By Ritvik Muthuswamy, Altrincham Grammar School, Alumnus of The Young Investment Banker Programme 2017
I am currently studying A-levels at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys’ sixth form and on the 17th of July I attended Young Investment Banker Programme run at the University College, London. Waking up at 5am to catch a train from Manchester wasn’t ideal but I anticipated it would be worth it, and InvestIN definitely didn’t disappoint.
As I arrived into the lecture hall, I was amongst a dozen of some extremely proficient investment bankers who had years upon years of experience behind them working for the biggest names in the industry such as ABN AMRO and Goldman Sachs.
At the start of the seminar we were straight into the thick of things; we first learnt about all the different components that make up a trading floor and the broader career options within an investment bank. I understood that on a trading floor perfect information (or as close to it as the traders can possibly get) is required, so there are researchers who scour through financial news and data to keep traders best informed on the decisions they make. Once we covered the basics we went onto more intricate and detailed areas of investment banking skills. My personal favourite was learning about valuation. We learnt about discounted cashflow which is valuation on the premise that, the company is worth its future cashflows discounted to today. Multiples analysis is a more accurate form of valuation in my opinion as it draws parallels to similar companies (comparable analysis) and also analyses previous transactions to give a valuation; this again shows how investment banking is intrinsically linked with behavioural economics, If a trader can more accurately value a stock then he or she is better informed on whether he should buy or sell the stock and they also has asymmetric information compared to other traders so the trader can reap profits for both himself and the investment bank.
Towards the latter stages of the programme, we got a chance to improve our teamwork skills by working in groups on various different activities that an investment banker would do regularly. We had the opportunity as a group to pitch to a professional on why Coca-Cola should or should not bid for Pepsico; after working as a team we came up with an effective pitch and delivered it in 90 seconds conveying potential benefits, drawbacks and valuation methodology. I learnt that for a pitch to be successful it should be concise and convey the main points as clearly as possible so a client can make an informed decision.
This programme gave me an in depth insight into the sector while also boosting my interpersonal skills. It has grown my passion towards investment banking.