information contained in this section is a quick overview of key features of
various “professional” jobs. This guide is by no means intended to be
exhaustive and largely represents personal opinions and experience of various
complex business lines (also known as the “sell side”) which, generally,
Finance (also known as “equity” side advisory). The “bread and butter” of the
investment banking business, providing advisory and execution services for
various transactions (e.g. M&A – mergers and acquisitions, LBOs, IPOs,
secondary equity issues) involving corporates, governments, funds and other
Structured Finance (other names: “debt” side). Provides advisory and execution
services (underwriting, raising, structuring) for debt financing mandates for corporates
and private equity funds seeking financing for acquisitions, debt
Trading. Distribution of new equity, debt and derivatives issues as well as
trading in existing financial products
Capital Markets (ECM) and Debt Capital Markets (DCM). Generally a joint venture
between Corporate Finance and Sales and Trading, focusing exclusively on the
marketing, execution and structuring of new equity or debt issues
Provides constant research coverage on general economics, listed companies as
well as specialised research on various debt or derivative instruments; it is
intended to provide an independent opinion, irrespective of the relationship
between the corporate and other business lines of the bank
Includes Equity sales and trading and Equity research. Although they are “rare birds”nowadays,
independent brokerage houses were quite popular in London. Also, in large houses, the
brokerage business is often run as a unit.
path: analyst (after university, typically 2-3 years), associate (sometimes
promoted from analysts or hired after MBA, generally 3-4 years), vice-president
(promoted from associate, generally 3-4 years), director, managing director
Finance divisions of investment banks are typically organised along
sector-specialised origination teams and transaction-specialised “execution”
teams (e.g. M&A, ECM, LBO), which work across sectors. The origination
teams are principally involved in marketing for new mandates and maintaining
client relationships. The execution teams are mainly responsible for running
the transactions, including all the “technical” aspects, i.e. due diligence,
valuation, information memorandum/ prospectus, offer, negotiations, etc. The
two teams generally work very closely together and for many banks, and
especially for European practices outside London, the separation is not effective.
A good corporate
financier needs both sets of skills. Possible career paths involve starting in
an execution team and moving to origination once the basic corporate finance
techniques and skills have been “mastered”, or starting directly in an
origination team (particularly for MBA graduates with natural selling skills)
development of stock markets and the investment community, the brokerage
business has developed specific services: equity research advice, sales and
trading, which were previously provided as a one-amalgamated-service.
- deals with the analysis of companies operations, market position and
financial results. The research provides investors with a comprehensive and
informed view on equities, and is an essential tool in their investment
decision-making process. An equity analyst needs an excellent understanding of
accounting and financial analysis, as well as specific company's operations
knowledge and in-depth sector knowledge.
responsible to provide investors with a regular update on newsflow and events
in the sector/region of interest. Sales represent the interface between
investors and equity analysts. A sales person needs a good understanding of
financial accounts, and vast general knowledge about various sectors, regions
and markets. As investors have become more sophisticated, equity analysts are
increasingly required to communicate directly with investors.
Trading - deals
with the technicalities of trading equities, settlement and payment and keeping
path: Assistant (undergraduate), Junior Analyst (post graduate with no work
experience), Analyst (post graduate with 1-2 years work experience), Associate
(postgraduate/ MBA with 3-4 years work experience), Vice-President (post
graduate with 4+ years work experience), Director (postgraduate with long work
experience, top survey rankings, and important work achievements, usually head
of a team or department), Managing Director.
