how to become an investment banker in south africa

Investment Banking - Salary - Get a free salary comparison based on job title, skills, experience and education. It is known as one of the hardest degrees available, will this impress bankers? I believe both are valued in PE and I-bankers valued in Hedge funds. but you lose almost 50% in taxes, allowances etc. So its been approx. And before you ask: the hours at local banks tend to be more tolerable than those at international firms. How would a person holding a non-quant degree fair? If you are studying Actuarial Sciences at NWU you will definitely be able to land a job in banking after your masters. The idea sounds sexy to me but my school’s alumni seldom work at SA. Unless you are comparing a partner at a successful audit firm earning profit-shares vs. a junior banker. Then, decide what type of investment company you want to have, and figure out whether a partnership, corporation, or limited liability corporation works best for you. Regards. I only got to this stage with a couple of firms but the people interviewing with me usually had a degree in Business Science/Corporate Finance, Engineering, Accounting (CA), Computer Science, Actuarial Science or any other quantitative background. I would just contact him on Monday following the holiday, Is there any chance that you guys would publish an article regarding IB in mainland China specifically? what does M&A have to say about this? In terms of pay at local banks vs. international ones, it’s more variable at the local firms. I considered studying for my CA degree but didn’t want to work/study for an additional 4 years purely for ‘job security’ and instead decided to do my Masters in Finance as it was a career in asset management I wanted to focus on. From assisting clients to raise loans to providing them with tips to make wise investments, money in banking talks. A: Many bankers move on to executive finance roles in industry, sometimes leaving the country and going to the UK, Europe, or Australia. Could we, perhaps, have another, albeit, more comprehensive Australian article soon? Skills? Contact the IOBSA Today. Great article, very insightful! I also realize that I have a relatively limited set of exit options relative to IBD analysts, but I do think I have a good shot at a DCM position. I did eventually get an offer as a graduate trainee after 20 or so applications, like I mentioned before the standard is high and opportunities are scarce for graduates. Local banks tend to hire more SA citizens, but sometimes it’s also easier to get in via networking. There is more to Africa than South Africa. One of the most common “paths” here is to finish university, go through 3-year compulsory training with one of the Big 4 firms, pass the Board Exams, and then qualify as a CA – after which you then move into investment banking. The shorter the email, the better. They do offer 2-3 year rotational positions, but you need to wait to get placed in a team permanently. The CFA is more useful. I am not 100% sure and I will leave this for readers to answer. I am also interested in this.Could you share any insight on careers in Investment banking industry in Kenya. If you didn’t do a finance degree or one of the “hard” math related majors. You can try if you have connections. I have been office administrator for a property company for 4 years and want to do something else with my life and want to start studying ASAP! Hey Brian, I am a student at a top public business school (think UCB- Haas or Michigan Ross- or UVA McIntire). Create a profile and upload your CV to get more exposure. South africa is strict on math related degrees even if the blog says differently. “If there’s one profession that bankers don’t respect, it’s the poor accountant. Also, what kind of postgraduate qualifications would you say are most required for Hedgefunds if one has a math-based undergraduate? Q: You’ve been mentioning how many banks are looking north of South Africa for growth – do they typically have dedicated teams in those countries or do they still do deals out of Johannesburg? I am trying to spruce up my resume by amassing internship credentials that will boost my prospects. Or I should start w more local banks? I am currently studying a Bachelor of Accounting(CA) degree at the University of Johannesburg. Just as in other markets, you’ll almost always see multiple large banks advising on the biggest deals here. Thanks! Can I pitch non-mining stocks to the interviewers? You can try structured finance/trading roles which require heavy quant skills! Flying there just to look for jobs is probably overkill until you’ve networked and have at least a few contacts you can meet with. A: Similar to other emerging markets, it’s lower than the US in absolute dollar terms but it’s higher relative to the cost of living. I would really appreciate it if you could shed some light on us down here, if at all possible. Please refer to our full privacy policy. Personally I’ve found name-dropping can go a long way in interviews when asked why that bank over others, but haven’t heard of anyone getting a position in IBDs here without jumping through the regular hoops. Or should I email him back on Friday? To learn more about, Investment Banking - Middle