The Importance of Mentorship in Investment Banking

February 29, 2024

In The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast

It is widely known in Investment Banking that it is an apprenticeship; no amount of study prepares you for the job. You put in the hours, learn your craft, and develop your skills along the way to build your career. The best way to make this process successful? Seek out mentorship.

I have heard repeatedly from the IB community in recent weeks how glad they are to be back in the office full time or several days a week for this exact reason. During my interviews with successful senior leaders on The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast, they all noted the importance of having a mentor and how it is key to supercharging your apprenticeship.

This article will address:

–          Why having a mentor is important

–          How to go about finding the right mentor

Why is having a mentor in
Investment Banking important?

Below are the four top reasons for ensuring you have a mentor.

1) Skill Development

Investment Banking is complex, and you need to put in the hours to gain the experience to excel. A great mentor can help you develop the key skills across financial modelling, valuation, deal structuring and client relationship management required to succeed. Learning from a mentor and being introduced to others can speed up the learning process and help you stand out from the crowd.

2)     Industry Knowledge

Investment Banking is closely tied to the financial markets and global economy. Experienced mentors can provide insights into market trends, industry dynamics and regulatory change. This supports with ensuring you have the knowledge to advise clients successfully, but also to ensure you position yourself within the right area to succeed no matter the challenges the markets face.

3)     Networking

If you are serious about building a long-term career in Investment Banking, then networking is important from the junior role. In fact, I asked the community recently for their feedback on the topic and 44% shared that you should start at Graduate level. Mentors can make introductions, suggest great events and push you to leave your comfort zone in this area. Starting to network early can be a significant advantage in your career advancement and deal origination.

Investment Banking – Career & Networking

4)     Career Guidance

Investment Banking is a demanding environment, and the right mentor can offer guidance on career progression, work life balance and navigating the numerous industry challenges.

Sher Hafeez, MD at JLL in New York shared you should write a promotion game plan, so you know what is required to take the next step. Share it with your mentor, ask for feedback and refine to support your development.

Strong mentors that progress through the business and succeed at the higher echelons, will have a vested interest in bringing their mentee with them. Mentors help their mentees set career goals and achieve them!

How do you go about
finding the right mentor?

Given the importance of having a mentor and the demands of your role, it is not always easy to find one!

The leaders on the Investment Banking Leaders podcast with a combined experience of over 150 years shared that a mentor is typically an organic relationship, but by focusing on the seven key areas below you will help you to succeed.

1) Be a sponge and always learn from those above you.

2) Show an interest in others and their work.

3) Be curious and ask questions.

4) Spend time with others- prioritize connecting in person and be visible- do not say no to events and opportunities.

5) Do not be afraid to ask for support or to ask to shadow successful leaders.

6) Get to know and build relationships with all colleagues, even in different verticals.

7) Look for mentors externally as well as internally.

By utilizing the above advice, you will build organic mentor relationships built on trust that will provide you the platform for long term success in the industry.

Mentorship is a critical component
for success in Investment Banking

Having the right mentor supports you to develop your skills and knowledge that help you succeed. They can support you as you build a network that is vital to success, as well as help guide you through promotions.

Whilst it may seem difficult to find early in your career, especially with a high workload many of the ways to find a mentor are organic and stem from showing an interest in others. Hope this helps you take the step to finding the right mentor for you.

If you want to start your mentorship journey and enhance it by connecting with the 8 MDs who appeared on Series 1 of the Investment Banking Leaders Podcast check out the links below, and stay tuned for Series 2 coming in the next few months!

Investment Banking Leaders Podcast Episode List

Episode 0 – Intro to the Investment Banking Leader Podcast

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 1 – Gokhan Ozkan of JP Morgan

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 2- Noha El Ghazaly of Mediterrania Capital Partners

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 3 – Scott Wieler of DC Advisory

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 4 – Rusty Ray of Alantra

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 5 – Charles Godbout of PwC

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 6 – Alessio Pieri of d’Angelin

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 7 – Sher Hafeez of JLL

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Episode 8 – Peter Shin of Stifel

Spotify | Apple Podcasts

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