Investment Banker


What does a person in this occupation do?

As a career, investment banking usually involves working for a global financial institution, analysing markets, offering investment advice and generally helping to make key decisions. It is a highly sought-after role, but requires long hours, a great deal of dedication, a huge work ethic and a strong appetite for success.

However, while it is a competitive, high-pressure job, it is also incredibly rewarding. Investment Bankers generally work in the corporate finance division where they help to raise the capital for client projects, expansions, mergers, acquisitions and even debt consolidation for clients. They do not themselves give loans or accept deposits like general banks do. Investment Bankers also trade in securities, generally for government organizations and large corporations. They also are responsible for managing the investment portfolios along with providing investment related advice to the Investment Manager and the executive management team. This is why the role of Investment Managers and Investment Banker often overlap. Consequently the Investment Banker and the Investment Manager are jointly responsible for advising on the best options for investing in fixed assets and for investing cash resources. They continually scan the market to identify trends and investment opportunities with the best risk vs. returns potential. This will include the money, capital, shares, futures and foreign exchange markets.

Day-to-day responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Company and industry research
  • Preparing client presentations and interacting with senior bankers and clients
  • Researching and reading the financial statements and market data of companies.
  • Analysing the financial information relating to specific companies, e.g. company results, profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements to determine how a company is positioned to deliver for investors.
  • Keeping up to date with market developments, new investment products and all other areas that can affect the markets, e.g. movements in the economies of relevant countries.
  • Conducting financial modelling and projections and writing research reports for fund manager or clients.
  • Considering how the economic implications of factors such as natural disasters, might influence the performance of companies and funds.
  • Meeting with and providing information and recommendations to fund managers e.g. summaries of research, investment ideas, key events.
  • Monitoring the financial news using specialist media sources.


Occupation Regulation

The regulation and supervision of financial services in South Africa is subject to regulation in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS Act). The Act makes provision for Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to be licensed and authorised through a government-appointed regulatory body.

The regulation and supervision of investment-, portfolio- or fund managers in South Africa depends on a variety of factors including the nature of the services they provide, the type of fund structure they manage and the target investors.

In general, the provision of fund management services is subject to regulation in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS Act). However, if the manager manages a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS), the provision of that service is exempted from regulation in terms of the FAIS Act as it is subject to regulation in terms of the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, (CISCA). Managers of private equity funds and hedge funds must meet additional requirements if their funds are to qualify as private equity funds or hedge funds as defined in the investment regulations to which most pension funds are subject.


Personality Traits

  • Good at mathematics / accounting / investment strategies / analysis
  • Excellent knowledge of, and insight into the financial markets
  • Concerned about detail, tidiness and correctness
  • Methodical and careful
  • Be able to act with integrity at all times
  • Able to manage stress / work under pressure / long hours
  • High-level negotiating skills (Financial and capital markets)
  • A convincing personality / excellent communicator
  • Excellent analytical and deduction skills


Learning Pathway

A Senior Certificate is the minimum requirement for further training in this career. There are various routes to become an Investment Banker. A Bachelor of Commerce Degree in fields such as Business Management, Business Finance, Financial Management, Economics and Investment Management may secure an entry-level position.

Other requirements:

  • Compulsory school subjects: Mathematics and/or Accountancy
  • Recommended school subjects: Business Economics and Economics
  • A minimum Bachelor’s degree is required in the field of accounting and finance
  • An MBA is generally also required
  • A BComm. degree in any of the following fields will provide the necessary training: Accountancy, Business Management, Business Finance, Cost and Management Accountancy, Economics, Financial Management, Investment Management and Management Accountancy
  • The N.Dip. Cost and Management Accounting
  • The N.Dip. Administrative Management (General/Financial)
  • The N.Dip. Internal Audit


Employment Avenues

  • Large organisations requiring the services of a Financial and/or Investment Analyst or Manager
  • Accounting Firms
  • Investment Banks
  • Retail and Commercial Banks
  • Commerce and Industry
  • Self-employment as a consultant