Can chartered accountants become investment bankers? How?
I’ll start with my background. After that I will post my story of transformation from CA to investment banker.
Just for reference, even a semi-qualified Chartered Accountant (IPCC certified) can become an investment banker
Note: Read this entire answer to get a realistic opinion. Half information is even more harmful than no information.
A few years ago I completed my CA and started working with the big four in the audit team. Quite frustrated with the routine nature of the work, I started looking for other options in Core Finance. So terms like Valuation, Equity Research, Financial Modeling and Investment Banking were the first to come to my mind.
Eventually I was persuaded by my colleagues in the office (who were already in Valuation) to switch to investment banking.
I knew very well that no company would be willing to give me such a profile given that I was involved in non-core finance.
Based on my research here and there, I immediately joined an investment banking training institute that provided me with a so-called ‘guarantee’ for placement. I made a mistake in that. One of my colleagues also joined this course.
I didn’t ask myself a few questions: How can anyone guarantee you a placement? You can only say probability, can’t you?
The result was something I did not expect. At the end of the training, they were just sending me a job offer that I could very well look up online! Wow, I realized I just drained almost a Lakh of rupees into the channel!
I didn’t give up here. I was determined to work in investment banking. So my colleague and I headed to another institute. Now I would like to actually name it (which I did not do for the previous institute). I met Himansha Sir from The Wallstreet School.
The frustration I had regarding my experience with the previous institute led me to interview with the Wallstreet School placement scenario. That’s where I felt the real difference. He was not giving a guarantee, but a probability based on previously placed candidates.
Another difference was that my colleague was rejected after the interview because of some major weaknesses in his current profile that made him unsuitable. Gentlemen! He wasn’t hungry for my money, at least. So I joined his training program.
The instructors were there full time. My classmates had different backgrounds and I built a strong network there. I was placed even before the workshop was over. You see, probability!
In addition, he did not take 60% of the fees from the candidates until they were placed. Even after placement, my classmates were ready to make recommendations and helped me transition last month.