Investment Banking is the most sought-after profile in the finance industry. This field has retained its status as one of the fastest-growing sectors in India with rising demand. Apart from being a high-demand profession, this career ensures a high growth trajectory. A professional in this career is expected to provide consultancy to their clients in all the aspects of financial domain by using their analytical, persuasive, and communication skills. This article serves as a beginner’s guide for someone planning to build a career in this field and recommends investment banking free courses available to kick-start their journey in this field.
What Is Investment Banking?
One of the important services a bank offers is taking deposits and lending money. But unlike a traditional banking service of taking deposits, investment banking provides numerous financial services to individuals, corporations, and governments. These services include helping a new firm with launching an IPO (Initial Public Offer), assisting companies with mergers and acquisitions(M&A), lending capital to firms to purchase assets called leveraged finance, and providing consultancy regarding the restructuring of the company so a business becomes more efficient in their operations and makes a maximum profit.
An investment banking service is majorly classified into ‘buy side’ or ‘sell side’ activity. Sell-side firms are institutions that are tasked with selling securities to investors. These investors are called buy-side firms which include mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance firms.
Types of Investment Banks
Investment Banking services are mainly provided by three types of banks. Bulge bracket banks form the largest forms of IB field. These banks operate around the world and are known for efficient investment and advisory services. Middle-market banks come second on the list that operates on a relatively smaller scale. Third comes boutique banks. These banks cater to regional and industry-specific clients.
Career As an Investment Banker in India
A career in investment banking involves helping corporations or governments raise funds to expand their business or finance large projects. Individuals aspiring to make a career in investment banking usually start by obtaining a degree in economics, business administration, or finance. Education in these fields provides the fundamental knowledge of how a large corporation or an economy manages their finance.
Having completed the necessary education, these graduates seek entry-level positions such as financial analysts or associates at a financial services firm that deals with investment and capital markets activities such as mergers and acquisitions, brokerages, etc. While working with these firms, these analysts get hands-on experience in financial transaction data, analysis techniques, industry standards, and capital market regulations.
With a fair amount of experience and some advanced formal training, a candidate moves up the ladder of becoming Vice President. This role involves managing a team of analysts or associates along with strategy formulations of deals, analyzing complex transactions, etc.
A candidate then advances to become a Managing director which focuses on client relationships management and provides consultancy to some of the complex deals keeping in mind the interest of all stakeholders involved in the process. Getting promoted to the level of the partner is the ultimate goal that an individual aspires for. A partner takes ownership of key decisions ensuring organizations keep making progress by successful closure of all deals without any deviations from firms’ policy and compliance.
Skills Required to Be a Successful Investment Banker
In general, a career in banking requires financial literacy but enrollment into investment banking free courses or any paid IB course is required to provide the below-given skillset.
Professionals opting for a career in IB are tasked with determining the worthiness of investment by their clients, so good financial knowledge and analytical abilities coupled with strong confidence in numbers are essential skills to succeed in this field.
When hired by a firm, they are expected to have to bring innovation to the table by suggesting ways to improve a process or new avenues of growth for the company. Hence, the capacity to think out of the box and recommend innovative ways of dealing with the task is an essential skill.
A client may not have a full understanding of the financial intricacies of the deal so it becomes important for a banker they communicate with clarity. Hence strong professional communication is an essential skill to thrive in this career.
By IT skills, we don’t mean having an understanding of any high-end coding language, instead, an IB professional must have familiarity with tools like Excel, PowerPoint, or ERP. A usual day in this profession involves working with a lot of data, project, and program management where Excel or similar application becomes a go-to tool.
Lastly, a career in IB involves dealing with a high-pressure environment, working for long hours, and tight deadlines. An attitude of bouncing back when things do not go right or a strong sense of personal resiliency is a desired skill to have.
Types of IB Jobs in India
At a high level, Investment Banker acts as a medium between an investor and an organization that wants to raise capital. Investors are usually referred ‘buy-side’ clients and organization which requires capital are referred to as ‘sell-side’ as they are selling a financial product called stocks, bonds, or a combination of both. IB working for the sell-side first collects all the necessary information about the company by going through the company’s financial statement.
Having understood the company’s financial status and the larger objective that it wants to achieve such as selling stocks, selling debt, and taking loans, they devise a strategy to raise capital. Upon finalizing the strategy Investment Bankers are required to find a prospective investor. Here sell side IB acts as a salesperson for the company that wants to raise capital.
Likewise, the buy-side also hires IB to assess the worthiness of the deal that the sell-side client is proposing to them. The IB collects a fee for their services from their client. Sometimes it also happens that IB itself becomes a buyer of the bonds or equity. Upon completion of investment banking free courses, a student may land one of the below job profiles.
Financial analysts are responsible for analyzing the financial performance of the company, industry, or sector. They are required to make recommendations based on their research. They are also responsible for guiding firms through mergers and acquisitions, developing public filings, and forecasting the growth of an industry or the price volatility of a stock.
