How to Break into Investment Banking from Financial KPO?

Many financial analysts and associates working in the financial KPO industry wish to break into investment banking as the next logical step in career growth.

Though a lot of literature is available on breaking into investment banking, transitioning from financial KPO sector is not covered widely.

Cutting all the information overload aside, this article is targeted only for those financial KPO analysts and associates willing to move into the investment banking sector.

Indian Investment Banking Sector: A Brief

Before 1992, investment banking remained confined to merchant banking services for more than three decades, with Citibank and Grindlays Bank being primary front-runners.

The establishment of separate merchant banking structure separate from commercial banking to offer advisory services and manage investments began in 1970’s.

The advent of SEBI in 1992 gave major boost to the industry. However, post-1992, market fluctuations saw a decline in the interest of investment bankers.

Presently, Indian youth has a bright future in the investment banking sector.

The scope of growth is high as the market has not been fully utilized, giving advisory firms and pure merchant banks to convert into full service investment banks.

The market will broaden and give rise to employment opportunities and introduction of varied investment services.

8-Step Guide to Break into Investment Banking from Financial KPO

You are not a fresher and at this stage of finance career, you have the necessary educational qualification to move into investment banking. Further guidance is not required here. Secondly, even when the experience years were not gained working in investment banking sector per se, they still remain relevant to make the transition.

In short, education and experience has you covered.

What are needed are resourceful guidance tips to help with the transition, which is what the guide is all about. You can also check out this short guide on investment banking career.

Step 1. Improve Knowledge of Investment Banking

Strong knowledge of happenings and developments in the Indian investment banking sector is imminent to display industrial authority and interest. Subscribe to magazines like Business World, Business Week and Forbes India to brush up knowledge. This is crucial to convince the interviewer of skills and credibility, and maintaining a regular reading habit helps in long-term exposure and industry networking.

1x1.trans How to Break into Investment Banking from Financial KPO?

Step 2. Develop Skills

Successful investment bankers display a perfect mix of professional and interpersonal skills.

Strong interpersonal skills and analytical bent of mind is the perfect combination preferred by investment bankers.

There is a high requirement of investment bankers with analytical skills, people skills, sales skills, communication skills, and the desire to take initiatives and display creative abilities. All these skills cannot be taught through any course. You have to be a self-learner.

Moreover, investment bankers spend a typical of 50 to 90 hours per week on the job. The field is one of “high work, high risk, and high reward” profession.

In mid-career years, success as a banker will depend on communication to get deals done.

Read about the roles and responsibilities of an investment banker.

Rewarding understanding of market trends, deal mechanic and macroeconomic environment is necessary. Though finesse will come with expertise, make the humble beginning to acquire expertise now.

Step 3. Learn Financial Modeling

If you haven’t learned it already, it’s the perfect time to learn financial modeling before getting started with contacting investment bankers and banking institutions. The ability to create abstract representations of real world financial situations is an essential quality in investment banking.

Taking a short course is fruitful and we recommend the Breaking into Wall Street (BIWS) course designed for the benefit for investment banking and private equity industry. It is a comprehensive course teaching everything about investment banking and is one of the world’s most reputed courses. Check out our review of BIWS and their special course on Excel, an important asset of the investment banking world.

Indian students can join classroom program.

At this stage, you have:

  • educational qualifications
  • financial KPO experience
  • investment banking knowledge
  • necessary skills
  • learned to develop financial models

Before, the odds were stacked against you but now, you have a bright chance to break into investment banking from financial KPO.

The next stage is all about establishing precious contacts, getting interviews and the offer letter. Let’s continue.

Step 4. Modifying Covering Letter & Resume

A generic covering letter and resume will be a massive fail.

Modify the resume to suit the sensibilities of an investment banker.

The resume should be achievements-centric, talk in business lingo and convey clarity towards career goals.

You have about 30-seconds to positively impress the intended banker, how can it be done?

Check out the Bing search thread on investment banking sample resumes and our guide on writing effective investment banking resumes. Browse through the templates and emulate one.

Focus on crafting a minimalist cover letter because investment bankers rarely give the letters more than a glance. A minimalist covering letter containing the vital details do get read and get better responses.

Step 5. Networking is Nectar

It is crucial to engage in networking to develop important contacts because of three reasons: (1) there is no scope for campus placements; (2) important contacts get you investment banking interview calls and (3) networking is the way to long-term career success in this field.

Though the investment banking sector is shining, the number of work opportunities fall short of the number of applications received for every post. Moreover, rejections due to lack of knowledge and skill is common too.

Therefore, use existing network to improve connections with those functioning in the investment banking sector. You can look into alumni list or use professional social networks like LinkedIn to expand reach Simple Google searches help a lot too.

Good connections get pre-interview calls – an undeniable fact of the trade.

Step 6. Approach Investment Banks Directly

Sometimes the best way is the direct way. Here is a list of investment banks in India.

Visit the bank websites and check their career options.

If a suitable opening is not given, take the initiative to contact their HR representative over phone or email. Talk about your present career profile and why do you think moving over to investment banking from financial KPO will be suitable for future career and how will you contribute towards the particular investment banking establishment.

A good conversation with the HR can get prompt interview calls.

Step 7. Cold Calling and Emailing

If everything fails, cold calling and emailing is the ace up your sleeve. It’s similar to chatting up with the HR personnel, as mentioned in the previous point, but it’s largely impersonal.

