire market or industry. The highlight of such a transaction is then a Plexiglas stand with the data of the deal and the logo of the companies involved. These so-called tombstones are coveted trophies that show which transactions their owner was involved in. No top footballer could be more proud of the Fifa trophies he has won than an investment banker could be of the tombstones that adorn his desk.

Last but not least, the analyst is co-author of internal committee memoranda, IPO prospectuses or so-called fairness opinions for public takeovers. He observes the reports in the media, prepares documentation such as insider and working group lists and is the contact point for participating lawyers or auditors.

The working days in investment banking are long and intensive

A young professional does all this? When and how? Correct: Working hours in investment banking are long and the working days highly intensive. On the other hand, there are exciting tasks, a great deal of responsibility and salaries and bonuses that are still well above average, despite ongoing publicity campaigns.

Introductory training courses provide professional polish

A detailed introductory training course, which each analyst class undergoes in the first six to eight weeks of work, provides the technical polish. The training, which has a modular structure, conveys the most important basic knowledge or refreshes it:

  • Accounting, Finance and Capital Markets
  • financial modelling
  • Law and regulations concerning the work in an investment bank
  • PowerPoint, Excel and databases

The training is supplemented by orientation events for the individual product, industry and country groups. The groups compete internally to see who can attract the best new employees. The country groups, for example, are often interested in young bankers with special foreign language skills. At the orientation events, the newcomers meet the bank’s top managers on the one hand, but there is also room for a bit of fun and group dynamics in the form of competitions in the great outdoors or in good company in the ballroom.

Further education and training for investment bankers

Further training also spices up your career. So-called continuing education programs are offered to bankers at all hierarchical levels, while for analysts they are usually of a technical nature. As seniority increases, training is then provided for soft skills (one-day or multi-day programmes with such melodious names as “Managing Up- and Downwards”, “Diffcult Conversations”, “Negotiation Skills” etc.). Because knowledge on specialist topics or industrial sectors is developing rapidly, the departments and individual teams of an investment bank are also constantly training their employees.

Job rotation for further development

Finally, job rotation programs are an indispensable tool for a personal career. For the duration of usually one year, a banker switches to another product or industry group or goes to another region. The result is not only an exchange between different teams. Rather, the individual acquires new know-how and it is easier for him to specialize in a particular field in the long term.
So that’s it? Or is there life after investment banking?

And what comes after investment banking?

Once an investment banker, always an investment banker, they say. The truth is: for most people, leaving the profession during their active years is out of the question, the fascination of the industry is too great. But how long a banker remains loyal to investment banking is ultimately always an individual decision. Long working hours, high pressure to succeed, unusual weekends or holidays are the price that some people may not want to or are unable to pay throughout their working lives.

The life afterwards

It is also true that many investment bankers earn so well in the course of their career that they can retire earlier than others. They then devote themselves to interests that have been neglected in the course of their busy working lives. If you want to reorient yourself, a wide range of professional and work fields are open to you. A selection:

  • Private equity
  • Hedge funds
  • Corporate Finance Boutiques
  • Higher administrative functions within the Investment Bank
  • Related areas in other companies: Financial Planning, Investor Relations, Business Development
  • Advisory
  • Independent work

The knowledge and skills that someone acquires in the course of an investment banking career make them a highly sought-after manager in the business world. So anyone who wants to turn their back on investment banking at some point will have no difficulty in switching to another industry – despite the fact that the industry is still under heavy fire as a trigger for a global economic crisis.


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