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What is an Investment Banking Associate?
Those who work in investment banking sales are commonly known as investment banking associates. These financial professionals sell current and prospective clients on investment packages. This involves direct interaction with clients, during which associates come to understand clients' needs and goals, as well as behind-the-scenes research, analysis and development of products and services.
Investment banking associates create financial models (and keep those models updated) to ensure clients are making investments that aren't too risky and are aligned with their desired results. They also stay up-to-date on industry trends and regulations in case changes are made that could impact a client's portfolio. Additionally, investment banking associates prepare marketing materials, including contact lists and pitch books, and help make presentations to clients.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in finance or a related field; most employers prefer an MBA|
|Job Skills||Quantitative and analytical skills, ability to work independently, relationship-building and interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills, experience with Microsoft Office suite|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$77,122|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||6% (for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Investment banking associates need at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field, like business, economics or accounting; however, most employers prefer candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), as well as at least three years of investment banking or other relevant experience. Additionally, some employers seek candidates who hold, or are willing to earn, Series 63 and 79 licensure through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Investment banking associates need expert-level quantitative and analytical skills to develop investment packages that meet each individual client's financial goals. They must be able to work both independently, making sound decisions about investment opportunities, and as a member of a client team; the latter requires strong relationship-building and interpersonal skills as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills. Most employers also look for investment banking associates who have extensive experience with the Microsoft Office suite, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies investment banking associates under the broader category of securities, commodities and financial services sales agents. Between 2016 and 2026, this group was projected to experience 6% job growth, which was around the national average, according to the BLS.
As of May 2018, investment banking associates earned a median annual salary of $77,122, based on figures from PayScale.com.
Other careers in the finance industry that are similar to investment banking associate include the following: