It goes without saying that if you want to break into the front office of an investment bank now, you need to be academically excellent and have the sort of enthusiasm to pursue your finance career from the moment you start university.
But what does it really take? In order to answer that question we’re looking at the latest crop of 2015 analyst recruits at Credit Suisse’s investment banking division (IBD).
Hakim is a graduate of University of St Gallen in Switzerland, the elite college for finance degrees, and has a BA in Economics. He speaks four languages – German, English, French and Italian – and has a decent amount of internship experience. He was at Credit Suisse in London last summer, but also spent two months at Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm in 2013, and participated in Credit Suisse’s insight week during the same year.
Kieran spent a lot of time working at Credit Suisse before securing the full time job offer this year. He interned in the summer of last year and 2013…and 2012; firstly in high yield, then the UK investment banking division and finally the financial institutions group (FIG). He also spent a month at the bank during April 2013. Add this to an internship at Henderson Global Investors and a stint as ‘brand ambassador’ for Bloomberg – essentially selling it to other students on campus – and it’s clear that he’s been working towards a full-time role for some time.
He has a BA in politics, philosophy and economics from Manchester University.
Never let it be said that competition for investment banking places isn’t tough. Eleanor has seven A*s at A-Level, one of the best results in the UK in 2011, and 12 A*s at GSCE. Relatively speaking, her investment banking experience is limited – the internship at Credit Suisse last summer was the only one, and she gained a place on the desk she interned on. She also has a double first in maths from the University of Oxford, plays the cello and is learning ballet.
Alessandro has both an undergraduate degree from Bocconi, and a Masters in international finance from HEC Paris. It was during the latter that he started to gain some experience in investment banking. He interned at Mediabanca and Rothchild in Paris. Other notable achievements to interest banks’ graduate recruiters – he coached a kids basketball team, won an start-up competition in Milan with the idea of designing sunglasses online, and spent three months with the 'American Conservation Experience.'
Saskia converted her summer internship at Credit Suisse last year into a full-time position, but this is not her only constructive use of the summer holiday. She interned in Deutsche Bank’s strategy and business management division in 2013, and the year before spent the summer at Accenture in their consumer goods division. She graduated from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management.
Martin graduated from St Gallens last year, and has spent much of the last 12 months interning at banks in Germany and Switzerland. He started in Deutsche Bank’s corporate strategy division, moved into UBS’s investment bank equity capital markets division and finally Credit Suisse’s M&A team in Zurich. His last internship finished in May, and in July he joined Credit Suisse’s leveraged finance division.
Olivia converted her summer internship in the consumer and retail investment banking division at Credit Suisse last year. She also interned at Deloitte in 2009. More interestingly, she spent three months as a teacher in Tanzania in 2011. She has a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.
Susie has both an undergraduate degree in maths from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Management from London Business School. She's also been through multiple internships and insight weeks at Barclays, Lazard, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.
Nina is another example of a student who has interned in Continental Europe, but secured a full-time position in London. She's spent summers at Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley and interned at Credit Suisse in 2015. She graduated from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management.
Pascal is an example of where focus can get you. Leveraged finance groups of investment banks are often the targets of private equity firms and private equity is where Pascal has been targeting his intern experience. He interned at Mediabanca in leveraged finance, then private equity firm Ardian, followed by a summer last year at J.P. Morgan’s principal investments group. He also has a masters in finance and private equity from the London School of Economics.