Corporate investment bankers, also referred to as investment bankers or institutional bankers, are employed by financial services companies, investment banks and funds, and private equity firms.
Corporate bankers are mainly involved in three core areas of investment banking. In corporate finance, bankers provide specialist expertise and advice on transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, buy-outs and buy-ins, and the issuing of bonds and stocks.
In equity capital markets, bankers raise capital by detailed research and analysis of equity products and markets, structuring new deals and assessing profitability and risks, and preparing financial and statistical models and reports.
In debt capital markets, they work in collaboration with financial institutions, banks and private venture capital funds to design and structure clients’ debt obligations, refinancing or restructuring existing arrangements and raising new debts.
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Salary & benefits
Corporate bankers receive very generous salaries right from the beginning of their careers. Trainee salaries are around £30,000 to £40,000, and most employers attract new talent by offering welcome bonuses in the range of £2,000 to £5,000.
Bankers with three years or more of experience can expect to earn around £50,000 and £100,000, while senior-level corporate bankers receive a base salary of £100,000 to £150,000.
Salary increments and annual bonuses are strongly driven by exceptional performances, with senior and experienced bankers receiving an annual package comprised of 15%-30% base salaries, and the rest comprised of bonuses and other quantifiable benefits.
Those in corporate banking careers should be prepared to work long and hard hours, irrespective of whether it is a working day, the weekend or a holiday.
The working atmosphere in an investment bank is pressure and stress-filled, with average working hours of 10-15 per day being the norm.
A great amount of emphasis is placed on closing deals within tight deadlines. Performance is demanded on a consistent basis, and the job is certainly no walk in the park!
Academic and qualitative requirements for corporate bankers are set at very high standards. Employers look for a consistent record of academic excellence, including a 2:1 or higher degree in any discipline, A and B grades at GCSE, and A-levels totalling around 340 UCAS points or more.
They also look for advanced levels of commercial awareness, outstanding quantitative, analytical and logical skills, creative and innovative thought processes, a meticulous working style with an orientation towards details and end-results, self-motivation, and the ability to work in teams across a variety of functions and locations.
Since most corporate deals are for clients with operations across the globe, candidates need to be flexible about travel within and outside of the country.
Training & progression
New graduate trainees begin their employment with a comprehensive induction programme, usually at the bank’s headquarters or an offsite location, attended by trainees from across the globe.
The induction programme is held over a period of a couple of months, with training delivered by experienced managers and external experts.
Upon completion of the induction, trainees return to their respective locations for an additional orientation and training within their assigned departments.
Trainees are also encouraged to complete relevant professional credentials, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification, and those administered by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the ICAEW.
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