What does it take to be a banker?


Where do you start? & What do you do?


Hi Lucius, that’s a big question that could demand a very big answer!

There isn’t really such a thing as a “banker” despite what the media like to say. Within a bank there are a host of roles which I’ll roughly cut into the front office, middle office and back office. Back office or support roles will include things like finance, technology and HR. The middle office typically includes operational staff who are very close to the business who make sure trades get settled and things run smoothly. Front office, which is closest to your “banker” description will usually be broken down into product specialists such as Merger and Acquisition staff, fixed income, equities and so on, and relationship bankers who look after the specific needs of larger clients.

Most people joining a bank on the front office side of things can expect to start as an analyst in one of the teams learning the ropes and working on specific transactions. Personally I’d say it’s a good idea to get as much broad exposure as you can in your early career and then specialise later.