Investment Banking & Investment Management

Specialist Markets: Graduate Area of Work

Choose a particular sector or client base to develop your expertise and knowledge in.
The gradsingapore Team
The gradsingapore Team
Investment Banking_Specialist Markets

Specialist market teams are usually experts in their fields, and cover a broad range of tasks from assisting clients in specialised sectors with investment and financing strategies, to mergers and acquisitions between companies within a certain sector.

Graduates will be required to deal with different volumes of financial products, determined by the size of the organisation. After all, a bigger firm may cater to a whole range of sectors, dominating several niches at one time, whereas smaller boutique consultancies focus on servicing several sectors in an area of specialisation.

A big part of this job lies in understanding clients’ businesses and the sectors they operate in, utilising that knowledge to look for a way to bridge the two. As a result, it’s necessary to start by recognising a client’s needs and wants in terms of the assets that they possess, their goals and the steps they are willing to take before advising them.

General overview

Newcomers usually begin with some training in the firm’s products and general investment banking services, though specialist knowledge will be picked up through accumulated on-the-job experience, as well as learning from more experienced seniors.

Depending on the size of the organisation and the number of sectors they cover, rotations to service multiple sectors may be included to gain broad based understanding of how things operate. Following that, new hires generally move on to conducting research and preparation of presentations and models for client meetings, as well as analysing clients’ companies.

Joining discussions to generate ideas and solutions for clients will become the norm after more experience is gained, and once established, they may even be assigned as the person in-charge during mergers and acquisitions. Upon becoming a senior member of a specialist market team, graduates will be called upon for expert consultation by CEOs or board members at client companies.

Required skills

Sector-specific knowledge is the most important thing for hopefuls, and having a holistic, comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of a sector’s inner workings will shape success in this line of work.

Flexibility, enthusiasm and level- headedness usually get successful applicants through, along with good communication skills, as messages need to be conveyed clearly to clients.

As organisations want graduates who demonstrate the ability to absorb information quickly, be prepared to face a steep learning curve, especially at the beginning, due to the sheer amount of highly-specialised knowledge that will need to be picked up relatively quickly.

Pros & cons

Demanding clients with unrealistic expectations are, although uncommon, still a possibility, and professionals will need patience and tact to deal with them diplomatically. Moreover, with each project bringing different deadlines and peak periods, working hours can be rather unpredictable as a result.

On the upside, individuals in specialist markets teams will have the leeway to build a wealth of contacts and knowledge, which can be useful for a future career in consultancy.