Critical Skills required in Investment Banking – II

Investment Banking

We are continuing our series on critical skills required in Investment Banking and focusing on how to bring attention to them in your resume and in an interview because we are all about getting you that job at Imarticus Learning. Your ability to research and spot an error will separate you from the herd.

Please go to Part 1 for Problem Solving Skills.

Attention to Detail.

And we are not talking about perfection here. Attention to details means being able to plummet 30,000 feet to land in the thick of the forest and make out the leaves. If you’re making a financial model, it’s ensuring that all your links are in order, but also understanding the impact of changing your terminal growth rate from 3% to 4% (that’s a high number so you should really think twice in the event you’re actually planning to do it). So it’s the ability to spot important things and articulate the impact. For instance, if you are doing preparing your client for due diligence, attention to detail would mean questioning a trend you don’t understand like inventory ageing that looks fine at first but gets messy when you start to ask questions. It would be looking at the documentation for 450 acres of land but finding only 443 acres clearly laid out in the documentation. What happened to the 7 acres? These are the things that can derail a transaction. ‘That’a lawyers job isn’t it?’, you ask. But an investment banker wears many hats and legalese and accounting are two very important ones.

How to demonstrate in your resume:

  • Choose a work situation where your attention to detail helped save a deal or get new business or solve a specific problem.
  • If you are a fresher, then talk about a research project where you were able to spot a trend that significantly improved your final product.

How to demonstrate in an interview

  • Expand on the above
  • Also choose an emerging story in the media, like the current PNB Nirav Modi scandal, and pick out an inconsistency that has not occurred to anyone else. Even if it has, it will show your ability to spot a trend and connect the dots using information.
  • Sometimes the interviewer might ask you a trick question and your attention to detail will enable you to spot it. So always take time when answering questions and do not assume the interviewer is always right.

Research

The holy grail of Investment Banking and Equity Research. Without research, we don’t get information that enables us to give solutions. You have to use all your analytical skills and attention to detail to ensure your research is effective. A good researcher uses his time wisely. In Investment Banking we aren’t writing a thesis and don’t have four years to procure our information. Therefore a good investment banker needs to be able to define the problem and project clearly to understand the scope and audience. There’s no need to find out why the company began in 1942 if all I have to do to is do a one-page profile.

How to demonstrate in your resume:

  • Showcase a report/project you did in a job or at university which required you establish the purpose, understand the audience and outline the scope. Make sure you point out examples where you were particularly resourceful when information was not forthcoming.

How to demonstrate in an interview:

  • Expand on the above
  • Always ask questions of the interviewer and mention the places where you would get information for facts you are assuming for the purpose of the interview. For instance, if you are valuing a private company, talk about how you would go to the ROC website for a companies tax returns. If you are talking about an industry, talk about your preferred sources of secondary research such as the industry association website and reports published by reputable consultancy firms like McKinsey and PWC.

 

Financial Analysis Program - EY

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