Investment Bank - Finance


Could someone tell me what the long term potential is like, working in the Finance division of a large investment bank? Will you be limited to similar roles in other IBs for the rest of your career?


you get to become an Accountant. Get your ACA degree. and usually tend to stick to it. Progression to front office (IBD/Markets) is usually not an option. But you could transfer to an account firm for Audit or maybe Corp. Finance roles there!


How about progressing into Consultancy later on? Possible? Or more likely with an Audit ACA experience with a Big Four?

  • what do you really want to do???

Consultancy is always an option. But usually after some banking experience, its hard to justify that you want to get into that!!!


I want to end up in either Consultancy or Corporate Finance. I’m still a fresh graduate with no real experience but I’d like to have these options open if I decide I want to go down that route later.

I am trying to work out if I am better off doing Audit ACA at a Big Four, or the ACCA in the Finance dept of a bulge bracket IB! Ideas?


depends on what kind of experience you want… if you want to experience the internal workings of a bank and learn how a bank really works… and learn about the main factors and models affecting a bank, then definitely go for the Finance dept in banks.

but, if you want to learn about audit and work for various companies, both big and small… and want to travel a lot, then go for Audit at a Big Four.

btw, a lot of banks do ACA in the Finance department. Atleast all the UK ones do. Others tend to prefer the CIMA and some ACCA. But, among the three degrees I would go for ACA.

Also, since you dont want to go into Consultancy or Corp. Finance… then go for it… but just remember, once you start on this career route, you wont be getting a shot at Consultancy or Corp. Finance again!! - this is the general case, but ofcourse, there are exemptions to every rule!


Thanks for the replies, very informative…

About the last paragraph of your last post, but I WOULD like to potentially end up in consultancy or corporate finance somewhere down the line. I thought with either of these routes (Big Four Audit or IB Finance) this would be possible,

Big Four Audit = potential for a move to consultancy later on, as well as corporate finance.
IB Finance = more likely to end up in corporate finance as opposed to consultancy.

Would you say that’s about right?

Obviously I could stay in audit or the finance department, but I am looking at the chances of being able to switch to consultancy or corporate finance later on in my career.


Big Four Audit = potential for a move to consultancy later on, as well as corporate finance. (within the Big4 firm)

IB Finance = not much chance of moving into Corp. Finance later on. but there are exceptions.


So if I want to go into consultancy (which at the moment I think I would prefer over corporate finance) I should choose the Big Four Audit offer over the IB Finance one, right?


yes, I would suggest that. Once you done your ACA with a big 4, you can move into the consulting part of their business. I spoke to a partner about this at Deloittes, and he said that it is very much possible and actually quite a few people do that.


hey Haunter,

when I was interviewing at HSBC, one of the senior interviewers (the weird one) worked for a consultancy for several years before joining capital markets origination at hsbc…how about this as a career route? :slight_smile:


The IB haven’t decided which professional qualification they will offer to their new starters…I’m hoping they’re offering the ACCA because that will make my decision a lot easier (I’d definitely chose Big Four ACA over them). If they offer the the ACA though, I’ll never be able to decide…


@ Hazel - a lot of consultants move into Investment Banking as Associates. That is a norm, and a very few go the other way.


oh, I didnt know that…i always thought the other way around…starting in IB and then moving to consulting. Oh well…I assume your set of skills are the thing that really matters…


well, both way happens, but Consultancy > MBA > IB. This trend is more popular.


The trend is probably Consultancy then IB because IB is better paying. But I’d find the work in IB boring so it’s each to their own really.


well, every career you choose, after a while, the job will get boring… whether it is IB or Consulting!

I have a friend who finds FX trading boring!!!


Unfortunately, IBD_Haunter is right. Sooner or later every job gets boring :-((


Hello there!

I actually found this post very interesting and helpful as I have the same problem.

I am having an interview for internship in a finance department in one of IB’s coming week, however, I’m not sure myself if this particular department is my ultimate long term goal. I could see myself more in a corporate finance, than accounting sector. I sincerely believe that I have skills and solid knowledge to be good at both, but my personal interest lies with corporate finance.

As I am a third year student at the moment, received an invitation for finance department internship. I was thinking of doing internship during summer, (better smth than nothing), Masters in smth like Investment Management from Sept and after Masters actually going back to IB roles within corporate finance departments.

Could you pls advice me on whichever way is better to get back to the corporate finance route?

Thank you!


If my preference is IBD>Finance > Operations
and I’ve got a summer internship offer from JPM Operations and HSBC Finance, which offer should I take?

I personally don’t want to have a full-time career in Operations, but Finance is OK.
However, In terms of internship, I prefer Operations than Finance simply because I thought working in Operations could provide me with more opportunity in supporting IBD, so… the experience in Operations may bring more positive impact than Finance to leverage the chance of getting a graduate offer in IBD?

I’m so confused. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks.