Investment Banking / M & A

This section contains all our M&A (mergers and acquisitions) and investment banking jobs. The term ‘investment banking’ means different things to different people. At its most broad it means all areas of an investment bank – from sales and trading, to capital markets, to corporate finance and M&A, risk, compliance and operations. Alternatively, it can be interpreted as both capital markets and M&A. Here, we are defining job listings fairly narrowly: as M&A, but with an eye to the financing and infrastructure required to make an M&A deal happen.

As the name suggests, a job in M&A requires advising client companies on mergers (where two companies join up as equals) and acquisitions (where one firm takes over part or all of another).

Various different kinds of organisations are involved in the M&A market. The biggest investment banks typically advise and facilitate M&A deals worth $100m plus. Smaller deals are typically dealt with by advisory boutiques or by the Big Four (and other) accounting firms.

There’s a relatively straight route up the ladder for a career in M&A. You start out in an investment analyst job for three years, move up to associate (again for three years), then become vice president, director and managing director – although the job titles may vary depending upon the bank you work for. Most M&A careers focus on a particular sector, eg, consumer, financials, oil and gas, technology, media and telecommunications.

Senior M&A bankers spend their time cultivating relationships with potential clients and originating business. Traditionally, M&A has been about advising clients on potential target companies and the dynamics of an M&A deal. Increasingly, however, senior deal originators in investment banks are ‘relationship’ professionals who advise clients on the broad range of products offered by their employer and on the financing required for a deal – and not just the deal itself.

At a junior analyst level, M&A is about spreadsheets, marketing documents and financial models. Junior M&A bankers rarely attend client meetings. Instead, they spend their time evaluating the financial information of target companies and putting together pitchbooks. These are marketing documents that banks use to sell themselves and outline their ideas for which companies a client should be buying or which it should be selling to.

While analysts are at the bottom of the hierarchy of M&A roles, the associates above them also rank fairly low. The key difference is that M&A associates have slightly more responsibility for transactions and projects. They also get junior analysts to do some of the work for them.