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Investment Banking For Beginners – A Definitive Guide

Investment Banking is a critical aspect of the world of finance. It includes financial institutions that provide several services, including managing assets, raising capital, and advising on mergers and acquisitions. For beginners, comprehending it is crucial because it constitutes the base of the worldwide economic system. It plays an essential role in corporate finance and the expansion of organizations. By gripping the basics, beginners can make wise financial decisions, attain an understanding of how investments and capital markets perform, and explore career prospects. This learning enables individuals to steer the intricate financial world with confidence. This is an article on investment banking for beginners to help you understand the concepts incisively. 


Investment Banking For Beginners

Investment Banking For Beginners – Functions And Key Concepts 

Investment banking can be explained as a technical financial area that mainly deals with enabling the management, creation, and acquisition of capital by governments, businesses, and other entities. Its main functions are :

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) – Investment banks advise firms on purchasing, selling, or amalgamating with other organizations, enabling negotiations and transactions.
  • Capital Raising – They assist companies in raising capital by issuing bonds or stocks to investors, facilitating business growth and expansion.
  • Underwriting – Investment banks underwrite securities adopting economic responsibility for them, which assists entities in estimating capital markets.
  • Asset Management – Most of the investment banks handle assets for high-net-worth and institutional clients, leveraging investment portfolios.
  • Financial Advisory – They offer productive financial advice on several issues like risk management, valuation, and restructuring.
  • Trading and Sales – Investment banks trade securities, providing fluidity to the market, and selling economic products to clients.
  • Research – Leading extensive financial research, rendering recommendations and insights on several industries and securities.
  • Managing Risk – Providing mitigation and risk evaluation strategies for clients, assisting them to steer the intricacies of financial markets.
  • Market Making – Pretending to be market makers by purchasing and selling financial equipment to sustain the fluidity of the market.
  • IPOs ( Initial Public Offerings) – Helping firms to become public by handling the issuing and distribution of shares in the public.

These major functions combine and contribute to the effective working of the worldwide financial system, encouraging economic development and growth.


Investment Banking for Beginners – Role of Investment Banks in the Economic Industry

Investment banks play a crucial role in today’s financial industry as it is highly developed and ever-evolving in nature.

  • Capital Allocation – Investment banks enable the effective allocation of capital by linking entities requiring funds with investors seeking investment prospects.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) – They play a crucial role in advising firms to purchase, sell, or merge with other companies, conducting restructuring and consolidating several industries.
  • Capital Raising – Investment banks help organizations raise capital with the help of equity and debt offerings, permitting organizations to finance their innovations, expansions, and operations.
  • Market Making – Investment banks pretend as mediators in financial markets, purchasing and selling securities to preserve liquidity and enable trade.
  • Advisory Services – They provide deliberate financial advice to clients on issues like risk management, financial restructuring, and valuations.
  • Underwriting – Investment banks underwrite securities acquiring the financial responsibility for them, which assists issuers in retrieving the capital markets.
  • Research and Analysis – Leading extensive research and analysis to offer an understanding of financial markets, economic trends, and securities, helping clients in their decision-making.
  • IPO Facilitation – They help firms become public by handling the procedure of issuing shares to the public, and by facilitating them to raise capital via initial public offerings.
  • Asset Management – Most of the investment banks handle assets for high-net-worth and institutional clients, leveraging investment portfolios to fulfill particular financial targets.
  • Market Insights – Investment banks generally facilitate as a source of market knowledge, providing estimation and guidance on financial and economic trends.
  • Worldwide Economic Influence – They impact the worldwide economy by partaking in large-scale transactions, encouraging economic development and growth, and structuring financial markets.

These roles together impart the growth and stability of the industry of finance and the wider economy.

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Difference Between Investment Banks and Commercial Banks

When we are delving into concepts of investment banking for beginners, it is important to know the difference between investment banks and commercial banks. Investment banks and commercial banks both facilitate definite and contrasting roles in the financial industry. The major parts of differences are :

  • Focus and Services – Investment banks mainly centralize financial and investment advisory services, consisting of trading, underwriting, and M&A. They help firms raise capital through security offerings and supply technicalised financial advice. Whereas commercial banks focus on traditional banking services like providing loans, accepting deposits, and rendering checking and savings accounts.
  • Client Base – Investment banks generally serve institutional clients, high-net-worth individuals, and corporations looking for capital market skills. While commercial banks have divergent consumer bases, involving government entities, small and large-scale businesses, and individuals.
  • Risk Orientation – Investment banks engage in riskier investments and trading activities as their concentration is on corporate finance and capital markets. Commercial banks have a risk avoidance approach, focusing on safeguarding the deposits and traditional lending practices.
  • Market Activities – Investment banks are deliberately associated with activities in the capital market consisting of trading and generally act as market makers. While commercial banks have investment banking segregations, their main emphasis is on traditional banking functions.
  • Regulations – Investment banks meet regulations, particularly for their activities, and may have more adaptability in their functions. Whereas commercial banks are contingent on exhaustive regulations because of their role in handling retail deposits, assuring stability in finance.

