Become an iBanker: With Popular Investment Banking Certifications

Big bucks. Repeat, big bucks.

That will give you an idea about the income of Investment Bankers.

Tied to the market, the long hours iBankers put in their jobs converts into big bonuses and megabillion dollar deals.

What is it that investment bankers do? And more importantly, how can you become one?

Here is discussed the career path of investment banking—particularly, its career path and Investment Banking certifications you can pursue to make a career in this field.

Investment Banking: What is it?

Investment Banking is not just one service or function. It is an umbrella term for a range of activities performed by iBankers—selling and trading securities like stocks and bonds; providing advisory in mergers and acquisitions; underwriting; and managing assets for the clients.

Investment banks offer these services to governments, corporates, nonprofits, and even individuals. Some of the leading investment banks include Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase, among others.

Career Trajectory—How they are hired?

  • Investment banks generally hire undergrads, and MBAs from top B-schools, through campus placement drives. People with both analytical and communication skills are considered ideal during hiring. Being a certified investment banker positively gives an upper hand during recruitment.
  • Undergrads typically enter the industry as Analysts. It is normally a two-year position. If they perform well, they can get promoted to a more integrated role.
  • MBAs from top-tier B-Schools compete for more fast track ‘Associate’ roles.
  • Analysts are workhorses of investment banks. They could be placed in any, back, middle or front office. Most of the background and number crunching work falls on them. It’s a general practice among Bulge Bracket firms to send their Analysts on an intensive 2-month training before they are fully integrated. Their salaries range from $85k- $100k +($55k-$115k Bonus), report the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA).
  • Associates are on a higher position than Analysts and put in lesser hours compared to them. Their work profile includes a mix of juggling with excel sheets and client management. Their salary ranges from $110k- $170k with $115k-$230k in bonus, report the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA).
  • Midcareer people with technical backgrounds are hired on an ad-hoc basis but they may have to start from the bottom.
  • In the Investment Banking career hierarchy, typically, after Analysts and come Associates, followed by VP, Director, and MD.

Popular Investment Banking Certifications

The complexity of the field of investment banking is marked by two factors—steep learning curve and fierce competition. It has become almost a norm among aspirants to supplement their degrees (Undergrad/MBA/Other) with a professional investment banking certification. Some of the most sought-after professional IB certifications are as below.

1. Chartered Investment Banking Professional (CIBP)

Offering a rounded assessment of investment banking, CIBP is among the top-ranking IB certifications accepted in 183+ countries. It is offered by the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA). It is sought by both freshers to launch an impressive career in investment banking, and seasoned professionals to reap a faster career growth. Graduates or Masters or Diploma degree holders of Business, Finance, Management, Accounting, Economics or related disciplines can apply for CIBP certification. However not mandatory, accruing a basic understanding of finance, capital markets, business and accounting will be helpful.

  • Location: Online Exam
  • Duration: 100 minutes
  • Other features: Exam Preparation Kit provided in hardcopy.

2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

CFA is one of the popular financial certifications pursued by experts in investment and securities. It is offered by CFA institute. To pursue this certification, one needs to master 10 investment topics and pass three levels of examinations.

  • Location: Offline (Exam is taken in online mode)
  • Exam Duration: 2 sessions of 180 minutes each (at every level)
  • Other: Free eBooks provided.

3. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

Professionals looking to manage alternative investments like hedge funds, real assets, etc. can go for the CAIA certification. It is offered by CAIA Association. It takes about one year to complete the coursework and appear for the exams. It is a two-level examination. There are no pre-requirements for undertaking CAIA, but it helps to have a working knowledge of investment and financial concepts. However, to finally claim the title of CAIA, possessing a bachelor’s degree and a year of relevant work experience, or four years of relevant experience is a must.

  • Location: Offline (Exam taken in online mode)
  • Exam Duration: 240 minutes (each level)
  • Other Features: Free eBooks provided.

That’s all you need to know about becoming iBanker with popular involvement banking certifications.

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