At the beginning of my analyst program i had a fixed-notion of what it takes to become one of the top-ranked analysts in my class, pocket top-bucket bonus and move on to a prosperous future in finance. I wasn't alone in believing that building up great modeling skills, understanding corporate finance and mastering the three financial statements would get me there. I still think that those skills will impress your deal teams and provide the basis for a career in finance, however they're not the only way to excel. In fact, during my time in investment banking, I worked on a lot of deals with the same analyst who didn't master any of the three skills mentioned above, yet moved on to receive top-bucket at year-end. While financial analysis skills impress associates, the following three skills impress senior bankers. Since senior bankers rank higher in the banking hierarchy, the previous mentioned analyst became top-ranked despite below-average financial analysis skills.
Build Up Killer Organizational Skills
Investment banking consists of running many different processes. Vice presidents are valuable because they have run these processes over and over and master every single step. Banks have product-specific groups that can add even more value at the later stages of any given process.
While an analyst has not seen each process very often, they can still add value by keeping track of all the short-term deliverables that are required to eventually get to the finish line. Great analysts who master financial analysis often times overlook the importance of organizing and keeping track of all the internal deliverables and all client communication. However, an organized analyst will noticeably speed up the process and free up the associate's time. A vice president only looks good when a deal moves at a fast pace and thus he will quickly pick up that you are "driving the process". Read more......