New Investment Banking Recruits need more Technical Skills than ever

Since the crisis of 2008, the investment banking industry has been going through a generational shift. In previous decades, landing an advisory position at one of the world’s largest investment banks had more to do with your personal network than your degree or technical acumen. Since “The Great Recession,” though, new recruits are expected to have more technical skills than ever before, and by some accounts, analysts at the world’s biggest investment banks are often more qualified than those in senior positions.

One study revealed an inverse trend when it came to comparing MBAs and Masters of Finance. Among front office investment bankers, 22% of Managing Directors had MBAs while a quarter had a postgraduate degree in Finance. At the other end of the spectrum, only 7% of analysts had a Master of Business Administration while almost half held MFins. The difference isn’t explained by work experience, either: VPs and Associates were also twice more likely to have MFins than MBAs. Rather, expectations in the industry are changing. The numbers are clear: if you want to make it in the world of Mergers & Acquisitions, you should be considering a Master of Finance program in Toronto.

The three biggest employers of investment bankers with postgraduate degrees in Finance are the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and BNP Paribas.Graduates with a Master of Finance in Canada may also find themselves working with:

  • Citigroup
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Scotia Capital
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Barclays Capital


These banks are increasingly hiring technically qualified graduates for front office roles such as trading, sales, and M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions). M&A roles are the most sought after among the best Master of Finance graduates in Canada, and they require a high level of technical knowledge and critical skills.

If you want to learn how to manage corporate portfolios, analyze equities and fixed incomes, and understand quantitative methods, but you don’t want to give up your current career and return to school full-time, you may be interested in a part-time Master of Finance in downtown Toronto. For two years on alternating weekends you can study at Wilfrid Laurier University’s campus located in Toronto’s financial district. Their program also prepares students for the CFA exams, while those entering who have already passed are exempt from CFA-prep courses.

A Master of Finance Degree is being seen more and more as a valuable way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. While their salary expectations are generally lower than those who hold an MBA alone, schools like Wilfrid Laurier offer double degree programs. A Master of Finance with an MBA is a powerful combination that gives you both the technical skills required by investment banking roles and the management skills you need to reach beyond associate-level positions. By studying on alternate weekends over a longer period of time, you can offset the tuition fees by continuing to work throughout your studies. If you’ve already gotten your foot in the door of the financial industry, you don’t have to give it up to go back to school. A part-time MFin lets you juggle your career and family while you reach for new heights.

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