Insights & Career Advice from Karan Goyal – Altrum

July 2, 2024

In The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast

EPISODE 15 - KARAN GOYAL, Managing Director of Group Strategy, M&A, and Venture Capital at Emirates NBD

on Apple Podcasts
Watch on


Karan Goyal, Managing Director at Emirates NBD, shares insights on transitioning from investment banking to in-house roles. With roots in India, he moved to Dubai, joining Emirates NBD to bridge strategy and execution. In-house roles offer broader involvement in strategic planning and work-life balance. Goyal advises continuous learning, genuine networking, and patience for aspiring bankers. He emphasizes leadership and effective networking for career advancement. Goyal predicts a customer-centric future for banking, emphasizing the need for banks to think like tech companies. His journey reflects adaptability, seizing opportunities, and striving for excellence in investment banking. 

From Investment Banker to In-House Leader: Insights from Karan Goyal 

In the ever-evolving world of investment banking, the journey of a professional carving their niche in this competitive industry is always a story worth telling. Today we delve into a fascinating conversation with Karan Goyal, formerly an investment banker, and now the managing director of Group Strategy, M&A, and Venture Capital at Emirates NBD in Dubai. His insights not only illuminate the path he took to achieve remarkable success but also offer valuable lessons for those aspiring to make a mark in investment banking or considering a pivot to in-house roles.

A Journey of Continuous Growth 

Karan Goyal’s tale begins with his roots in India, where he cut his teeth at boutique investment banks like ARK Financial Services and Nucleus Partners. His career took a significant turn when he moved to Dubai, immersing himself in the dynamic financial landscape of the UAE by joining Constance Capital as an associate. Recognizing a unique opportunity, he shifted gears in 2015, opting for a role that bridged strategy and execution within Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank and a significant player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. 

The Essence of In-House Investment Banking 

Transitioning to an in-house role at Emirates NBD, Karan’s responsibilities expanded beyond traditional investment banking paradigms. His work now involves close collaboration with the bank’s CEO and board, developing strategic priorities and leading M&A transactions to fuel international diversification. This shift from advising external clients to focusing on internal strategy and execution underscores a unique aspect of in-house investment banking roles – the opportunity to directly impact the organization’s growth and direction.

The Allure of In-House Roles: Insights and Advantages 

Our discussion with Karan Goyal elucidates the key differences and distinct advantages of working within an in-house team compared to traditional client-focused advisory roles. He points out the broader scope of involvement, from strategic planning to hands-on execution, offering a holistic view of the business. Furthermore, Karan highlights the elevated work-life balance in-house roles often provide, a significant consideration for many professionals in the high-octane world of finance. 

Advice for Aspiring Investment Bankers 

For those looking to navigate the complex field of investment banking, Karan offers sage advice drawn from his extensive career. Firstly, he underscores the importance of continuous learning and adaptability—the financial sector’s constant evolution demands professionals who can pivot and grow. Moreover, he emphasizes the significance of genuine networking, building relationships not merely for career advancement but for mutual growth and learning. 


Karan also shares insights for up-and-coming VPs aiming for MD roles, stressing the need for strong leadership, team-building skills, and effective networking both within and outside the organization. Reflecting on his own journey, he counsels patience and resilience, encouraging young professionals to focus on long-term goals rather than short-term setbacks.

Wrapping Up: A Vision for the Future of Banking 

As our conversation with Karan Goyal draws to a close, his vision for the future of banking in the digital age is clear. He predicts a shift towards more customer-centric models, emphasizing that banks must increasingly think like tech companies to meet modern consumers’ expectations. His perspective not only reflects the changes within banking but also highlights the broader shifts across industries driven by technology and innovation. 

In Conclusion: A Testament to Growth 

In essence, Karan Goyal’s trajectory from a budding investment banker in India to a leading executive in Dubai offers more than just a career blueprint; it serves as a testament to the power of adapting to change, seizing opportunities, and continuously striving for excellence. For those walking the fine line between aspiration and actualization in investment banking, Karan’s journey is both a guide and an inspiration. 

Stay tuned for next week’s episode and check out last week’s with Maren Winnick if you haven’t already!

The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast 

Hosted by Peter Nieberg 

Produced by Peter Nieberg and Brett Dayman 

Edited by Natalia Revere