Collection, Disbursements, e-banking, Cards
Investment instruments, Hedging, Market Research)
(Letter of Credit & Guarantee, Export/Import Documentary Collection,
Supplier Financing, Export Financing, Bills Avalisation Discounting)
Agencies based Financing
There are three functional
jobs product sales/origination, relationship management &risk management
path: It starts from Management Associate and it goes up to Senior VP/Risk
Manger or Managing Director.
is a relatively generic term that covers a wide spectrum of professional
services, but there are 4 large categories of consulting firms that account for
most of the revenues in the industry:
Providers of advise on strategy development and implementation mainly to large
corporations, but also to financial investors and governments. Differentiation
among firms is made by area of focus and range from: pure strategy advise to
implementation, operations etc. (e.g. McKinsey, Bain, AT Kearney). Some firms are specialist
consultants, usually with a strong focus on a particular industry and offering
a combination of management, operational and strategic advisory services (e.g. Booz
Allen & Hamilton).
Consultants – Most
firms focus on the design and integration of IT systems that support different
management processes. Some of the main players have also strong management
consulting groups. (e.g. all consulting arms of the Big 5, Accenture)
Consultants – Firms
provide technical advise to clients in areas that are typically non-core to
their main business. Most of this firms focus on particular industries:
constructions, manufacturing etc. (e.g. Mott McDonalds))
Professional services firms offering recruiting and organisational design
services. (e.g. Michael Page)
career path includes 4-5 levels starting with Analyst (undergraduates), Consultant
(typical post MBA), Manager and Partner.
international, reputable companies (e.g. Mc Kinsey, BCG, Bain etc) offer good
training for the young employees, mentoring and great assignments. In small and
medium, specialised companies, one usually goes to become a consultant after having
acquired industry specific experience.
environment: competitive, pressured by tight deadlines, lots of travelling.
The anecdote in
the industry is that a good consultant can figure out the solution to the
problem before the work starts.. The rest is a highly structured, fact
gathering and scenarios testing work.
success: the elevator test. Know your product so well that you can explain it clearly to your
client in 30 seconds (one elevator test).
two main business lines within Information Technology, “Hardware” (dealing with
physical computers and network equipment) and “Software” (dealing with the
information processed by the “Hardware”), each with several distinct career
paths. Based on the experience of the club members, we will focus on the “Software”
aspect. Usually in each sub-category you will find the classic Junior and
Senior positions. As I.T is heavily based on technology, experience is often
more important than the number of years in the field. Industry certification
(vendor dependent or not) is quite valued, as it is seen as a confirmation of
the claimed experience. The managerial positions appear in each sub-category.
Formal management training/MBA is usually required for senior management (Chief
Technical Officer/Chief Information Officer), backed up again by cross-domain
technical experience. Although a university degree is not required for Junior
positions, it is mandatory for most Senior and management ones.
are several sub-categories, each leading to specialization: system design, user
system management, email systems management, operating systems and server farm
administration, web server management. Some of the certifications in the area
are: Microsoft Certified System Engineer, Certified Novell Engineer, Sun
Certified Network Administrator, etc.
sub-categories, design and administration. It deals with networking equipment,
from cables and fiber optics to satellite communication equipment (the backbone
of any IT system); the most known certification is CISCO Certified Network
Administrator, due to the popularity of CISCO products
administration, analysis and development. Certifications from all major
vendors, like Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft
programming, business analysis, project management. It can be quite challenging
for your career due to the fast changes in programming language trends.
Certifications are both language and vendor based; some of the most popular are
related to web programming, Java and .Net.
Security: each of
the above-mentioned domains is found as a sub-category here, with three career
paths: design, implementation and audit. Top certifications: Certified
Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Information Systems
Auditor, and vendor-based from Checkpoint, ISS, etc.
Helpdesk: can be found as a sub-category in
each of the above-mentioned domains. Apart from the Junior/Senior positions,
the career path can go from First Level support to Second Level support to
Third Level support, etc., based on the level of technical expertise.
and Entrepreneurship Alternatives
Development Services: Market Research and Analysis, Market Development,
Promotion, Product Packaging Advice, Company Formation.
Marketing: Local Agency Representation, Direct Mailing, Sales Campaigns,
Advertising and PR.
Procurement, Logistics, Storage and Distribution, Import - Export Formalities,
Finance Alternatives, Banking Services, Corporate Solutions.