In short, investment banks are technically in the capital market, and investment activities serve a particular clientele, while commercial banks render a traditional banking consumer base, focusing on safety deposits and traditional lending practices.

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Major Players in Investment Banking

Here is a synopsis of the major players in the field of investment banking, comprising bulge bracket banks, boutique banks, and independent firms, and their roles and functions :

Bulge Bracket Banks

  • Goldman Sachs – Renowned for its skills in trading asset management and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
  • Morgan Stanley – Provides a broad spectrum of services, consisting of securities trading, M&A advisory, and wealth management.
  • JP Morgan Chase – A main player offering services in M&A advisory, risk management, and asset management.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Provides services in wealth management, sales and trading, and investment banking.
  • Citigroup – Offers services in risk management, debt and equity financing, and M&A.

Roles and Functions of Bulge Bracket Banks

  • M&A Advisory – These banks help clients in corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Equity and Debt Capital Markets – They assist firms in raising capital with the help of the issuance of bonds and stocks.
  • Sales and Trading – Involvement in trading activities comprising derivatives, equities, and fixed income.
  • Asset Management – Provides investment products and portfolio management services.

Boutique Banks

  • Lazard – Technicalises in strategic advisory services, restructuring, and M&A.
  • Evercore – Centralizes on strategic advisory for clients and M&A.
  • Greenhill &Co. – Offers restructuring services and M&A advisory.
  • Centerview Partners – Provides strategic consulting, restructuring, and M&A advisory.

Roles and Functions of Boutique Banks

  • Specialization – Boutique banks generally specialize in particular sectors or industries, offering niche skills.
  • Personalized Service – They offer more customized and personalized advice to clients.
  • Smaller Deals – Boutique banks are generally engaged in medium-sized deals.

Independent Firms

  • Blackstone Group – Involves in alternative asset management, real estate, and private equity.
  • KKR ( Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) – Practices exclusively in asset management and private equity.
  • Apollo Global Management – Centralizes on real estate investments, private equity, and credit.

Roles and Functions of Independent Firms

  • Private Equity – These companies invest in private companies generally with the motive of enhancing their performance.
  • Alternate Asset – They handle several alternative investments like distressed debt and real estate.
  • Advisory Services – Few independent firms provide advisory services along with asset management.

All the categories of investment banking players fulfill an outstanding role in the financial industry, serving various clients’ transactions and needs. The preference of which bank to be involved with relies on factors such as client preferences, industry expertise, and the complexity of the deal.

Investment Banking For Beginners – Services Provided by Investment Banks

Investment banks provide a broad spectrum of financial services to governments, corporations, and individuals. These services are influential in empowering the management of financial assets, raising funds, and capital allocation. Here is an overview of the several services rendered by investment banks :

  • Capital Raising – Investment banks assist firms in raising capital through secondary offerings of bonds and stocks and initial public offerings (IPOs). They help in evaluating the pricing of securities and optimal capital structure.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions ( M&A) – Investment banks provide consultancy services for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. They determine the value of focused companies and bargain deals for the clients.
  • Underwriting – Investment banks underwrite securities, undertaking the insecurity of buying the whole issue and then selling the securities to the investors.
  • Private Placements – They organize private placements of securities to specific investors, generally for firms that do not desire to become public.
  • Asset Management – Investment banks handle assets for individuals and institutional clients, providing services like investment advisory and portfolio management.
  • Research Analysis – Investment banks lead extensive research and analysis on particular companies, industries, and financial markets. This research is applied to render clients with market insights and investment recommendations.
  • Trading and Sales – Investment banks conduct trading tasks in which they purchase and sell several financial equipment consisting of derivatives, stocks, and bonds. Sales groups interconnect with individual clients to enable trade and offer market information.
  • Risk Management – They offer risk management conclusions in one confining scheme to protect against unfavorable price movements in financial markets.
  • Corporate Finance – Investment banks render deliberate financial advice to corporations, assisting them in leveraging their financial functioning, planning for growth, and debt management.
  • Structured Finance – They generate and handle structured financial products such as mortgage-backed securities ( MBS), and collateral is’s debt obligations (CDs).
  • Prime Brokerage – Investment banks provide prime brokerage services to restricted funds and other institutional clients comprising custodial services, trade execution, and securities lending.
  • Derivatives Trading – They are involved in the hedging and trading of derivatives, composing swaps, futures, and options, for clients who look forward to exposure or safeguarding against price movements.
  • Syndicated Loans – Investment banks organize syndicated loans for governments and corporations, bringing along a team of lenders to offer large-scale financing.
  • Debt and Equity Research – They render exhaustive research reports on sectors, industries, and individual firms, to assist in making productive decisions.
  • Foreign Exchange Securities – They provide planned advisory services for several financial transactions, composing capital optimization, divestitures, and restructuring.
  • Advisory Services – Investment banks render foreign exchange services for currency management, hedging, and trading exposure to exchange rate alterations.
  • Real Estate Investment Banking – Some investment banks practice extensively in real estate finance, assisting clients with investment strategies, financing, and property acquisitions.
  • Commodity Trading – Investment banks involved in commodity tradition and may provide restricted services to clients in the metal, agriculture, and energy markets.
  • Wealth Management – They serve high-net-worth persons offering tailored estate planning, investment management, and financial planning services.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Investment banks steer intricate financial regulations and ensure that clients follow regulatory needs in their economic activities.

