Skills investment banks want from debt capital markets (DCM) bankers

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Debt Capital Markets Skills

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Like most front-office investment banking roles, firms expect their DCM analysts to be highly numerate and to have an understanding of the technicalities of company financing.

“DCM brings a unique combination of corporate finance (a profound knowledge of how our clients’ business operates and how to advise on their financial needs), fixed-income markets exposure, and mastering of complex financial products,” says Demetrio Salorio, global head of debt capital markets at Societe Generale.

Firms expect their DCM analysts to be highly numerate and to have an understanding of the technicalities of company financing

However, while most investment bankers are very focused on individual deals, the higher-volume nature of debt issuance means DCM bankers must be able to develop relationships with clients over time and provide them with relevant market information at regular intervals. Salorio says success in DCM depends on having a “strong capacity to develop a relationship based on mutual confidence with the issuer clients”.

The fast pace of the DCM desk means that not only must you have a knowledge of corporate finance, but you also need to develop an obsession with the movements of capital markets and to keep up with legal and regulatory developments related to the financial sector. “You need an understanding of the product and the market so that you can get the transaction done. And you need to multi-task – this role can get extremely busy,” says Maryam Khosrowshahi, head of public sector debt coverage for Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Deutsche Bankhe.

You need to multi-task – this role can get extremely busy

Salorio says leadership and collaboration skills are also key in DCM because you need to forge relationships with colleagues across the firm in order “to attract advisory resources from other units of the bank to present the client with ad-hoc, high-quality strategic financing advice”. For Khosrowshahi working in DCM also takes tenacity. “You cannot get discouraged, it takes a long time to gain the trust of governments. For this reason you will also need to be patient, especially when a client has never been to market before,” she explains.

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