Financial associates have strong knowledge of banking and loan services. Their key responsibilities involve providing consultancy on investment portfolios, retirement plans, and other financial products. They also assist clients with opening accounts, transferring money, and creating financial plans.
Portfolio analysts are tasked with analyzing a firm’s portfolio of stocks. Their analysis leads to making the firm-level decision of stock purchases or sales for long and day trading. They are also required to prepare monthly or quarterly reports of portfolios of stocks.
An equity analyst analyzes the performance of the company’s stock and makes recommendations based on their findings. They perform a thorough analysis of current market trends and go through the company’s financial information to determine the stock’s true value. They are also tasked with evaluating competitors’ financial information to identify potential purchases or mergers.
A Financial Planner’s job is to analyze a company’s finances closely to detect if there are any anomalies. These individuals are usually hired by large organizations where some of the key financial activities of the company are not directly handled by the company itself. These financial planners are expected to suggest strategies for business improvement, analyze cash flow and provide short and long-term financial projections of the company.
Corporate development professional manages Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) deals so a company raises capital without any hassle to fiancé such deals. While they are not IB per se, they work closely with IB professionals to devise a strategy that aligns with the company’s vision to achieve the overall objective of the firm.
Salary Scope and Structure of Investment Bankers in India
A career in the Investment Banking industry is known to be lucrative as it involves a hefty amount of bonus, tip, and overtime pay in addition to a regular salary. While the salary in this profession differs depending on the organization, expertise, and profile, the average base salary in India is INR 9.4L per annum. The average salary of a fresher with less than a year of experience is approximately INR 7L per annum and professionals with experience ranging from 5-9 years earn an annual salary of INR 15.5 LPA.
A senior professional in this field has an experience of 10-19 years, earning an annual package of INR 41.5L. The bonus component of the annual package ranges from 80-100% of fixed pay which mostly depends upon the overall company’s performance and individual performance as well. The annual package also depends on the location where an individual is employed.
This is because the demand for such work and the cost of living are different across cities in India. While most IB companies are located in tier-1 cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, salary also differs in these cities. Someone working in Mumbai where such professionals are in high demand, can earn 84% more than the national average pay. On the other hand, someone working in a city like Chennai gets 63% lower than the national average pay.
Other best courses:
- Investment Banking Courses in India
- Investment Banking Courses in Mumbai
- Investment Banking Courses in Hyderabad
List of Investment Banking Free Courses
Building a career in any field requires a fundamental understanding of the domain. A list of investment banking free courses is discussed below which gives one a bird’s eye view of various topics covered by different courses, suitable for participants having beginner and intermediate level understanding of this domain.
1. Investment Banking, offered by Great Learning
Investment banking free courses by Great Learning are designed to give a comprehensive understanding of IB. In This 1 hour of self-paced course, users will have an understanding of the below topics
- Various functions of IB such as Underwriting, Mergers, and Acquisitions (M&A), and financial restructuring.
- Different types of IB such as full-service banks, boutique banks, and global banks. The services provided by these banks vary based on whether the client is a small start-up or a large corporation.
- Building blocks of trade cycles and different stages of it. Understanding this topic is crucial as it helps determine which industries or companies are more likely to be profitable.
- Difference between Merchant Banking and Investment Banking.
This one of the investment banking free courses does not require any prerequisite and users will also get free lifetime access to the learning portal and a course completion certificate.
2. Investment Banks, offered by Yale Courses
This one of the 1 hours of investment banking free courses, available on YouTube, is offered by Professor Shiller from Yale and provides a beginner-level understanding. This course provides insight into IB from the eyes of consulting, commercial banking, and securities trading. Though this course does not provide any completion certificate, it is a good resource to get a theoretical understanding of the topics. Videos are divided into 8 chapters. These chapters start by first describing key elements of IB, its principles, and the culture and regulations in general. At the end of the course, Q&As are covered and some career guidance is also shared to get started in this field.
3. Investment Banking: Financial Analysis and Valuation, offered by Coursera
This 13-hour of online investment banking free courses, offered by the University of Illinois and hosted by Coursera, helps students build an intermediate-level understanding of IB. This course has two major parts. The first part focuses on the foundational elements of financial statements and ratio analysis. The second part focuses on the application of those understanding in the context of company valuation. This course has an overall 4 week of curriculum
- Week1: Financial Spreads & Adjustments
- Week2: Introduction to Valuation Analysis
- Week3: Comparable Precedent Transaction Analysis
- Week4: Discounted Cash Flows
At the end of each chapter, students get to work hands-on learning project which solidifies their understanding. Users will also get a shareable certificate upon completion of investment banking free courses.
4. The Complete Investment Banking Course 2023, offered by Udemy
This 13-hour bestseller paid course on Udemy has been taken up by 145K students worldwide and has got an average rating of 4.5. This course starts by building blocks of the history of IB and goes on to uncover some of the complex topics of Asset Management and Restructuring. At the end of the course, participants will have enough understanding of the below areas;
- Solid financial and business acumen, and financial model development.