Investment banks play a pivotal role in the worldwide financial system, linking those in requirement of capital with those looking for investment prospects while rendering a broad range of financial services to fulfill the divergent requirements of their clients.

Steps Involved in an Investment Banking Transaction

  • Client Engagement – An investment bank is tied up by a client ( e.g., an individual, government, or corporation) looking for financial consultancy services.
  • Due Diligence – The bank leads a thorough analysis to comprehend the client’s financial circumstances, needs, and targets.
  • Valuation Analysis – The bank enhances a deal structure, taking into consideration aspects such as risk management, financing options, and tax implications.
  • Information Memorandum – The bank draws up an information memorandum or prospectus describing the transaction for probable investors.
  • Pitching to Investors – Investment bankers advertise the transaction to investors, which may involve the public, institutional investors, or private equity firms.
  • Negotiation and Terms of the Deal – Bargaining occurs between the potential investors and the client to evaluate the terms of the deal like governance, pricing, and ownership stakes.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Abidance with regulations and security laws is essential, and investment banks ensure that the transaction fulfills legal necessities.
  • Financing – If the transaction includes raising capital, the bank organizes finance via sources like equity or debt offerings.
  • Documentation – Legal papers consisting of agreements, contracts, or prospectuses, are prepared and reviewed.
  • Closing the Transaction – All the required conditions and approvals are fulfilled, and the transaction is settled.
  • Post-Transaction Services – Investment banks usually offer ongoing services like reporting, monitoring, and post-merger integration.
  • Advisory Fees – The bank gets fees according to the value of the transaction, which can consist of success fees, upfront fees, or a combination.
  • Risk Management – Investment banks handle risks connected with the transaction like market fluctuations or interest rate risks.
  • Post-Transaction Evaluation – After the deal is finished, a post-transaction evaluation may be undertaken to evaluate its success and take a lesson from it.

It is significant to observe that these steps can alter as per the particular type of transaction whether it’s a debt issuance, merger and acquisition, initial public offering, or other financial activity.

Process in Which Investment Banks Go Public or Raise Capital

Investment banks play a significant role in assisting companies go public ( IPO) or in raising capital with the help of equity and debt offerings. Here are the ones in which they help the public :

  • Financial Advisory – Investment banks offer deliberate advice to organizations on the pricing and, structure of their IPO or activities to raise capital and the appropriate timing. They assist firms in evaluating market conditions and their financial readiness.
  • Valuation – Investment banks aid in assessing the suitable valuation of the organization. This includes scrutinizing market trends, financial statements, and comparable companies to reach a logical price for bonds or shares.
  • Underwriting – Investment banks underwrite the securities that are issued by the firm, which indicates that they decide to buy the bonds or shares at a particular price. This provides the company with confirmation that it will raise the predetermined capital.
  • Due Diligence – Investment banks lead exhaustive analysis to ensure the firm’s revelations are complete and accurate. This assists in building the confidence of the investor and minimizes the peril of legal issues.
  • Marketing and Distribution – Investment banks have comprehensive connections and relationships with retail and institutional investors. They assist companies in advertising their securities to the appropriate audience and apportion them effectively.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Investment banks help in steering the intricate regulatory necessities for capital offering and IPO, assuring that the company abodes with stock exchange regulations and securities laws.
  • Pricing and Allocation – Investment banks assess the offering price for bonds or shares and allot them to investors. They target to hit a balance between augmenting the company’s capital and creating demand from investors.
  • Research and Analysis – Investment banks usually broadcast research reports on the organizations they take public, which can assist probable investors in making strategic decisions.
  • Roadshow Investment banks arrange roadshows where executives of the company dispense their business to investors, assisting in producing interest and replying to queries.
  • Syndication – In huge offerings, investment banks constitute a syndicate of other financial institutions to assist in distributing the securities to a broader investor ground.
  • Stabilization – After an IPO, investment banks may be involved in activities stabilizing prices to prop the stock price and enable a polished trading debut.
  • Post-IPO Support – Investment banks may proceed to render support to the company after going public, along with guidance on financial strategy, capital allocation, and investor relations.
  • Debt Issuance – Besides equity offerings, investment banks assist companies in issuing debt securities(bonds) by constructing the terms, managing the offering procedure, and determining investors.
  • Investor Relations – Investment banks and the public interconnect with the public, analysts, and investors, enhancing trust and transparency.

