The Banking and Financial Services Industry (BSFI) is transforming, influenced by the increased focus on further improving the end user experience, and a whole new paradigm of offering digital services is on the rise across the industry. This change is not only the calling in the global scenario, but we can see the effects of this in our very own country, with the reform of ‘Digital India’. The financial sector plays a very vital role towards this endeavour, as this sector touches almost every citizen.
It is established that the biggest and the most impactful emerging trend in the financial sector, is the increased integration of technology and data, with financial services and products. It will be expected, in the year 2018 from most financial job seekers, as well as for people already associated with the BSFI sector to be technologically savvy. So that they can add value to their roles by using technical tools and easily integrating with analytical platforms to make informed financial decisions. Keeping in line with this, roles such as the Financial Analyst or Business Analyst will be high in demand in this sector.
The skills that are in demand in 2018 for the financial sector are not very different from what was expected in 2017.
Financial Analyst (FA), Financial Modelling and Valuation, Chartered Financial Analyst, are skills and designations that still continue to be at the top of the list. Skills in working with the accounting and banking software are also highly desirable, so job titles with expertise in, Wealth and Investment Management, Investment Banking Operations, stay in demand.
In the year 2018 one can see a slightly increased demand for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) position. Definitely the new skill, even according to the ‘Option Group’, the recruitment firm for Wall Street, over a global platform is, increased activity of hiring of candidates with technological know-how specifically on the sell side in the US.
On the Buy-Side also financial endeavours integrating with technology see a rise in hiring, like, electronic markets, Risk Management etc…,
Data Analytics skill set is the hottest skill in the financial sector, especially while dealing with direct customers. If you want to give them a better and richer experience, it is important that the firm has knowledge of the customer, they should understand the customer in a way that they can predict their requirement and provide unique solutions. The good news is that with the integration of technology, the banks through various digital channels are able to get loads of information about their end users. The key is, how the financial sector leverages this knowledge, how to use this data to get relevant insights, how to interpret this data. hence jobs pertaining to this skill will be high in demand.
In India especially due to the introduction of new reforms and taxations, demanding a transparency, will not only lead to digital transactions but will also need expertise in financial research capabilities. From a recruitment point of view, there will definitely be a rise in hiring curve, specifically in the BSFI sector due to rapid digitization and changing regulations.
So, Are you planning to make a career in the finance sector? Look no further – join us now
The major investment banks perform numerous transactions every day across national and international markets. The investment banking transaction could be varied in nature from huge mergers and acquisitions to derivatives, commodities, basically, deals of many natures. Now imagine how is this possible? Or was this possible for investment banks to conduct their business in this form, say a decade or two ago? Not really, for investment banks to function like this, they need to have a strong IT support, right from the front end support, like in sales and trading applications, quantitative analytics and risk analysis support to data warehousing, settlement, and position keeping systems.
For investment banks to thrive, especially in a global landscape, would need details like value at risk for portfolio, and information of global markets, and this information has to be valuable, accurate and in real time. It is established that the availability of this information is only possible with appropriate IT intervention. Especially things such as value at risk can only be calculated using statistical tools and historical evaluation over a period of time.
Information technology thus becomes an enabler for investment banks in conducting their business more efficiently, from within the bank. The objective of this department is to enable the bank function in an optimal way using technology, and to provide smarter and futuristic solutions. The function of the IT applications used in investment banking either integrate with the legacy technology or are built on new platforms which are user friendly, fast, flexible and automated.
An investment bank, to function at par with global standards and meeting client and customer expectations, needs to adapt smart technology. Effortless and efficient front and back end IT systems, risk management systems, multiple trading platforms are some of the major technological advancements being used by investment banks for effortless functioning. If one is part of the investment banking industry or the financial sector on the whole, they will use technology at every level, maybe the impact will change but the technological exposure will be there for sure. From as elementary to using excel, word and databases for managing client information, using power point for presentations, to using and managing information tools to compile the financial reports.