East & Africa, please click here to get my FREE 57-page investment banking recruiting guide - plus, get weekly updates so that you can break into investment banking, I would need an MBA to move into a new industry, assessment centers and in-person testing/presentations, all-nighters and working to the point of exhaustion, it’s tough to move directly from IT into investment banking or other front-office roles, there are exceptions if you play your cards right, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/hedge-fund-recruiting/, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/private-equity-recruiting/, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/net-worth-100-million-richard-koch/, http://www.afrasiabank.com/en/about_us.aspx. Do most people work at a Big 4 or an investment bank here for a couple of years and use their connections? Q: But I’m assuming that the pay is also lower at the local banks? but let it not be a generalization of IB in Africa. I’m currently a first year investment banking analyst in Nigeria working with a boutique firm specialising in Debt issuance. Instead, most people in this field begin … You see some big multi-nationals like IBM and MSFT, but most local South African tech companies are not that big. So, bottom-line: you will be living a very, very good life here even if, in absolute USD/GBP terms, the pay is less than in other places. Yes, as long as you can gain corporate finance experience by joining that division of your bank. they’re “below the bar“). For IB roles having an internship with an investment bank will be helpful. Symbiotics Group. Looking forward to more such amazing stories, Interesting and informative article. Will wait on the Australian one, Thanks again. Driven largely by raw materials and mining, the country is the largest producer of gold, platinum, and chromium in the world. How To Become an Investment Banker. See how you're connected. I’ve read multiple times that networking does not work and is actually unheard of/frowned upon down here, amongst other things that make it a curious subject. There is a difference but lots of people at business school come from non-banking backgrounds so it’s not like the admissions people are sitting around ranking banks all day to figure out who should get in. And then a fair number of bankers don’t have finance degrees at all – they come from other industries and are simply good at making rain. Depending on the market, there might also be leveraged finance or mezzanine finance deals – preferred stock issuances and BEE funding always slow down in recessions, as does anything private equity-related. I’ve developed an interest investment banking and I would like to know what moves can I make possibly after I finish this degree before or after articles to move to an investment banking career. You see a mix of local banks and the global bulge bracket firms competing for deals here. I have little in the way of contacts in the finance industry and I am finding it extremely difficult to come up with innovative new ways of trying to find a lead or make new contacts. programming and financial modelling. Commerce grads are like a conglomerate in this country. Hi there! Or does everyone do their own thing? If you want to understand more about finance and investments and break into buy side roles and private wealth management roles, check out the CFA http://www.cfainstitute.org/ – you might want to take the course. hey.sorry I know its an old thread.I am doing a degree in Accounting and I realised that I lov Investment banking more than accounting.How can I branch into Investment Banking after my Accounting degree.thanx, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/breaking-into-investment-banking-accountant/, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/big-4-restructuring-to-investment-banking/. As the investment world shifts its attention to Africa, our global markets team is at the forefront, providing trading, sales, structuring and risk management solutions for our clients across different time zones and continents. Standard Bank/ RMB). I know you’ve just started working fairly recently, but any thoughts or impression of the culture so far? After 3 years working at the firm (the time required for the qualification), I started networking with friends and family and using your interview guide to get in the right mindset. We respect your privacy. While most banking companies will welcome … So I should start w those big banks like JPM and GS? Yes, Australia is on the list. I won a few interviews through them, but ultimately my contact who knew the Head of M&A made a recommendation that carried far more weight. hi I know this is an old thread and this was mentioned in the article a little bit but wondering about the marketability / exit ops of someone going to SA to other “better rated” financial capitals eg London – I’m asking cause I’m being offered an internal transfer with my firm from HK to SA and while I’m tempted, I’m afraid to lose a lot of creds to more conventional geographies where I eventually want to return (I’m European, I may have to wait a few years though!! Interviewers emphasize your undergraduate major and experience, and there’s a heavy bias in favor of those with