10 tips to help you start a career in investment banking 

In late August, Simon Kavanagh, BDA’s Head of Hong Kong and our global Industrials team, joined the investment banking panel at the Asia Investment Banking Conference in Hong Kong.

The AIBC brings together 300+ students from 90 universities across the globe each year. The students hear from prominent bankers about their experience in the industry, helping the participants make informed decisions about their future careers. 

Moderated by Bloomberg’s Manuel Baigorri, the investment banking panel participants included BDA’s Simon Kavanagh, Kayson Fu, MD of M&A Advisory at HSBC, Raymond Yu, MD and co-head of Investment Banking Greater China at Barclays, and David Cheng, MD and Head of Asia Corporate Finance at BofA Securities.They shared their advice for starting a career in investment banking. The key takeaways included: 

  1. When choosing your first role out of university, choose a company that can give you hands-on experience. You want live transaction experience, and to be out of the office and joining client meetings as much as you can 
  1. Be flexible – be willing to take on new responsibilities – experience is everything in the early years 
  1. Have perseverance – markets are cyclical but they’ll always bounce back 
  1. Always bring a positive enthusiastic attitude to work, it will take you to more places than you realise 
  1. Never be afraid to ask questions and share your opinions 
  1. Never stop learning 
  1. In M&A it’s important to get both pitching and financial modelling experience, and if you’re finding yourself doing too much of one, and not the other, speak up. Having a breadth of experience will help you in the long-term 
  1. The first few years of your banking career can be tiresome, but fortunately today banks are very conscious of the well-being of their staff and encourage a better work-life balance than they did in the past 
  1. Hong Kong is a great city to start as an analyst. It has a work hard, play hard lifestyle and there are many opportunities to network with a diverse mix of professionals  
  1. Socialising is important, the people in your network will help you in many ways throughout your career, just as you will help them 

BDA is a global M&A advisory firm offering intern opportunities for students and graduates. We provide an excellent opportunity to gain an expansive breadth of hands-on experience across sectors focusing on M&A (sellside and buyside) and capital raising. Internships run across all our nine offices at various times during the year. Successful candidates will get hands on experience and will support deal teams with a wide variety of tasks around our M&A advisory mandates. An intern’s work will typically include: 

  • Conducting research and analysis  
  • Drafting of important pitch documents and marketing materials 
  • Attending meetings with clients and counterparties, and prepare meeting notes 

If you enjoy working in an entrepreneurial environment where creativity and performance is rewarded, then we invite you to explore opportunities with us. Please visit our careers page bdapartners.com/careers 

About BDA Partners

BDA Partners is the global investment banking advisor for Asia. We are a premium provider of Asia-related advice to sophisticated clients globally, with over 25 years’ experience advising on cross-border M&A, capital raising, and financial restructuring. We provide global reach with our teams in New York and London, and true regional depth through our seven Asian offices in Mumbai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. BDA has deep expertise tin the Chemicals, Consumer & Retail, Health, Industrials, Services and Technology sectors. We work relentlessly to earn our clients’ trust by delivering insightful advice and outstanding outcomes.

BDA Partners has strategic partnerships with William Blair, a premier global investment banking business, and with DBJ (Development Bank of Japan), a Japanese Government-owned bank with US$150bn of assets. bdapartners.com

Latest news