Investment Banking & Investment Management

Corporate Banking: Graduate Area of Work

Provide financial advice and offer a bank’s products and services to commercial clients to help them grow.
The gradsingapore Team
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore
Investment Banking_Corporate Banking

Because clients from this segment typically range from small-and medium-enterprises (SMEs), to large corporations, corporate bankers not only discuss financial needs and provide financial advice, but also offer advice on mergers, acquisitions and capital markets to help decision-makers come to sound financial decisions. Other responsibilities include offering financial services such as treasury advice, loans and credit, trade finance and more.

General overview

Most corporate bankers enter this field through graduate schemes and start out as analysts. Training usually involves rotations across various teams to give insights about different areas of work, and allows candidates to develop an understanding of the industry as a whole.

Opportunities to shadow senior relationship managers to client meetings and observe how they sell the bank’s products and services may also be given. During these sessions, graduates will familiarise themselves with key corporate banking products and pick up crucial client-facing skills.

After a year or two on, new hires will likely progress to a junior or associate level and will gradually manage clients on their own.

At this point, there’ll be an expectation for them to establish relationships with corporate clients, which may take a few years to build as it requires experience and skill to successfully gain their trust. But to rise up the ranks, hopefuls will need to build a strong network of clients to help the bank secure important accounts.

Required skills

Although finance-related degrees aren’t necessary for this role, recruiters usually keep an eye out for applicants with skills in numeracy, negotiation, interpersonal communication and analysis. The need to build relationships in corporate banking also calls for qualitative skills and high emotional intelligence.

Those with internship and training experience have become increasingly sought-after. As such, it’s advisable to acquire a repertoire of skills by attending apprenticeship programmes and pursuing internships during university in order to maintain a competitive edge over other candidates.

Pros & cons

Corporate bankers usually work with a variety of products as opposed to focusing on just one. As such, professionals often get the chance to flex their intellectual and creative muscles as they look to successfully match the right products to different clients.

However, this client-facing role also entails demanding and difficult cases, and the working environment is fast-paced and highly stressful. Nevertheless, the prospect of upward mobility and impressive benefits for employees make this field a popular career choice.