For those looking for a foot in the door in the competitive investment banking industry, New York seems to be the first choice considering that it has been the epicenter of financial activity with the most sought-after jobs on Wall Street. It also houses some of the largest investment banks in the world.
Though New York has enjoyed an unbeatable top position in this industry, it’s not the only place to be. In Europe, London has a similar reputation for being the hub for investment banking and the financial industry. London offers the maximum number of jobs and internship opportunities in the investment banking industry.
Top names including Goldman Sach, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, BlackRock, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch have their presence in London, so we could say that it would be the best bet for investment banking opportunities.
Changing scenario of investment banking in Europe
How would Brexit impact the investment banking industry?
Once the Brexit kicks in, it would mean loss of passporting rights for UK based financial firms, looking to sell services to clients across the EU. For this, they would have to set up local subsidiaries within the EU and apply for a local licence. So, it would see part of businesses move to other cities in the EU.
According to a Reuters survey, among the various contenders, Paris surprisingly, is at the top for London-based banking jobs. According to the survey, 2,280 roles might move on to Paris. Frankfurt bagged the second position by gaining 1,420 roles. The next city on the list was Dublin with 612 roles followed by Luxembourg at 407 as per the report.
Other cities that are being considered include Milan, Berlin and Madrid.
Stratfor reported the choices of cities for companies planning to make a partial move out of London.
|Company name||Choice of city for relocation|
|4.||JPMorgan||Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg,|
|5.||Goldman Sachs||Frankfurt and Paris|
The investment banking industry offers a variety of roles – front office, middle office and and back office. Read this article to learn more about the responsibilities and skillsets needed to take up each of these roles.
Though the investment banking field may sound glamorous and you may be in awe of the fantastic salaries associated with the field, it’s important you’re well aware of the work pressure, extended work hours, extensive travel and the stressful lifestyle involved before you decide that you’re carved out for handling such roles.
Learn more about the dark side of investment banking.
How to get into investment banking in Europe
Getting into this highly competitive industry is definitely not easy. For undergraduates in Europe, many banks offer ‘A Spring Week’, or ‘Insight Week’ usually meant for first year students of a three year course or second year students where the course duration is four years.
This internship opportunity can be used to gain industry exposure, pick up some valuable skills and of course, networking. Then therere are longer summer internship opportunities also available. Showing your potential during these internships may help you land a full-time job once you complete your program.
A CFA qualification and a Masters in Finance can also help get into investment banking. An MBA program, though the most expensive route to get there, also sees top recruiters hiring out of the reputed business schools.
Your alumni network can be of great help. If you do not have any prior related work experience in this field, it would be worthwhile doing an internship before commencement of your program.
Investment bank recruitment in Europe
Here’s how the process works – Applications usually require you to fill in details related to personal information, academics, work experience and the role for which you’re applying.
In this round, you’d be required to answer questions through which you ‘d have to demonstrate that you’re a right fit for the job. Be very careful to avoid grammatical and spelling errrors while answering.
Next would be an online test to assess your verbal and numerical skills, it may include testing your logical reasoning skills as well.
Next comes the biggest challenge – the assessment center (comparable to the Superday in the US) where you’ll be assessed along with other short-listed applicants. Candidates are expected to spend at least one full day here where they would be required to complete case study (and role play), presentations, group exercise and interview rounds.
The time you spend at the assessment center is quite crucial, as you might be observed and judged for multiple aspects, based on which the final decision would be made.
So, give yourself enough practice with sample interview questions so that you are familiar with the structure and the length of the responses; let the answers be succinct instead of lengthy narrations.
Your body language, the content of your responses (especially focussing on what sets you apart from the rest) and the way you communicate can make a huge difference.
Keep your CV updated and customise it to line up with the job profile you’re applying for.
Keep your cool throughout the process and give it your best shot!
Read more about the top bulge bracket investment banks.