To sum up, investment banks enable the whole process of becoming public and raising capital by supplying financial skills, market access, regulatory guidance, and underwriting services. Their engagement is critical in assisting companies to achieve financial targets and approach capital markets.

Investment Banking For Beginners – Risks and Rewards Connected With Investment Marketing

There are risks as well as rewards involved in the field of investment banking. The main points to be considered are :


  • Market Volatility – Investment banks are highly responsive to market variations, and economic deflations can direct crucial losses.
  • Regulatory Modifications – The industry is deliberately regulated and alterations in financial necessities can influence the operations and profitability of investment banks.
  • Absence of Job Security – The industry is renowned for its high-pressure environment and long working hours, which lead to collapse and absence of jobs.
  • Reputation Risk – Investment banks generally face damage to reputation because of engagement in immoral practices or controversial transactions.
  • Conflict of Interest – There’s potential for a clash of interests between the interests of the bank’s profitability and the client, which can give way to moral confusion.
  • High Earning Potential – Investment bankers can earn a considerable bonuses, commissions, and salaries, making it a financially valuable career.
  • Worldwide Exposure – Working in an investment bank gives divulgence into International markets and the prospects of work on eminent deals.
  • Skill Development – Investment bankers enhance powerful financial analysis, deal-making, and negotiation skills that are precious in several career paths.
  • Specializing Opportunities – Investment banking provides the opportunity to create a huge professional network with industry leaders, colleagues, and clients.
  • Career Enhancement – Successful professionals can mount up on the corporate staircase and take on more essential roles in the economic industry.

It is significant to contemplate these risks and rewards with heed before opting for a career in investment banking or making an investment decision in the field.

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How to Enter the Field of Investment Banking

To enter the investment banking sector, one needs to be challenged with the right perspective and enhance the opportunities for success. Here is a synopsis of points to consider for the beginners :


  • Undergraduate Degree – Initiate with a strong base by acquiring a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field. A degree from a renowned institution can develop your creativity.
  • Master’s Degree (Optional) – Take heed of this while pursuing a master’s degree in economics, business, or finance to further centralize and progress your qualifications. Most of the investment bankers hold advanced degrees.


Look for internships at financial firms, investment banks, or related institutions. Such experiences render priceless practical diligence in the industry.

  • Networking – Utilize your university’s career hub and private networks to achieve internship prospects. Be present at industry conferences, job fairs, and alumni events.
  • Summer Analyst Programs – Investment banks generally provide summer analyst programs for undergraduates. Enroll in these programs to acquire real-life experience.


Create a robust LinkedIn Profile. Build a professional profile on LinkedIn that focuses on your skills, education, and career goals. Link with professionals in the industry.

  • Informational Interviews – Extend to investment bankers for informational interviews. Ask queries, seek advice, and know about their career paths.
  • Join Industry Groups – Take part in investment banking and finance clubs at your school. Participate in their events and conferences to encounter professionals in the industry.

Always remember that victory in the field of investment banking takes commitment, time, and constant learning. Be persistent and patient in the path of your career in this sector.

FAQs Related to Investment Banking For Beginners 

Q1) Which bank is known as the king of India?

SBI or State Bank of India is known as the new cash king of India.

Q2) Is it necessary to have an MBA degree to be an Investment Banker?

Having an MBA degree is not mandatory to be an investment banker. However, the path of securing a job becomes smoother with an advanced degree.

Q3) Which stream is it advisable to opt for a career in investment banking?

If you want to enter the field of investment banking, then a graduation degree I a minimum requirement. However, graduation in Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, or Accounting is more advisable.

Conclusion on Investment Banking for Beginners 

We hope this article on investment banking for beginners has helped you with understanding the concepts, key players, functions, and steps in investment banking clearly. Do comment and let us know what you think.

I am Priti Agarwal. I did my schooling at Well and Gouldsmith School, Kolkata. After completing Class XII, I was admitted to The Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society College, Kolkata. I have always been a sincere student dedicated to my studies. My favourite subjects were English and Mathematics. I was extremely passionate about Mathematics. Then I did a short-term Montessori course and started teaching in a Montessori school. I had a fondness for writing since my teenage. I used to write poems to express my thoughts, opinions, and emotions. After marriage, everything seemed to come to a standstill. But the fire of writing was still ignited in me and led me to content writing. Recently, I pursued a content writing course from IIM SKILLS. Currently, I am working as a content writing intern at IIM SKILLS.

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