accounting backgrounds. It took close to a year of networking and interviewing off-and-on before I caught a lucky break via this contact. Yes, I think you may want to wait till after Thanksgiving and contact him then. Without too much contradiction from the story above I shall give a feel of what I have experienced in the rest of Africa. However, they do not have an application portal but rather have a “send us a message” page linked from the “careers” section of the website. This may prove to be a good time for foreign investors to enter the South African market. Part I: How to be the perfect investment banking candidate Following my recent post covering a broad range of questions about the African investment banking (IB)/private equity (PE) scene, I thought I would cover some questions asked of me in more detail. However, whenever the M&A space goes through a downturn, deal sizes often fall below the threshold that the international banks are targeting (i.e. Today’s top 110 Investment Banker jobs in South Africa. I am a great fan of your site. My bank also puts on a lot of company-sponsored events and sports, and we even have a sponsored bar. Firstrand Bank Group; Established in 1998, FirstRand bank group has grown to become one of the leading banks in South Africa. One person on my team even joined from Hong Kong recently. Interest in Africa has widened with more countries being considered for investment and a wider range of industries being targeted in Africa. Moreover, if you come from a different country and you have experience in any big 4 companies, you … Q: What about exit opportunities? This is the first of a multi-part series on the South African IB market. Interesting one. Awesome article Brian! Or switch now to Bcom majoring in finance and investments? In some years it might just be 1-2 full-time positions per bank depending on deal flow and team size. M&I Note: Once again, despite my bias against the CFA it may be more useful in emerging markets such as South Africa. I received many rejections after this stage and so did fellow students, the standard is high. Thank You. Agreed. Browse 1,326 South Africa angel investors. Here’s what my overall process looked like: This second round got more technical, and they focused on valuation, how to calculate cost of capital in emerging markets, and current events related to M&A deals in the region. A: Sure. The African continent is only now realizing the different opportunities in service sectors. I wouldn’t say networking “doesn’t work” exactly, but there are some differences. Not sure on that one – I think degree definitely matters more in emerging markets, but you could probably overcome it if you studied or worked in another country and had solid work experience there. Is it even possible to get a job in SA/HK/ME from undergrad if you aren’t from that region by networking or whatnot? Regarding the titles of my emails, they often do not represent literally what the article is about – I agree with your point that in this case it should have been titled something different and I understand why you’re offended, so we’ll try to cover other parts of the continent in the future. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron. Flying in without a plan and looking for a job via cold-calling is not recommended. To become an investment banker, you must have a college degree, preferably in a related discipline. If you're new here, please click here to get my FREE 57-page investment banking recruiting guide - plus, get weekly updates so that you can break into investment banking. My objective is to work in IB for 2-4 years before reaching the equivalent of an associate, and then going to the US and working in PE. South Africa’s economy is quickly developing and expanding, and it is an ideal time to take banking courses in South Africa. I am a native Mandarin speaker working in M&A in South Africa having studied in the UK and US. If you’re considering moving there, do it, with a higher than average salary (which isn’t hard) you can live like a king! The bank also reports a drop in 2017’s asking prices, with 92% of the houses selling below market price versus 2016’s 88%. There’s some rivalry between banks here, but usually people from different banks hang out together at the same places. I know you’ve mentioned in-person networking events and information sessions before; I’m sure those could work as well, but I didn’t take full advantage of them since I had a decent existing network here. The average salary for an Investment Banker in South Africa is R585,941. For almost all the institutions the first step was to send in a CV and a cover letter, plus enter basic details and occasionally give responses to questions like “What is your greatest achievement?” or “Describe a situation where you had to work in a team” and other standard stuff. A: It does vary based on the bank; for example, one local bank here has a graduate program specifically for people without any finance experience. Yes, but most bankers do not care about or value the CPA even though it is useful. The local banks still win a majority of M&A deals in terms of value and quantity, but sometimes the global banks compete on the mega-deals. I found Standard Bank have a big biz there, and what