It is not only in the daily functioning, but also to match the volatile nature of global markets, there is a constant need to develop new financial products and make changes in the investment flows. The IT departments of any investment bank have to keep up with this demand and be innovative in providing solutions. So they not only need to keep up with the technical requirements of the investment banks but also the business needs and come up with innovative solutions on how to integrate them both.
Investment banks are in the need of building an IT leadership that has clear communication skills, a great technological vision, and the ability to blend well with the business need along with good global governance. Investment banks have realised the importance of change management, and opening up doors to embrace technology, perhaps building a strong coalition from executives to the leadership, with the endeavour to embrace digital capabilities.
The investment banks of tomorrow will successfully build a team that reduces operation dependency from archaic legacy solutions to effective IT structures while reducing the cost base to create financial incentives for transformation.
It may seem that there has been a certain disequilibrium set to motion in the sphere of financial services in general and Investment Banks in specific. While although a new year is bound to bring about new and encouraging changes, it seems to have dimmed those aforementioned possibilities for the world of Investment.
It all began with the “Waterline Project”, which is considered to be a cost cutting initiative of Nomura. The CEO, Koji Nagai Nagai, gave out a statement saying, “The waterline on a warship will rise a centimeter each year if the crew brings excess baggage. Before you know it, the ship would sink.” It has been announced that Nomura will begin ‘trimming’ the staff, which it proposed to do by cutting about 900 heads, beginning April 2016. The said cost cutting has a focus on getting more and more out of the existing employees, in terms of productivity. It would involve overseeing the work passed on to subordinates, by their heads. While on the other hand, the relevance and importance of certain tasks and reports will also be reviewed. Nagai was of the opinion that, “to be honest, this company can do so much to control costs. There will be resistance.”
Another investment banking firm, Credit Suisse, has seemingly taken a similar route. It has already slashed down about 1800 London heads, in the year 2016. According to a report by Financial News, it has reportedly asked all of its employees, that they must pay for their own mobile phones. It is believed that Credit Suisse is bound to cut CHF4.3 billion by the year 2018 and in this process, it seems every little bit helps. Many believed that this year would have things looking in the positive, mainly owing to a couple of good quarters, but it so happens that disappointment is the order of the day. The silver lining here possibly seems to be the fact that 2016 saw fewer job cuts as compared to any other year. Investment pundits believe that banks are on their way to use technology, in order to chip away at the trading floor. It may seem that the glory days are probably breathing their last.
Daniel Pinto, the CEO of JP Morgan’s Investment Bank, stated that he believes they are down by 1% on 2015. The fixed income revenues, which have been tumbling for quite some time now, have seemingly found their base, this past year. Banking Corporations have already begun to allocate lesser resources and staff to their investment banks. This is a telling sign that any rebound in the revenues, is bound to have far less impact on the overall picture, as compared to what it used to in the year 2007.
Meanwhile, the other news snippets on the Investment Bank front include, the surprising fact that Jamie Dimon, happened to be the only bank CEO to buy company stock in 2016. Hedge Fund paychecks have a stark contrast when it comes to paying their Data Scientists as opposed to their Portfolio Managers. While on the bright side, Mergers and Acquisitions are bound to boom this year, especially with Goldman Sachs topping the M&A league this year.
Loved this blog? Read these similar blogs as well:
By Jigna Shah
The potential loss resulting from unforeseen changes in interest rates which can change profitability of a bank is known as interest rate risk.
Types of Interest rate risk:
• Spread Risk (reinvestment rate risk): The change in banks cost of funds as well as the return on their invested assets due to the result of variations in interest rates is termed as Spread Risk. They may or may not change by different amounts.
• Price Risk: The change in market value of banks assets and liabilities by different amounts/ratios due to change in interest rates in known as price risk. The longer the duration, the higher will the impact on value for a given change in interest rate.
Measuring IRR with Gap analysis
As the name indicates, it refers to comparing actual performance to its expected performance. By careful analysis of these gap, the company can effectively create a realistic action plan to address the breaks and thus improve the performance.
The impact of IRR
Interest rate risk can affect in two ways:
The most immediate impact would be on Net Interest Income (NII). However, if interest rates continue to change for a longer duration the long term impact would be on bank’s balance sheet. As a result, it will influence bank’s net worth, assets, liabilities and its off-balance sheet positions due to changes in interest rate levels.