Be ready for endless rejections but do not give up hope. Create a database of investment banking companies or well-connected people to call. The purpose is to introduce your profile succinctly and enquire about vacant positions. Out of every 100 calls made, about 5 investment bankers will be interested to talk to you, translating to about 1 interview call out of every 100! Be prepared. You can learn more about cold calling and networking from the BIWS networking toolkit program.

Step 8. Clearing Interview

This is the last stage to break into investment banking from financial KPO. Treat every successful interview call as one big opportunity. Be well prepared. Use your skills, financial learning, experience and education to impress the interviewer.

‘Why do you want to enter investment banking’ will be the commonest of questions. No one can teach you the answer to this. Do self preparation and learning. Make it a point to display financial analysis knowledge and understanding.

You have to cross multi-stage interview processes to get selected. Every investment banking company has their own policies. Here is our guide to prepare for the investment banking interview and cracking it.

Last but not the least; make the effort to know about the investment banking company calling you for an interview. Know about its history, market position and employee growth possibilities. Every detail is available on their websites mostly. Read this resource on investment banking questions and answers to prepare for the interview.

Endnote

Investment banking is a lucrative field. The hours are tiring but create an excellent finance profile.

Moving on from financial KPOs and breaking into investment banking will be the perfect choice to give your finance career a massive boost. Ask question, share opinions and add your experiences below.

A Review of BIWS PowerPoint Pro Course

1x1.trans A Review of BIWS PowerPoint Pro Course

The Breaking into Wall Street (BIWS)  investment banking programs are truly unique and custom-made for those desirous to ‘break’ into a career in investment banking, hedge funds and private equity.

Check out our unbiased review of BIWS certification programs and the IB Networking Toolkit program which has helped hundreds of aspirants to ace IB interviews.

Read complete review of BIWS programs.

In this write-up, we will look into the BIWS PowerPoint Pro program, which is designed to teach aspirants the basics to advanced levels of PowerPoint. You can download their course outline free-of-cost here.

Why Do You Need to Learn PowerPoint?

Before we illustrate the benefits of BIWS PowerPoint Pro, let us know and understand why it is extremely essential for investment banking, hedge funds and private equity aspirants to learn PowerPoint functions and usability.

Finance professionals are powerhouse users of data.

Continuous analysis, interpretation and reporting of data necessitate the use of medium which can help to collate everything in one place without consuming too much time. As, let’s say, an investment banker, you need to study companies and their financial data to draw conclusions and represent them through a report.

Using PowerPoint helps in this representation.

You don’t need advanced skills or knowledge to use PowerPoint. Rather than writing a blasé textual report, which is not a preferred method of information consumption, you should use PowerPoint to represent finance data analysis.

PowerPoint, its basic, intermediate and advanced functions, is a powerful tool equipping you to create a presentation without actually knowing how to draw designs and layouts.

As need be, you can include sound files, graphics, texts, images, videos, data charts and more using their pre-defined templates and uploading the peripherals into their designated space.

There are a lot of places from where you can learn PowerPoint but you need something which is custom-made for finance professionals. This is where the BIWS PowerPoint Pro comes in as their course caters to learning only those PowerPoint functions which are essential in the investment banking industry.

In short, it is not a generic course but a well-customised and guarantee-backed course.

What Does BIWS PowerPoint Pro Teach You?

The course teaches you everything about PowerPoint which is relevant in the investment banking and hedge fund industry.

Each lesson focuses on practical exercises to ensure the learner has imbibed all the concepts.

You are taught PowerPoint from basic to advanced level.

There are video tutorials captioned with shortcut keys so that the learner can watch and practice them at the same time.

Moreover, you are made to create a buy-side M & A pitch book for Apple as a ‘test’ to leverage your understanding of PowerPoint.

Some features of the BIWS PowerPoint Pro program:

-  The course has 28 video tutorials in total, divided into bite-sized knowledge chunks and accompanies with PowerPoint 2003 / 2007 / 2010 excel files.

- The learner can switch through courses back and forth. Linear learning is not mandatory.

- Course has a “to-do” list to be marked off as the learner moves from one module to another.

- The courses can be downloaded and played on all major devices – laptops, desktops, iPhone, iPad and iPod.

- Every course user is given lifetime access to the purchased course.

- There is a strong and active community of 22,000+ people to help sort out doubts and questions quickly.

Take a look at this reader testimonial.

1x1.trans A Review of BIWS PowerPoint Pro Course

 

- Lessons on creating and inserting texts, objects, excel graphs, formatting shapes, alignment, data grouping, custom keyboard shortcuts and more.

- Lot of slides and videos for complete information consumption.

The course is divided into the following modules.

  • Module 1: Slides, Texts and Objects
  • Module 2: Pasting in Objects
  • Module 3: Grouping, Aligning and Formatting
  • Module 4: Finishing Touches

The knowledge of PowerPoint will certainly arm you with endless tools to create professional presentations, with exceptional designs and beauty. Such presentations will be brief and concise, and therefore, evoke brevity in front of the audiences. It will become simpler and hassle-free to communicate financial reports in front of others and make it more interesting. Rather than boring text-based reports, the interactivity of a PowerPoint presentation is preferred.

To reiterate what we said before, the BIWS PowerPoint Pro course is geared towards those necessary learning requirements in investment banking and hedge fund industry.

Endnote

The BIWS PowerPoint Pro is a recommended course for anyone who wishes to break into the investment banking and hedge fund segment but lacks PowerPoint skills. Given the fact that PowerPoint knowledge is a must in these fields, you cannot ignore learning it.

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