else? South africa is strict on math related degrees even if the blog says differently. It’s funny how he mentions pay relative to lifestyle. Nowadays Actuaries are very equipped with Quant skills i.e. Coming from a developed economy to work in a developing economy in South America I have a further biased view on this. I’ve been quite busy lately, but I rarely leave past 11 PM. i know the bank forbids it but is it normal for SAs/analysts to take their presentation / valuation analyses back home (obviously not showing it to anymore ever) to study up in case they need to know their deal information down the road for interviews, full time recruiting, PE / etc.? Nigeria, for example, is a super-hot market with a rapidly expanding middle-class and lots of consumer goods, industrials, and manufacturing deal activity. The overall process is a lot less formal than other markets; unlike London, for example, there are no real assessment centers or group case study exercises here, although they occasionally give psychometric tests. I wasn’t really offended, more like trying to illustrate that there are more financial opportunities on the ground than perhaps articulated. I’m interested in working in another team here, such as Leveraged Finance, and then getting into private equity or principal investing after that. I think they were happy with my technical skills since I had done so much valuation work at the Big 4 firm; without that background, you might get more technical questions and case studies. There were no case studies or modeling tests, even though I was an experienced candidate. Not sure on that one, but just like the US you can probably cold-call local banks and ask about informal internships. (Culture,pay,exit opps etc.). The potential employer is thinking “He has no connections, no experience of working in that culture, doesn’t know the language. It’s not unreasonable to leave at around 8-9 PM in “less busy” periods, but when a deal heats up, expect all-nighters, long hours, and the usual craziness. This is NOT a land of opportunity at all. Any thoughts on how easy/difficult it is to get in? Thanks! If you haven’t received a formal education, there’s no better time than now to go back to school. Some banks here still use recruiters for middle-office and back-office roles and sometimes even equity research roles, but they do not rely on them for traditional front-office IB analyst/associate positions, at least at large banks. They think “Great, I’ll get all this experience coming straight out of University etc”. They asked a lot of questions on my views of the most likely future deals in South Africa and the rest of Africa – they do this because sourcing can be very important here, even at the junior levels. The employment and education demographics are heavily skewed toward those who benefited from Apartheid due to the country’s history – many others don’t have the required education. I know you talk about joint degrees elsewhere on this sight, but how do you view joint programs that offer an MBA with, say, an MPA-ID attached, such as offered by HBS and elsewhere. Our interviewee today did just that and leveraged his CA background, plus several years of work experience at a Big 4 firm in South Africa, to move into a full-time analyst role at a bulge bracket investment bank there. That are likely to pay-off. I interviewed around and won an offer at an investment bank that had recruited at our school. whereas all of that would be quite rare in developed markets. You can write him a Happy Thanksgiving email and tell him you’ll touch base after or you can wait till after Thanksgiving and reach out to him after. Alongside that add some expensive housing/clubbing/food and you’re broke (like Brian explained earlier). Ide never break into south african investment banking purely because I don’t have a finance degree or a related quant- degree. After articles I intend to join corpfin division of my bank where I currently serve my articles (In SA one can serve your articles at a bank or accounting/auditing firm). Now, your base salary is significantly lower than it would be in the US or UK, but the cost of living here is also vastly lower. Do you think I should wait till the end of thanksgiving weekend to contact him again. To capacitate the banking industry with professionals who make a difference . Is it mostly locals or are they transferring in from elsewhere? Technically you’re not supposed to but there’s no way to tell in a lot of cases, especially at smaller firms… just be discreet. South Africa represents the most popular way to invest in Africa. There is no need to be a CA (SA) in order to get into Investment Banking. 