5 Must Know Certifications for an Investment Banking Professional
Most investment bankers have Type A personalities. They are competitive, ambitious, and driven; perfect to adapt to the high-stress environment of iBanking industry.
However, before they are able to cash-in those big fat bonuses, they have to carve themselves right for the job. The entry points to the industry is marked by substantial long days and nights of hard work. To top that, the hiring in Bulge Bracket firms is as difficult, formalized and competitive at the entry-level. A third-party validation of your skills and temperament, as possessed by certified investment bankers, can help you trump the process and gain brownie points over others.
Is investment banking right for you?
Investment banking is indeed very well-paid with bonuses ranging as high as total compensation and deals pricing in megabillion-dollars. Though, its promises of riches come with a price. The industry has its share of big egos, and abrasive personalities; and is marked by little to no social life, and tedious working hours. If you are okay with all of that, then a career as an investment banking professional could be one of the biggest learning moves you make. Even if you later rescind your employment from the industry, the skills you learn will be valuable for any business career.
What do I need?
If you have an interest in Mathematics, Finance, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, and related disciplines, and a disposition towards investment banking, you can get into the industry. An understanding of these subjects, and a heavy emphasis on quantitative and analytical abilities is what is demanded.
Becoming a certified investment banker adds value to the profile, and proves to be a rich source of knowledge and credibility for students and working professionals alike, who are interested in the field. The entry to a new industry becomes as restrictive as you progress in your career. Certifications put open those close doors.
Based on various specializations and branches of finance and investment banking, here are five certifications related to the industry which can establish you as a competent professional and advance you swiftly through interview towards an iBanking career.
Popular Five Investment Banking Certifications
- Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
About the certification: Offered by the CFA Institute, the CFA program is one of the most popular finance certifications. One has to undergo three levels of evaluation to earn CFA designation. Each exam has to be passed in the sequential order.
Who can apply? You can apply for the certification if you have completed bachelor’s degree or are you in your final year. Professionals with at least four years of work experience can directly appear for the exam.
Career Prospects: CFA is one of the widely known financial certifications and is held by professionals working across different spectrums of finance sector like Equity, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Real Estate, among others.
- Certified Investment Banking Professional (CIBP)
About the certification: Offered by the Investment Banking Council of America (IBCA), CIBP is one of the top 21st-century investment banking certifications for professionals early in their careers. CIBP complements the business degrees well and eases one’s entry to the profession by giving authoritative ratification to one’s skills. It is recognized across 183 countries.
Who can apply? Those with a graduate or master’s degree in Business, Finance, Accounting, Economics or any discipline related to capital markets, finance, investing, can apply for the CIBP certification exam.
Career Prospects: CIBP designation holders become competent to hold positions across investment banking specializations, asset management, and areas related to capital markets.
- Senior Investment Banking Professional (SIBP)
About the certification: IBCA is the certification body of SIBP certification as well. SIBP is ideal for on-the-move iBankers looking to get promoted to senior-level positions. It is also apt for those working in other financial domains such as private equity and wishing to switch careers to iBanking.
Who can apply? Professionals with about five years of experience in analyst or sales roles in M&A, asset management, trading, portfolio management and the likes — and who hold graduation or master’s or diploma level qualification in business, finance, management, accounting, economics or other disciplines related to capital markets, accounting, or finance, can apply for SIBP certification exam.
Career Prospects: SIBP certified investment bankers are sharp at recognizing trends and dynamics of iBanking industry. They can work in management-level positions in a variety of financial job roles, including niche markets of risk analysis and asset management.
- Chartered Certified Accountant (CCA)
About the certification: Offered by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Certified Accountant (CCA) is one of the leading accounting certifications. One has to appear for 14 examinations to qualify the CCA designation.
Who can apply? You can apply for CCA after 10+2 or equivalent, with 55% score from a recognized university. However, the registration requirements may vary from country to country.
Career Prospects: After successful completion of CCA certification, one can take up career as a banker, consultant, auditor, and even law professionals.
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
About the certification: CMA designation is offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). It is offered for those working in the domains of finance and accounting. The certification exam has two levels.
Who can apply? Two years of work experience is must ‘after taking the CMA examination’ to become eligible for CMA designation. Besides that, you can appear for CMA foundation exam anytime.
Career Prospects: CMA designation holders go on to hold senior-level positions as accountants, auditors, and analysts.