Researching Investment Banks
I have mentioned many times that it is important to do your homework before approaching an interview. But what does that entail? This post is designed to help you get the most of your research, and a long the way, learn a little bit about the differences between banks.
Ranking Investment Banks
Banks generally fall into 5 main categories:
The “Rep. Level” corresponds to the reputation of the category as perceived by the industry. Additionally, your experience, bonus, and exit opportunities will vary depending on the level. Hours depend on the deal flow.
At the end of the day, this information is important for your application strategy. Similar to college applications, diversifying where you apply will increase your chances of getting an offer at a bank. Your goal is getting banking experience, if you get an opportunity, sign.
List of Banks
Whether you’re cold calling or just applying, it is helpful to have a list of banks. Take a look at these links:
How to research the bank before your interview
Okay, now you have your application strategy down. Finding out more information about the bank’s culture and its people is crucial to increasing your response rates and preparing for an interview.
The goal when researching a bank is to identify how it’s unique, find people who you share a background with and can contact, and learn the firm’s history. Here’s how you can accomplish these goals:
- Visit the banks website. Teams are listed with their bios and contact information directly on most regional boutique banks. Additionally, don’t overlook bank presentations. Even big banks will list a few people who worked on the deck and include their contact information.
- Check out LinkedIn. Then Google the person to find even more information about them, what you share, and how you can reach out to them.
- Take a look at the current M&A landscape. Keeping up with deal news regularly helps. Regardless of if the trend is strong or weak, you have a bullish long-term outlook.
- Once you are offer an interview, lookup at the bank’s recently closed deals. Identify the deal type, size, and result. You may want to know if they are currently working on a big deal so you can converse with them about it.
- One of my friends got an offer at Bain Consulting because he found out all the office hold an annual soccer match. He brought this up during the interview and was able to build a connection with the interviewer. Most banks will conduct sustainability, volunteering, or networking events annually. Figure out what these are and tie them into your interview answers.
Refrain the urge to rank every bank in excel. That’s what league tables are for. Regardless of your application strategy, focus your time and energy learning about the banks culture and people so that once you get an offer, you’ll be able to judge the best fit.