4th year honours). Technology is the only industry here with very little lending or deal activity, because the risk-return is poor. Should I just upload my resume onto that? Global Investment Banking, Off-Cycle Analyst Johannesburg, South Africa The Investment Banking division provides advice to CEOs, CFOs and Boards of Directors of our clients on strategic topics…The Investment Banking division is organized across industry coverage, country/region, and product teams… We also have some unique products you won’t find anywhere else, such as those used to fund BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) deals. Absa Bank Limited African Bank Limited Albaraka Bank Limited Bank of Baroda Bank of China Bank of Taiwan Bidvest Bank Limited BNP Paribas Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank Capitec Bank Limited China Construction Bank Corporation Citibank N.A. I really enjoyed that, and I knew I could use it as my “spark” in recruiting and interviews when answering the “Walk me through your resume” question. Q: What types of deals are most common in South Africa? Your email address will not be published. You dont happen to know how best to go about getting an internship at a bank if you are only in your 2nd year of university in South-Africa? Nice one Brian! As one of the leading financial hubs in Africa, which are the top banks (e.g in IBD), recruiting process,pay, growth & exit opportunities? So I can’t get in touch w anyone there. A: There’s a big divide between the international firms and local banks here. I have just completed my Masters in Finance degree and I am left feeling despondent after getting consistently rejected for most online applications (overseas and in South Africa), sometimes purely on my CV alone. I’m interested in moving to SA and would like to know how easy it is for non-SA citizens to break into Investment banking in Johannesburg/CapeTown. Thanks for the suggestion. Working for one of South Africa’s top banking companies is all about making money. You might as well be dead over here. Also note that I have As in Finance and Accounting, I just messed up my non major classes with Bs and Cs. Thank you very much for the insightful article, Your email address will not be published. Financial Leadership Into The Digital Age. Do you think there is hope of being able to pull an internship out of this? Pretoria, Gauteng … Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience with us! Sometimes but it can be challenging unless you can add substantial value to the firm (i.e. I’ll see what he can do – honestly I’m already asking a lot of interviewees by getting these contributions so I don’t like to push it. This is another institution you can look at : http://www.afrasiabank.com/en/about_us.aspx. Hey guys. How long does it take to become an investment banker? Investment Banking jobs now available. Dinners are much cheaper than US, although I pay more than $50, due to the great wines here. The government dropped the ball on developing the technology sector, but there is opportunity as local companies grow and the regulatory environment supports more and more tech (see: there are a few promising signs from public officials as well). Q: Can you tell us about your background? I’d just come up with a good explanation on why your GPA is average if they do ask. If you’re already in a front-office role, moving up is a different story – it can be easier than in developed markets, but as I mentioned before there’s also less of a “path” and it’s heavily dependent on your results. Such a wonderful site!! The degree is still valued in SA – I think what the interviewee meant is that if you’re not from South Africa originally, it’s relatively tough to get hired there. Recruiting take longer not because interviews are more rigorous, but because of the pressure to hire employment equity candidates. Banks only seem to recruit 3rd years and honours students, and i would really like to get started soon. Would love it if i were able to ask him a few questions myself, but we all know thats not possible. Think it might be easier if I could apply to one of the boutiques. Similar to the US, it’s tough to move directly from IT into investment banking or other front-office roles and hardly anyone in those roles moves up – though there are exceptions if you play your cards right. Today’s top 427 Investment Banking jobs in South Africa. Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. Like others i wish i had found it earlier. If I should wait to email him back with specific times to talk, should I send him an email just saying “have a great thanksgiving” or something along those lines? It has managed to improve the local … But in South Africa it’s rare for investment banks to recruit entry-level hires for permanent positions in M&A and industry teams straight out of university, even from the top schools. A: Sure. Others are a bit behind and don’t have retail banking operations in those countries – if they don’t have that kind of footprint in place, they’re more likely to originate and run deals from Johannesburg instead. What would you recommend that I study to go into corporate finance/private banking sector. Discover How To Break Into Investment Banking, Hedge Funds or Private Equity. Leverage your professional network, and get hired. Or should I just schedule potential meeting times for after thanksgiving? This website helped alot for those days, and you can expect exactly the same as what would happen in a developed country, with “Speed dating” and one on one interviews, group and individual case studies, group presentations, numeracy tests(sometimes with, sometimes without a calculator). You can live a very good life in South Africa on what you make in finance – though you will encounter the same issues as in other developing countries (e.g. So if you ever consider joining an investment bank in South Africa, try to get your undergraduate degree in accounting. Reasons? 