If you’re already in a front-office role, moving up is a different story – it can be easier than in developed markets, but as I mentioned before there’s also less of a “path” and it’s heavily dependent on your results. We also have some unique products you won’t find anywhere else, such as those used to fund BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) deals. It is true that South Africa is in Africa…It is also true that South Africa is the most likely destination for bulge brackets to set up shop in Africa, but the reality on the ground: South Africa is not considered the benchmark of Africa!Thus when you label South Africa as “the place to do it ” it is an injustice to the other opportunities available to the rest of the continent and a misalignment with the reality on the ground. More activity will shift to emerging markets over time, but for most people in developed countries moving to one of these places isn’t a realistic option (with a few exceptions). There were no case studies or modeling tests, even though I was an experienced candidate. A few years into it, I got interested in equities trading but also realized that I would need an MBA to move into a new industry. Can you tell us about the industry landscape there? If there’s one profession that bankers don’t respect, it’s the poor accountant. That being said, the supply and demand ratio of South Africa’s investment banking job market … Without too much contradiction from the story above I shall give a feel of what I have experienced in the rest of Africa. A: Overall it’s closer to the US – but interviews tend to be less formal and they’re more about fit rather than technical questions. Quick question. Unlike their challengers, the four universal banks have the principal advantage of being able to serve a sizeable share of South Africa’s business and corporate banking customers. On a more cynical side though, I would like to warn that you need a bit of a “Wild West” mentality to survive in Johannesburg, crime is rampant, the norm is for houses to have high walls, alarm systems and electric fences. I don’t know what they can say other than it being pointless no matter what. A: The most common deals are working capital or property finance-related, with some advisory and corporate finance thrown in. Would the best bet be a CFA or possibly a financial mathematics masters degree? I understand that a US Degree is viewed valuable in developing countries, but what I want to know is if it is valuable in SA? You might have covered this elsewhere but I’m just wondering how one gets an internship/job in an emerging market if they went to university here and doesn’t have any personal ties in the country? Interest in Africa has widened with more countries being considered for investment and a wider range of industries being targeted in Africa. This website and our partners set cookies on your computer to improve our site and the ads you see. perhaps the fund is an emerging markets fund based in U.S. and require someone who knows the language and culture but even this scenario is rare). Please refer to our full privacy policy. I would just ask for a few minutes to speak on the phone. We have seen bulge bracket come through on the mega state deals (government eurobonds) recently than ever before.This are but a few illustrations of the different dynamics at play on the rest of Africa. Financial Leadership Into The Digital Age. Consumer retail is also huge in some countries, like Nigeria, where the GDP per capita is growing rapidly and the middle class is expanding. After that, I went through a few more rounds of interviews with the firm and eventually won an offer there. To give you an idea of the numbers, I went through 17 interviews over a 10-month period (and networked with dozens of bankers in that period) before winning my offer. Your email address will not be published. I am well aware that public finance falls outside of what most people consider traditional investment banking. Driven largely by raw materials and mining, the country is the largest producer of gold, platinum, and chromium in the world. hey.sorry I know its an old thread.I am doing a degree in Accounting and I realised that I lov Investment banking more than accounting.How can I branch into Investment Banking after my Accounting degree.thanx, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/breaking-into-investment-banking-accountant/, https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/big-4-restructuring-to-investment-banking/. But, where’s the door to South Africa? Properties are remaining longer on the market, with this year’s average being 15 weeks compared to 11 weeks in 2016 – according to South African bank, Absa. A lot of the international banks (American/ European) have no preference as to whether you’er a CA or not. 5 years after starting the business, I sold it and started my MBA program. Hey guys. I currently work in the public finance department of a regional firm (2 yrs experience). I interviewed around and won an offer at an investment bank that had recruited at our school. Yes, but most bankers do not care about or value the CPA even though it is useful. Working for one of South Africa’s top banking companies is all about making money. I have not joined the working world yet so I may be incorrect but as far as I know English is the language of the financial industry in SA. South africa is strict on math related degrees even if the blog says differently. Today’s top 110 Investment Banker jobs in South Africa. Hey Brian, I am a student at a top public business school (think UCB- Haas or Michigan Ross- or UVA McIntire). Do people stay in South Africa or move elsewhere? While everyone knows about emerging markets like China, India, and the Middle East, there’s not as much awareness of South Africa. South Africa Nigeria Ghana Zimbabwe. I majored in it and joined a Big 4 firm after graduation, doing large multi-national audits as well as valuation and purchase price allocation (PPA) work. I think readers may have better insights to your question, Thanks Nicole appreciate the feedback, I ended up not taking the offer as I believe SA still does not stack up to a more traditional financial capital like London / NY / HK… and recent events there are actually quite scary, Thank you for your informative article. The shorter the email, the better. Commerce grads are like a conglomerate in this country. Q: How do most people start working in finance in South Africa? South africa is strict on math related degrees even if the blog says differently. Your information will not be shared. Yes, I think you may want to wait till after Thanksgiving and contact him then. Know the investment banking career track. My bank also puts on a lot of company-sponsored events and sports, and we even have a sponsored bar. You can try if you have connections. Thanks for the suggestion. So you’ll need some type of added bonus (e.g., language skills) to stand out over everyone else – otherwise, it’s highly unusual for bankers to leave the US or Europe to come work here. Big international mining companies also tend to be reluctant to buy African assets due to the high cost of setting up infrastructure. languages to be hired in SA since local unemployment rate is high. This has developed into a bit of a rant but I hope this helps and I would like to thank the website for all the help. And it is less likely they’ll know too much about the company you chose which maybe better. Any thoughts on how easy/difficult it is to get in? With regards to pay, do CA’s or investment bankers get paid more in South-Africa? (Culture,pay,exit opps etc.). I’m a fairly recent hire so I still have quite a bit to learn and I want to explore as much as possible first. “If there’s one profession that bankers don’t respect, it’s the poor accountant. It took close to a year of networking and interviewing off-and-on before I caught a lucky break via this contact. The bank also reports a drop in 2017’s asking prices, with 92% of the houses selling below market price versus 2016’s 88%. A: Sure. M&A or Leveraged Finance are great ways to get there. After you pass this step the interview process begins, which could consist of one on one interviews,a panel of interviewers or straight to the “Superday” situation. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience with us! Also, what kind of follow-up questions would they normally ask for?(Financial-related/operational/management/competitors?). Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. I wasn’t really offended, more like trying to illustrate that there are more financial opportunities on the ground than perhaps articulated. And then a fair number of bankers don’t have finance degrees at all – they come from other industries and are simply good at making rain. Many senior bankers do the CA and work at an accounting firm initially, and that was the exact route I wanted to take. Oddly enough, these days Mandarin Chinese helps you in South Africa, of all places, because Chinese firms have been so acquisitive in Africa and some banks here even have Chinese investors. I’d connect with people on LinkedIn and try to gain some relevant experience at a local/boutique firm in South Africa. Yes, try to set up a meeting for when you’re home. 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