FAQ: What are the average investment banker hours?
Updated 31 July 2023
Investment banking is an important profession that holds a visible role in society with various entrepreneurial and financially savvy professionals. The number of hours investment bankers works per day may vary for company policy and location reasons. Learning the answers to the frequently asked questions about investment banker hours can help you make an informed decision if you're considering a career in investment banking. In this article, we answer the frequently asked questions about investment banker hours, provide insights into how to become one and explore the key skills of an investment banker.
What are investment banker hours?
Investment banker hours are the number of hours an investment banker works daily. These hours include the time spent on client meetings, negotiations and research. The average number of work hours for investment bankers is 48 hours per week. This figure includes office and field work and may vary depending on various factors, including the industry and company size. Depending on their clients' requirements and jobs, they may work at any time of the day or night.
What is an investment banker?
An investment banker is a professional who works in the financial services industry, providing advice and services to companies and investors. Banks and financial institutions, such as investment firms, employ these professionals. Investment bankers also help clients raise capital by selling stocks and bonds or advising them on mergers and acquisitions.
How much free time do you get as an investment banker?
As an investment banker, you may not get much free time. While your day may involve meetings and some administrative work, you may mostly work on other individuals' projects. For example, if you're in the investment banking division, you might advise clients on how best to manage their money. Here, you may spend much time meeting with clients and researching on their behalf to provide them with the most accurate information possible.
Do all investment bankers work long hours?
Many investment bankers work long hours and some weekends, but others don't work as often. One reason is that some investment bankers are senior-level employees who don't work as many hours because they already possess enough experience and expertise to complete their tasks without supervision. These employees often get more flexibility in their daily schedules.
Also, the investment banking industry is highly competitive, and you may work extra hours if you want to excel. But it's not as demanding as it once was, and many large banks now adopt more flexible working arrangements. Some employees can work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Do investment bankers work on weekends?
Investment bankers may work on weekends. They typically respond quickly to new developments in the market. Other times, they may work with clients who require their input as soon as possible or on projects requiring around-the-clock availability. Another reason is that investment bankers often travel worldwide and across time zones to meet with clients and make deals.
Do investment bankers travel?
Investment bankers typically travel for business purposes. Depending on the organisation and department, these professionals may frequently travel for meetings with clients and prospects in different cities or countries. This can include meeting with clients at their offices or homes. Many companies possess offices worldwide to reach more customers, so it may also be necessary for investment bankers to travel to these.
What does a typical workday look like for an investment banker?
A typical workday for an investment banker may vary depending on the season, but there are some similarities. A typical day in the spring and summer often starts early, at around 6.30 a.m. and ends late. During these months, it's not uncommon for an investment banker to work 12-hour days or more. Investment banking is typically a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job during other times. Investment bankers usually spend their days reading and analysing client reports, meeting with clients to discuss strategy and writing reports so that other colleagues can understand the information they gather during those meetings.
Are the long hours worth it?
The answer is yes. Investment banking holds a high salary and fairly low-stress levels. This industry offers many opportunities for growth and development, making it a great place to start your career. Typically, the average working week for an investment banker is 45 hours, but this may vary depending on the company you work for and your position within it. You can expect to work around 40 hours per week as an entry-level employee. If you work in senior management positions, this number may significantly increase as you start managing large teams and gaining more responsibilities.
How to become an investment banker
These are some steps you can follow to become an investment banker:
1. Learn about the field
Investment banking is an exciting, dynamic field with many growth and advancement opportunities. If you intend to begin a career in this field, learning how investment banking works and what it entails is advisable. You can do this by taking classes at your local college or university, reading books on the subject matter or speaking to industry professionals with career experience.
2. Gain your academic credentials
You may require a bachelor's degree before applying for most entry-level jobs in investment banking. Some companies may accept applicants with only high school diplomas or associate's degrees if they possess other relevant experience, such as working as an intern at an investment bank. After completing your education, you can take professional exams to prove your knowledge and skills relating to finance or investment. These exams test your knowledge of financial concepts and skills like accounting, taxation and corporate governance so prospective employers know you have the basic knowledge an investment banker requires.
3. Obtain relevant work experience
After getting your degree, it's time to get some experience. You can do this by working as an intern at a bank during your last year of undergraduate studies and accepting an offer of permanent employment when you graduate. This may help you learn how banks work and prove that you can handle the stress and responsibility of working in finance. You may also gain valuable insight into how these businesses operate and what it takes to thrive in them.
4. Build your network
Build your network by involving yourself in local networking groups and events. This effort may help you connect with individuals who work in the field and allow you to practise presenting yourself professionally. You may also look into joining organisations and clubs. These are great places to network with other professionals in your area, many of whom may hold links with banks.
Related: How to become an investment banker
What are the key skills for a career in investment banking?
Some of the key skills that investment bankers require to be successful in their role include:
Researching and analysing skills: Investment bankers require knowledge of analysing financial statements, researching companies and identifying opportunities and risks. The ability to understand information and communicate it effectively is important to good decision-making.
Collaboration: Financial services firms are highly collaborative environments where teams work together to create solutions for clients. Investment bankers require excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work well with individuals from different backgrounds.
Business acumen: Investment bankers are technically skilled, and it's vital to understand how a company works and how its products or services fit into the wider market landscape or industry trends. With this, you can make informed recommendations about how best to proceed with investment decisions.
Analytical thinking: Investment bankers require strong analytical skills to identify potential issues before they arise, saving clients money and ensuring they receive the right advice. You can also track changes in the financial markets to predict trends and make good investment decisions.
Strong communication skills: It's important for investment bankers to communicate clearly and effectively with clients and colleagues. These skills may be useful when persuading a client to invest in a new company or convincing your employer that your ideas are worth pursuing.
Technical knowledge: As an investment banker, you may learn about technology products, such as computers, software programs and networks. Understanding how these products work can help you make better decisions when choosing which ones to use within the infrastructure systems of the company.
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