- Detailed understanding of Initial Public Offering (IPO), drawing an IPO timetable, identifying successful M&A transactions, and rationale to go public.
- Detailed understanding of bond offering, drawing a bond offering timetable, the rationale to raise public debt and determinants of debt pricing
- Loan syndication and participation of the syndicate.
- Learn why companies buy other companies and different payment options in an M&A deal.
- Different ways to restructure a company and the essence of restructuring services and Asset Management Services.
- Calculate the company’s debt and equity costs.
- Understand the difference between IB and commercial banks.
- Difference between financial and corporate buyers.
- Be familiar with trading, brokerage, and the securities traded on the financial market.
The course starts with the basics and does not require to have prior understanding of any topic. After completing all the chapters and assignments successfully, participants will get a course completion certificate from Udemy. Often the courses offered on Udemy are not expensive but this course can be recommended over investment banking free courses as it goes into a detailed explanation of the topics.
5. Certified Investment Banking Operations Professional, offered by Imarticus Learning
Imarticus Learning is a well know institute that provides training in the field of Finance, Technology, Analytics, Marketing, and Management. This particular paid IB course is both a classroom and online-based training program of 150 hours. They have an industry-ready robust curriculum that covers vast topics as discussed below;
- Financial market Landscape, elements of the financial market, and different financial Instruments such as cash equities and fixed income, foreign exchange, money markets, and derivatives markets.
- Fundamentals of Tarde-Life-Cycle, frameworks regarding KYC and anti-money laundering, and processes involved in settlement and reconciliation.
- Regulatory frameworks applicable in the IB Domain and Fundamentals of Risk Management
Freshers (0-3 years) with a commerce and business management background are eligible to take this course. Apart from having a robust training curriculum, the institute also provides job readiness services such as interview preparation in the form of mock interviews, resume building, and placement assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Investment Banking Free Courses
FAQ’s on investment banking free courses
What educational background is required to get into an IB domain?
A career in Investment Banking requires someone to have fundamental financial literacy. A graduate of commerce is supposed to have a fundamental knowledge of banking, financial services, and Insurance than a non-commerce graduate. Having said that, it does not suggest in any way that only a commerce graduate can make it into the IB profession. A number of non-commerce graduates too take this path by first equipping themselves with all the necessary fundamentals of finance, economics, etc. Graduates of all the streams are encouraged to take up internships. These internships help with practical exposure such as understanding banking policies and regulations. Oftentimes non-commerce or even commerce grads apply for an MBA/PGDM course.
During this course of two years, they go through rigorous training where they learn about business administration, operations, finance, economics, etc. They also learn soft skills such as professional communication, business presentation, and persuasion skills. They also get the opportunity to work as interns for some time in a company where they get a real flavor of working for an IB firm. Given that fee of an MBA course might cost upward of INR 5 lakhs depending on the institute or university, one can also take the route of pursuing an investment banking-free course from a reputed institute. Apart from providing subject-specific training, these institutes also help in the area of soft skills, mock interviews, resume preparation, and placement assistance.
What is starting salary for an IB professional in India?
Starting salary, after taking up either paid or investment banking free courses, of an IB professional depends on many factors such as organization, experience, job profile, and location. An IB Analyst working in Bangalore with experience of less than or equal to 4 years can get a salary in the range of INR 2.3 Lakhs to INR 26 Lakhs with an annual average salary of INR 15 Lakh per annum.
Which companies hire IB professionals?
An IB professional helps corporations or governments raise funds to expand their business or finance large projects. So IB professionals are hired mostly by Venture Capital, Private Equity, Banking, IT Services, Consulting, Financial Services, and BPO. Having gained the fundamental knowledge with the help of these investment banking free courses a student can apply for companies such as Goldman Sachs, HSBC Group, Accenture, Wells Fargo, TCS, Infosys, Moody’s Analytics, JP Morgan Chase, State Street Corporations, Citicorp, etc.
Which skills are necessary to get an IB Job?
The most prominent skillset that an IB professional is supposed to have are Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Financial Analysis, and Financial Modelling. Investment banking free courses help with a fundamental understanding of some of these topics. Having these skill sets ensures that one remains updated with the changing requirements of the IB industry. Apart from these job-specific skills, one is also required to work extensively with project-specific data, so making sense of the given data and the ability to crunch the number in Excel becomes the most sought-after skills by a recruiter.
What are the Initial Jobs of an IB?
A fresher can expect a job profile of Research Analysts, Financial Analysts, or Senior Analysts. These analysts are responsible for analyzing the financial performance of the company, industry, or sector. They are required to make recommendations based on their research. They are also responsible for guiding firms through mergers and acquisitions, developing public filings, and forecasting the growth of an industry or the price volatility of a stock.