From 2005–2011, I was the Vice President of the Investment Banking Department at Credit Suisse (Singapore), and my responsibilities included leading teams to execute corporate finance transactions across different industries in Southeast Asia (i.e. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). As an investment banker, I specialized in capital raising and mergers and acquisitions. Here’s what being an investment banker entails.The vitality of the market in Asia’s financial hub here in Singapore is exciting news for an investment banker because it keeps you on your toes. During my time with Credit Suisse, I had to tirelessly analyze my client’s businesses to develop a compelling story to sell to investors. Through this, I’ve raised billions for industrials and sold a $400 million stake in a startup space-tourism company during the credit crisis and recently privatized an Indonesian steel producer through an IPO. This sounds complicated—it is—but here’s an introduction to my job scope as an investment banker.
What do I do for my clients?
The clients of Credit Suisse consist of companies and sometimes governments. Basically, we execute two types of corporate finance transactions for our clients:
Capital raising Provide clients with cash from investors. This cash is typically used to fund the operations of companies, for example, for construction of a new factory. Examples of capital raising transactions include: initial public offerings (IPOs) and follow-on equity offerings (FOs), convertible bonds, investment-grade and high-yield bonds, and bank loans.
Mergers and acquisitions Advise clients on buying, selling, and merging with different companies.
What am I involved in?
Coordination Organize teams of lawyers, accountants, bankers, and client executives to draft legal agreements and regulatory filings such as a prospectus or an offering circular during drafting sessions.
Analysis Conduct market research and analyze valuations, financial modeling, credit, capital structure, and financial returns.
Due diligence Conduct accounting, business, financial, and regulatory due diligence – that is, to establish the assets and liabilities of a company and evaluate its commercial potential, and making sure it operates within legal limits.
Communications Prepare and present materials such as information memorandums and presentations for boards of directors, investor road-shows, internal review committees, and solicitations (that is, pitches).
Valuable experiences and successes during my time as an investment banker have helped me to shape the way I manage5stepCareers and offer insightful advice to investment bankers-to-be. It’s clear that in order to succeed as an investment banker, one must have also have a good pitch, networking skills, and communicative conviction – skills that many people falter in and which I tackle at boot camps, consultations, and webinars.
This post has been adapted from the first in a five-part interview conducted by Columbia University Centre for Career Education.