As, NII is directly dependent on the patterns of interest rates, any mismatches in cash flow debunks NII vulnerability to the interest rate variations.
With this, the earning of assets and the cost of liabilities are carefully linked to volatility in market interest rate.
There are two ways in which we can view interest rate risks:
• Earnings perspective: Under this method, the difference between net interest income and interest expense is measured. This sensitivity analysis further extends GAP analysis to include changes in bank earnings due to variations in interest rates and balance sheet structure.
• Economic Value perspective: With this approach, analysis is carried out to compute the impact of interest rates on banks net worth. This is calculated by expected cash flows on assets less expected cash flows on liabilities plus the net cash flows on off-balance sheet items. This perspective classifies risk arising from interest rate gaps in the long term. Also, the net change in economic value is usually expressed as a percentage of assets.
To simplify it, this perspective thrives on gap analysis. The process involves grouping assets and liabilities on the basis of their maturity period. Say for example, 1m, 2m and so on. For each duration, you identify the gap by deducting liabilities value from assets value. If the gap is negative, it depicts that banks are more vulnerable to interest rates.
A slightly more complicated process, normally adapted by regulatory authorities is a more complicated version of gap analysis. The process starts with computing the change in the values of assets and liabilities within each time duration for a change in interest rate. The next step would be to find out the total difference between the two. This indicates the loss banks have to face if interest rates go against the expectations.
Why Banks can’t afford to miss IRR?
Since, IRR can have a negative impact on bank’s net worth and earning over the long term, Banks can take several steps to mitigate IRR.
With the prominence and availability of sophisticated technology, banks can measure Interest rate risks on real time basis. They can also enter into financial contracts (IRS and other strategies) to pass on the IRR to the party who can manage it. It is very important to compute risk-returns trade-offs. Banks should be able to receive acceptable returns for the risks they incur.
Imarticus Learning organising a Hands-On Modeling for Market Risk Management executive development program on 24th and 25th October, 2016 in Mumbai, To register visit https://imarticus.org/market-risk-modeling
Follow Us On Social Media
by Zenobia Sethna.
More women than men start out in Financial Services but, as they progress, the majority fall out, especially at middle management level, when other priorities like family and kids beckon. This leaves almost all of the top jobs in the hands of men. According to a PWC global report in 2013, women comprise nearly 60% of employees in the financial services industry, but only 19% progress through the leadership ranks to senior level roles. The few that do break through and assume senior leadership positions usually take the firm to new heights of success. Meet the top three most influential women that are at the helm of India’s leading banks.
Arundhati is Chair-managing director of one of the Big Four banks of India, State Bank of India, and listed as the 30th Most Powerful Woman in the world by Forbes in 2015. Arundhati has been with SBI for over 4 decades, and her loyal services was rewarded when SBI made her the youngest and the first female chairperson She also introduced a two-year sabbatical policy for women in the company, which will help women at SBI have a better work life balance. A true role model for all.
Wise Words: The greatest lesson I have learnt is that you have to create a good reputation for yourself for people to appreciate you.
CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar is one of the success pillars of the retail business of the bank in India. Under her watchful eye, ICICI Bank has grown in scale and has won numerous awards including Best Retail Bank in India, thanks in no small part to the many initiatives she has taken to simplify and diversify banking. Forbes listed Chanda Kochhar as 35th most powerful women in the word in 2015. She has been with for ICICI Bank for 30 years and has proved herself as a strong leader not just in India, but also globally.
Wise Words: I chose to be a working wife and mother. Why should I compromise on either?
Shikha is CEO and Managing Director of India’s largest bank (assets) in the private sector, Axis Bank. With more than three decades of experience in the financial sector, she has worked for big institutions including ICICI Bank and JP Morgan & Co. As Shikha joined Axis Bank in 2009, the bank’s stock upsurged by 90% and its assets grew by 30% in the financial year 2012-13. A leader adept at dealing with change, she has focused on transforming Axis Bank into a bank with strengths across a wide range of Corporate and Retail Banking products.
