Top Skills You Need For Investment Banking

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By Lexie Brada

Before we get into any of the skills you need for these jobs, we need to talk about a pair of terms that you’ll hear very often in this article and in the hiring world, and if you don’t already know, make it a goal to add them to your vocabulary:

Hard Skills and Soft Skills.

A ‘hard skill’ vs a ‘soft skill’ is not talking about the theoretical difficultness of mastering these skills. Some hard skills can be very easy to learn and some soft skills can be incredibly difficult to master.

Rather, when one talks about ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’, they’re comparing the way you learn these skills, or how you get the knowledge.

Still confused? No worries, let’s break it down.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the qualifications on your resume that get your foot in the door. You can’t be born with a hard skill. Instead, hard skills are learned, either through work, education, or other training. Hard skills are also measurable. In fact, some interview processes can include testing of these skills, such as Excel or coding, so Hiring Managers can get a quantifiable evaluation of your skills.

The hard skills you’ll need are going to be specific toward your career field, since these skills encompass what you’ll be using in your day-to-day.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the skills that are much harder to define and harder to teach, but they are just as important in your career. If hard skills are what you’ll do, soft skills define how and how well you’ll do it. For example, say you’re highly skilled in Tableau, a data visualization tool used to present data and finding through visual representation. In order to best present insights to stakeholders and other teams, you will also need strong communication and storytelling skills.

The average person spends around 90,000 hours at their job, so you’ll be around your coworkers more than family. Having great soft skills not only makes you better at your job, but it also makes you an enjoyable person to work with, which means people will want to work with you and see you succeed. In fact, a LinkedIn survey shows that 57% of employers value soft skills over hard ones.

Another reason soft skills are valued is that they transfer easily from job to job. Companies may use a different development stack, a new mailing service, or even a different project management system, but being able to communicate and adapt under pressure will start adding value on day one.

Now that we know what a ‘hard skill’ and a ‘soft skill’ is, let’s take a look at what the job itself entails, which of these skills you’ll need, and some places to gain these skills.

Investment Banking

A Day in the Life

Investment Bankers essentially serve as the middleman between companies and potential investors. Investment bankers typically advise their clients and other companies on corporate-level transactions, which can range from mergers and acquisitions to equity issuances. Through these financial services, investment bankers hope to create strategies to raise capital and the economic worth of their clients. Some of their daily tasks include working with various departments to identify and pursue clients, reducing the amount of risk involved with financial transactions, and closing deals.

Work Responsibilities

  • Detailed Financial Modeling: construct and maintain complex financial models
  • Valuation Analyses: create and maintain precedent transactions, public trading comparables, and merger models
  • Marketing Materials: Prepare presentations, pitch books, teasers, confidential information memorandum, and other marketing materials
  • Client Interaction: Participate in all phases of the transaction process (including the initial pitch, client meetings during materials preparation, meetings with potential investors/buyers during marketing & due diligence, and helping to maintain the client relationship post-close)

Hard Skills

  • Data Analysis
  • Trendspotting in Financial Markets
  • Excel
  • Financial Acumen
  • Writing Skills
  • Technical Proficiency

Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-Solving
  • Organization Skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Multi-tasking
  • Project Management
  • Code Switching

Where you can get these hard skills:

Interested in exploring this job, the skills it takes to break into this career, or still looking for that perfect fit in the workforce? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you! 

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