Very often people ask me this question: What are the most sought after qualifications for investment bankers?
CFA: 80 per cent of my candidates have this professional qualification.
MSc / MBA: 80 per cent of my candidates have one of these qualifications.
However at an entry level, investment banks never require any particular qualifications, though most of them expect a basic bachelor’s degree. To start an investment banking career, personality fit rates higher than technical skills.
There are even real cases like these.
Peter Redhead, the former head of Asia Equities at JP Morgan, has none of his degrees related to banking.
Peter Sullivan, the former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, studied physical education at university.
The present Japan country head of a US Hedge Fund, studied law at university and has only one bachelor’s degree.
On the contrary, one of my candidates has his resume full of all kinds of bachelor’s and master’s degrees and professional qualifications, that made me wonder why he had time to date his girl friend, get married and raise children. Unfortunately, he is not even a CFO yet, in his 20 years' career.
A basic university degree is your key to investment banking. Additional factors determining your success will include opportunities, your skills on networking, your capabilities on multi-tasking and problem solving. However to increase your competitiveness, CFA is highly desired.
Test of your investment knowledge
If you buy a company's bond,
A. You own a part of the company
B. You have lent money to the company
C. You are liable for the company’s debts
D. You can help manage the company
E. Don’t know
Investment Banking Career