Wise Words: You should do things that you believe in. There has to be a fine balance between listening to people and taking decisions.
When we talk about capital markets, one of the most important feature that I can think of is of ‘Capital Raising’ – after all most of the companies do need capital to invest for their long term prospects. Companies can raise it by issuing two types of instruments – Equities and Bonds, as learned in financial analyst course.
The issuance is done via a process called Initial Public Offer. As part of the process, companies need to prepare a document called a Prospectus.
A prospectus is a legal document (filed with the regulator of the respective country) that is an invitation to the general public to buy securities from the company. As a document, it contains a lot of information about the company – from the history to its present – including the reason for raising capital. In other words, the main aim for such a document is to help all potential investors in making an informed investment decision on whether they should or shouldn’t invest in the company. Prospectus’ are generally very lengthy as they need to contain all the requisite information (can run into 700+ pages).
Some of the main sections of a prospectus include:
- Product/Services of the company
- Its financials (assets, liabilities etc.)
- Goals & business plans
- Risks that the business faces
- Competitors of the firm and their impact
- Other factors in the economy that will impact the firm
Golden rules for prospectus preparation
- Only the true nature of the company businesses should be disclosed
- Strict and specific accuracy shall be maintained throughout the document
- In addition to other mandatory disclosures, the company should voluntarily disclose any info that it deems to be
a fair representation of itself
In case there have identified any misstatements during the invitation to the public, the directors of the company, promoters and people authorized in issuing the prospectus will be liable to punishments/penalties and fines (all three if you ‘really’ lucky). There have been many lawsuits that have been brought by the Registrar of companies incase companies have not utilized or mis-utilized any of the proceeds from the IPO .(http://corporatelawreporter.com/2013/02/25/importance-prospectus-tool-investor-protection-india/)
There are two main types of prospectuses, as learned in certification courses in finance.
- The preliminary prospectus is the first offering document provided by a securities issuer. Some lettering on the front cover is printed in red, which results in the use of the nickname “red herring” for this document
- The final prospectus is printed after the deal has been made effective and can be offered for sale, and supersedes the preliminary prospectus. It contains finalized background information including such details as the exact number of shares/certificates issued and the precise offering price
Let’s now look at a recent IPO (Interglobe Aviation Limited) and review a bit of the information provided
- At the start, they have provided the date on which the company was formed (Jan 13, 2004) and the date on which they renamed themselves
- The IPO will help them raise capital with a value of Rs 1,272.20crs and additional sale of 26,112,000 equity shares by the promoters
- Refer to the risks of the issue, general risks and the responsibility of the company in the issue
- The Global book runners and lead managers of the issue (Citi Global Markets, JPM India, Barclays bank, Kotak Bank and UBS)
- The registrar of the issue is Karvy Computershare Pvt Ltd.
- Since the capital is being raised for future investments, the company also includes statements such “Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are not a guarantee of future performance”
- Some of the risks that could derail the company include:
- How effectively we apply the low-cost air carrier model to the markets in which we operate or plan to
- Operate and how successful we are in implementing our growth strategy
- Inability to profitably expand to new routes
- Inability to continue to negotiate reduced prices in future aircraft purchases
- Significant amount of debt that we have taken and which we may take in the future to finance the acquisition of aircraft and our expansion plans
- Availability of fuel and internationally prevailing fuel price including taxes
- Depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar
- Event of an emergency, accident or incident involving our aircraft or personnel
- Inability to obtain regulatory approvals in the future or maintain or renew our existing regulatory approvals
They go into detail and list of 68 risks that can affect a company. If you observe, any of the above statements can easily come true, and have a major impact on the company. But such information has to be provided to the investors. This comes back to a point which I had mentioned earlier – ‘help all potential investors in making an informed investment decisions’
The prospectus also refers to all litigation cases (for and against the company).
Overall, the role of a prospectus is crucial as it lists both the positives and as well as the negatives that a company can offer to the public. This will therefore provide a clear cut idea to help investors decide if they are willing to invest in the company.
