JP Morgan, London
Analyst, Acquisition and Leveraged Finance
ECE Batch of 2011
- What is your role at JP Morgan, London?
I will step back and first explain what an Investment bank (IB) does. An IB has three main roles (apart from trading, hedging etc.):
- Advising on Mergers and Acquisitions
- Equity: Helping companies do an IPO (listing on the stock market)
- Debt: Helping companies raise debt for acquisitions, other expenditures
I work with the Leveraged finance team at the J.P. Morgan London office. We cover corporates based in Europe and help them raise debt through bonds and loans. So, I am basically in the third vertical (debt). J.P. Morgan is globally undisputed in this segment.
Re my role, I am an Analyst and still at the bottom of the food chain. As an analyst one is involved in most of the ground work (models, market tracking, analysis etc.) work (you do have good exposure to the client but the real task of getting new business lies on the seniors, VP and above).
- Tell us about the kind of exposure at JP Morgan Chase.
My journey at JPM has been very interesting so far. I have worked on billion dollar deals, interacted with CFO/CEO of many companies and gained a better understanding of how businesses work (at least from a financial angle). Moreover, interacting with people from so many nationalities/cultures is also pretty cool. You realize that people across the globe are so similar and yet so diverse.
Life at an investment bank is not easy: pulling all nighters / working on weekends / working more than 100 hour per week are very typical. I have been in situations where I have worked more than 40 hours straight. (And the quality of work has to be good even after such intense work. Note errors can be catastrophic)
The learning is endless both on and off work and I have a long way to go!
- How would you compare the profile offered by JP Morgan (Junior Analyst) with other companies coming at NSIT ?
JPM office in Mumbai which comes for recruitment to NSIT is a middle/ back office and should not be confused with a front end investment banking role. However, if as a graduate you want to enter the IB world in India then it is good and infact one of the best platforms to do so. I believe the conversion ratio (to front offices) is the highest for JPM. Luck is an extremely important component here.
Back in college I would have given anything to get into the cool “non-tech” profiles. The reason for that was that I was just measuring package and brand (and not valuing the profile). I have come to this very strong conclusion that non-tech jobs are not as cool as they are portrayed to be. Most non-tech profiles are glorified back office profiles with bad working hours and copy paste work. So be very sure before you decide to leave the tech domain because it usually very difficult to get back. (reach out to the people already working there)
Cannot comment on other companies but JPM has good opportunities but you will have to work very-very hard.
- How have you changed as an individual post graduating from NSIT?
That’s a good one. Inherently I guess I still think and operate as an engineer. Remember how efficient and resourceful one becomes one night before the exam. Give me a week and I will still finish the course on the last night. ( well believe me that is a really efficient way of working as well)
One major change and it is mostly a European influence is that I have abandoned (or at least in the process of abandoning) the “chalta hai” attitude. If I do a thing I try to put in a genuine effort to do it instead of just doing it for a tick mark.
Additionally one starts realizing the importance of thinking and planning ahead, communicating clearly, being proactive etc.
On a separate note, I strongly believe that students at NSIT should try to get some international exposure during college life (internships or just go bag packing in US/Europe; trip to Thailand does not count).
- What words of advice would you give to juniors willing to pursue a career in Finance?
It would be better to first do an internship at some finance firm. BITS Pilani has a 6 month internship process and the students get a very good idea of the corporate life. I would suggest starting something like that at NSIT. I completely understand that it is a near impossible extremely painful structural/admin change.
Additionally, please do not ignore the Silicon Valley. Software engineers in the US earn well but work one third the hours. Once you start working 15 hours a day then you will realize the importance of personal time!
However, finance is and will be a good career option with exposure like no other industry.