Investment banker

corporate investment banker merchant banker investment manager
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Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help businesses raise funds for expansion and growth by connecting them with companies or wealthy people who have money to invest.

You would advise investors whether to put their money into a business project. Investors are usually either rich individuals or companies like pension funds or insurance companies which have large amounts of money. If the project succeeds then they will get more money back than they originally invested.

When a business tries to take over or merge with another company you would examine the proposal to ensure your clients will profit from the deal. Mergers and acquisitions can be very complex. You’d need to be able to focus on details and understand a lot of information at once.

You would:

  • Research markets
  • Find business opportunities
  • Help companies plan their long-term strategies
  • Help companies get the funds to set up or expand
  • Decide when a business should offer shares for sale and at what price
  • Help companies to get loans
  • Suggest new business deals to companies and investors
  • Work out the best arrangements – the structure – for a merger or acquisition

You would work closely with lawyers, accountants, finance officers and chief executives. You’d need to keep up to date with financial and legal regulations.

You might specialise in a particular industry or type of investment. A growing area is social investment, where you’d connect investors with companies that are not just profitable but which have a positive impact on individuals, society or the environment.

You’d need to be persuasive and a good negotiator. You’d also need to be confident in making decisions involving very large sums of other people’s money.

Working conditions

Hours

You would probably work very long hours including early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Travel

You might have to travel to meet clients, sometimes abroad.

Environment

You would spend most of your time in an office.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Persuading people
  • Presenting to people
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Researching and investigating
  • Coming up with new ideas
  • Working with numbers
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Most applicants normally have an honours degree (SCQF level 10) or a professional qualification or both.

An honours degree (SCQF level 10) at 2:1 or above is often required for entry to a graduate training programmes which is generally the most common route in. Entry on to these programmes is very competitive. You can also apply with qualifications and experience gained in other finance jobs.

Though you can apply with any degree, qualifications with a numerate, business, ICT or legal focus can be valuable. 

To enter a degree usually requires National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers or a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8). Some universities require that you gain your Higher qualifications in one sitting. 

Glasgow University offers an Investment Banking and Finance postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11).

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • Accounts
  • Economics
  • Business
  • ICT subjects

You will also need

 Once in the job you must gain Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved qualifications.

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Providing Financial Services (SVQ level 2/3) and be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.

Knowledge of a second language is useful.