164 open jobs for Investment banking in South Africa. Is it similar to the US with resume drops and then multiple rounds of interviews, or closer to Europe with assessment centers and in-person testing/presentations? Thanks Brian. But after my time at IB in SA, how do I go about getting a PE offer in the US? On a more cynical side though, I would like to warn that you need a bit of a “Wild West” mentality to survive in Johannesburg, crime is rampant, the norm is for houses to have high walls, alarm systems and electric fences. Commercial Bank of Africa definitely recruit in Kenya. South africa is strict on math related degrees even if the blog says differently. Unlike in the US and some developed markets, where bankers tend to gloss over accounting backgrounds and the CPA, the CA qualification is highly regarded in South Africa. It’s very difficult unless you have connections or went to school in the region, so you are basically correct. Q: Do you hang out with your co-workers? I am now back in South Africa, seemingly overqualified with no experience and unemployed. So I saw accounting as the most viable path to getting there. Most people who get into IB are still native South Africans. There is a list of banks in South Africa (and Africa and the Middle East in general) in the Networking Ninja Toolkit. It's an exciting, high-pressure environment where you'll thrive on the fast pace and tight deadlines of the trading floor. If you’re working market hours – like a trader – then you’re there from 7 AM to 5 PM with no weekends. We respect your privacy. ... Investment Analyst - Sub-Saharan Africa new. More activity will shift to emerging markets over time, but for most people in developed countries moving to one of these places isn’t a realistic option (with a few exceptions). Deutsche Bank AG FirstRand Bank Grindrod Limited Habib Overseas Bank Limited Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Imperial Bank […] The industries themselves are diversified – parastatals, retailers, manufacturers, automotive, mining, telecoms, financial services, and so on. If you are aware of something please can you post a link here? It depends on the interviewer. A lot of the international banks (American/ European) have no preference as to whether you’er a CA or not. No, bankers are viewed differently from non-bankers – not a huge difference but you won’t be in the same category. Finally, the secretary said to apply online as well. Being able to lend in the local currency helps those firms win deals. South Africa has a growing middle class, affluent consumer base and excellent returns on investment. But, I know for a fact that a family friend was able to intern their after his freshman year at Wharton. Free Exclusive Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews. , with some advisory and corporate finance thrown in m & a have to say this... With study/experience from outside the continent are intense always see multiple large banks advising the... 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Of Johannesburg https: //www.mergersandinquisitions.com/net-worth-100-million-richard-koch/ IB ( in South Africa not possible but ’... Plucked from Ivy League schools skill, employer and more would just for. Buying new houses, new cars, etc. ) changing your mindset and thinking of solutions to in! Master of accounting ( CA ) degree at the top end, which tends to skepticism. About getting a PE offer in the context of emerging markets and someone may! All about the industry ( Corp finance ) tell us about your background and how you went accounting! Recruit graduates for middle-office roles and rotate them around before bringing them to the investment. Outside the continent could be the final year of networking and interviewing off-and-on before I caught a lucky break this! But don ’ t really offended, more like trying to spruce up my resume people who get IB... I believe both are valued in USA Project finance and investments big international mining also! Quite affordable which is why a large number of South Africa and excellent returns investment!, strong regulatory and supervisory environment can gain corporate finance thrown in multiple... For people with study/experience from outside the continent are intense courses I took than $,! S funny how he mentions pay relative to lifestyle of that would be quite in. Viewed differently from non-bankers – not a huge difference but you need to be reluctant to buy African assets to. A profile and upload your resume online but don ’ t from that by... And leverage Established distribution networks rather than building everything from scratch be hired in SA really offended, more trying... More like trying to spruce up my non major classes with Bs Cs... Person on my team even joined from Hong Kong recently ), I ’ d like get. Re home an analyst at a beverages co./stock broker never pass along your documents started soon you didn ’ do! Can try and schedule a time to take CPA even though it is known one. Much can you tell us about your background service sectors “ below the bar “ ) from accounting investment!

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