What Experts Say About Investment Banking

Let’s take a peek in the life of an Investment Banker (IB), an expert in this field, and see how his career path in Investment Banking flourished. Well, as rightly said, ‘Strike when the iron is hot.’, if you’re contemplating having a career in IB, it is important to make use of the right opportunity at the right time. Let’s see what our expert has to say.

Interview with Mitesh Gandhi, Associate, Investment Banking Division of an MNC Investment Bank

Proschool : Please tell us about your background and qualifications.
Mitesh : I am a commerce graduate from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai and a chartered accountant from ICAI. I have also cleared 3 levels of CFA, USA. I started my career in the IB division of an MNC Investment Bank (offshored entity) in 2007 in India and moved to the London front-end office in 2010. There, I covered the European Industrial sector for 3 years and then moved back to India in 2013 within the same company.

Proschool : Why did you decide to pursue IB?
Mitesh : I was always fascinated by finance, especially the M&A side of it. Since my college days I used to track deals through newspapers and gradually my interest developed. I further wanted to explore the sell side aspect of Investment Banks. During my CA course also, I found the Financial Management module very exciting and my interest further gained momentum

Proschool : How did you get into IB?
Mitesh : I joined as an Investment Banking analyst in the Indian offshored entity of an MNC Investment Bank through a lateral hiring program conducted by the bank. On joining, I supported its European Industrial team in London. Three years down the line, I got an opportunity to move to the front-end London office based on my performance and by way of the company’s structured mobility program

Proschool : A typical day for an analyst?
Mitesh : An analyst plays a key role in the following activities:

  1. Making pitch books involving company profiles, industry analysis, valuation work, benchmarking, peer analysis, etc.
  2. Conducting research and gathering reports
  3. Analyzing the data gathered
  4. Building simple to complex financial models

Proschool : High points in your IB career so far?
Mitesh : I have been a part of several live and executed transactions. I have also had the opportunity to present full pitch books to clients

Proschool : Some deals you have worked on?
Mitesh : I worked on a sell side for a Dutch poultry processing machinery manufacturer. We helped a PE investor in the company to divest its stake to a US based company for an undisclosed amount. Another deal I worked on was the Accelerated BookBuild (ABB) of a French Industrial company

Proschool : Challenges faced?
Mitesh : Investment banking is a very dynamic industry. Bankers constantly need to be abreast of the latest events in their space. Banking business works on first mover advantage. Hence, being on top of everything in their sector is a necessity. Long and demanding working hours along with tight deadlines is another feature and a big challenge as well

Proschool : Outlook for the industry?
Mitesh : With global markets recovering, the medium term outlook for the industry looks very positive. This is further substantiated by recent momentum in the M&A activity globally. The surge in ECM, DCM and other products is definitely a healthy sign for the industry

Proschool : Career opportunities for IB aspirants in India (and elsewhere)?
Mitesh : As the industry is set to recover, IB job opportunities are further opening up. The top banks are again gearing into hiring mode with their businesses growing. I would expect the opportunities to further expand in India and abroad as well

Proschool : A Word of advice for IB aspirants?
Mitesh : ‘Passion’ and ‘motivation’ – these are the two key aspects that will take you a long way in an investment banking career. You need both to have a long, sustainable and successful career in banking