Many people have heard the term “investment banking” but may not know what it actually involves. Investment banking is a diverse field and the duties of an investment banker can vary depending on multiple factors, including the clients involved and the banker’s own focus and experience. It may be easier to understand what an investment banker does by thinking of him or her as an agent between clients and companies looking for investors. Investment banker Michael Quiel uses his experience as Principal and Managing Director of Legend Investment Management LLC to offer a basic overview of the responsibilities of his job.
General knowledge—An investment banker must be an expert in understanding the economy and financial trends. In order to work effectively, he or she also has to closely follow specific industries such as technology, real estate, automotive manufacturing, and others. Also, because the financial world is complex and full of legal pitfalls, the investment banker must have a complete understanding of financial law.
Special insight—While general knowledge of the ebb and flow of the economy is a must, many investment bankers must also have a wide range of other skills to represent clients or an employer. The investment banker’s arsenal must also include a keen analytical mind and an understanding of the intricacies of the businesses with which he or she deals. For example, an investment banker who deals with business mergers must know as much about each of the businesses as possible in order to make truly informed decisions. Analytic ability is a key skill for investment bankers because of the potential for millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to be on the line whenever financial professionals make decisions.