By Zenobia Sethna & Shrey Mehta, BLinC
In today’s world, the way most of us borrow money is by going to the bank, or any NBFC, filling out a lot of paperwork, putting up significant collateral, and praying repeatedly that the loan gets approved; at an exorbitant rate of interest way above the going rate. Similarly, the way most of us save money is by depositing money in a bank at an interest rate which barely beats inflation. Isn’t it ironic? The very same bank which lends you money at, say 16%, offers you only 10% on your deposits. This leaves the bank with a significant profit of 6%, which is more than enough to cover their expenses.
This is the way that things have always been going, until someone somewhere thought ‘Hey, why let the middleman (the bank) take such a big piece of the pie? Why not directly let the lender lend to the borrower at more attractive rates?’ And that is the basic idea which gave birth to debt crowd-funding. Investors (lenders) can directly interact with borrowers and decide rates which are satisfactory for both parties, with the marketplace taking a relatively small commission as opposed to banks and other NBFCs, which took a huge spread at the cost of the borrowers and lenders.
While crowd-funding is a relatively new concept taught in investment banking courses in India, it has reached great heights. In 2015, global crowd-funding is estimated to be worth $34.4 bn, which is more than the global VC market, pegged at $30 bn. Of this $34 bn, debt crowd-funding accounts for 73%, or $25.1 bn, making it the most popular method of crowd-funding.
The debt crowd-funding market was worth only about $3.4 bn in 2013, after which it grew by an astonishing 223% to $11.08 bn in 2014, and since then it is estimated to grow 126% to $25.1 billion for 2015. As the figures illustrate, not only is the debt crowd-funding market very huge, but it is set to become even huger and grow at rates which far outweigh any other industries.
Why is debt crowd-funding so successful across the globe? It is successful because it provides various benefits to both borrowers and lenders.
There are potentially lower fees through debt crowd-funding, as compared to taking loans from banks and other financial institutions. Also, borrowers can potentially get loans for lower interest rates than the prevailing rates in the market. Similarly, lenders can get higher interest rates on the amounts they invest. Not to forget, the entire process is very easy and convenient, and is a lot faster than traditional borrowing methods. As it happens in the real world and explained in school of investment banking, the element of defaults on loans cannot be ignored. Bearing this in mind, many sites have kept aside a separate provision to cover defaults, in the rare case that defaults take place. Lastly, debt crowd-funding websites have been around for quite some time, which means that there are many such sites which borrowers and lenders can make use of, to increase their chances of a successful transaction.
Why did the crowd-funding market grow so exponentially in 2014? The strong growth in 2014 was partly due to the rise of Asia as a major crowd-funding region. Asian crowd-funding volumes grew by a whooping 320%, to $3.4 billion raised. That puts the region slightly ahead of Europe ($3.26 billion) as the second-biggest region by crowd-funding volume. North America continued to lead the world in crowd-funding volumes, growing by 145 percent and raising a total of $9.46 billion. South America, Oceania and Africa grew 167%, 59% and 101% respectively.
As you’d expect, USA has the most established debt crowd-funding market, as compared to any other countries. In fact, 59% of global crowd-funding activity takes place in the US, making it the biggest player geographically. The biggest P2P lending site, LendingClub, too is American. In the crowd-funding space, there’s a lot more debt crowd-funding sites, as compared to equity crowd-funding sites – this is because equity crowd-funding platforms are subject to various legal regulations and financial reporting requirements.
So who are the biggest players in the US? Two of the biggest players not only in the US, but in the world, are LendingClub and Prosper.
LendingClub: It is the first P2P lending company to be publicly listed by registering its securities with the SEC and also to allow loan trading in the secondary market. As of June 30, 2015, the platform has originated $11.1 billion in loans. On December 10, 2014, the company raised almost $900 million in the largest U.S. Technology IPO of 2014. In fact, its current market cap is $5.51 bn (as of 10th November, 2015) and its revenue was 213 million USD (for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014).
Prosper: Prosper Marketplace is America’s first peer-to-peer lending marketplace, with more than 2.2 million members and over $5 billion in funded loans.
It has raised $354 mn in 12 rounds of funding and has acquired BillGuard (a personal finance analytics company) and American HealthCare Lending ($21 mn) (a financial services company servicing healthcare providers and patients worldwide), both in 2015, and invested in Bottlenose in 2012.
Moving on to Europe, most of the top players come from the UK or Germany. Even within this, there’s deeper fragmentation, with most of UK’s crowd-funding activity originating from London. Thus the market is highly scattered, with the biggest European P2P Lending sites originating from the biggest countries in Europe.
1) FundingCircle: One of the biggest crowd-funding platforms in the U.K., Funding Circle has loaned £906 million to SMEs since its launch in August 2010. The U.K. government, already using the platform, will lend a total of £20 million to SMEs through it. Small businesses can seek loans ranging from £5,000 to £1 million from multiple crowdfunders. There are currently over 44,000 lenders registered on the website
2) Zopa: This London-based P2P lender offers loans of up to £10,000 where individual borrowers deal directly with lenders. Zopa categorizes borrowers based on their credit grades and lenders can offer terms and amount of money based on the category of the borrower.
3) Ratesetter: Also London-based, Ratesetter is the first to have introduced the concept of a “provision fund” into P2P lending. This fund is generated from borrowers’ payment of a “credit rate” fee and is used to diversify risk in the form of a reimbursement to lenders in the event of a late payment or payment default.
4) Auxmoney: Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, this peer-to-peer loan marketplace raised $12 million in funding just this March. It allows private consumers to get personal loans from private investors between €1,000 and €20,000. Over 11,000 projects, collectively valued at over €50 million, have been financed through this platform.
Like most concepts, debt crowd-funding too has a lot of potential in India. This is particularly because India has relatively higher interest rates compared to the rest of the world. Also, as discussed above, there’s huge spreads taken by the bank, giving low rates to lenders, but charging high rates to borrowers. In addition, many NBFCs offer loans at far higher rates than banks. This is why debt crowd-funding has a high scope of success in India, as there is a real need for this in the Indian economy.
So who are the biggest players in the debt crowd-funding space in India? Some of them are:
Faircent: Faircent is an Indian P2P Lending website, started in 2013. Faircent has raised $4.25 mn in 3 rounds of funding. Between August 2014 to August 2015, they have had over Rs 1.25 crore of money lent through the platform; over 12,500 borrowers and 2,500 lenders are registered on the platform, committing over Rs 2.6 crores. They also have a run rate of over Rs 40 lakh per month.
The company is targeting over Rs. 800-1000 crores of disbursement in the next three to four years. By 2016, the Indian loan market is expected to reach a size of Rs 21,980.6 billion with a CAGR of 18.7 per cent.
LendenClub: LendenClub is a peer to peer lending platform founded in 2014.It connects wealthy investors with creditworthy borrowers. The site has 254 registered lenders and 313 registered borrowers, with 0% of defaults.
iLend: iLend started with a Seed funding of 40 Lakh from Singapore based Angaros group. Dipamkara Web Ventures Pvt Ltd is the parent company
Dhanax: Dhanax provides loans for business use, focusing on small businesses. It provides loans based on financial strength of the firm and the ability to pay back the loans. They have funded over Rs. 10 crores of loans till date.
CapitalFloat: Capital Float is an online platform that provides working capital finance to SMEs in India. It has raised $16 mn of funding over 3 rounds.
What does the Future Hold?
Thus, debt crowd-funding, an already hugely successful phenomenon across the globe, has potential to continue registering triple digit growth, the way it has in the past. Developing economies, particularly Asia, have been growing at a huge rate, and are forecasted to continue the pace, as there is a real need for this in these areas.
This phenomenon of crowd-funding is a natural progression towards market efficiency, and is a thereby a force to be reckoned with. We will see many new types of players entering in the financial sector that we have not seen before. Many existing players will be forced to change their business models and undergo business analyst training while many proactive ones will ride the wave. Many niche sub-sectors will emerge (such as real estate crowd-funding).
Regulations will play a key role in shaping the speed of adoption in different countries. Countries such as the UK are leading the way in this regard and are more likely to set the guiding tone for regulating this industry.