IBD Finance

IBD Finance

What is the Investment Banking Division (IBD)?

IBD is the acronym for the Investment Banking Division within Global Investment Banking. IBD is responsible for working with corporations, institutions and governments to raise capital (underwriting in the equity, debt and hybrid markets) as well as executing mergers and acquisitions and various types of advisory mandates.

Other divisions of an investment bank

Within an investment bank, there is a clear line between the Investment Banking (IBD) division and other areas of the bank such as:

  • Equity research
  • Sales and trading
  • The Commercial Bank
  • Asset Management
  • Retail banking and other areas
  • All of the jobs above are considered “front office” (think: customer facing) careers. In addition to front office careers in an investment bank, there are also “middle office” careers such as operations, technology, and human resources. Finally, there are also “back office” jobs such as accounting, payroll, technical support, etc.

Not everyone who works in an investment bank is an investment banker
If someone says they "work in investment banking" they must be referring to the IBD within an investment bank, although people often claim to work in investment banking then that they have no work in this division.

For this reason, real investment bankers are clear that they work in IBD.

Not everyone who works in an investment bank is an investment banker.

To learn more about the skills required in the investment banking division, start our investment banking courses!

Industry groups with IBD
The IBD is further subdivided into industry groups. The most common groups are:

  • Media & Telecommunications Technology (TMT)
  • Financial Institutions Group (FIG)
  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Health care
  • Industrial
  • Immovable

Investment Banking Division (IBD) Job Titles

There is a standard hierarchy within the IBD which is almost the same in most banks. The titles and career path in most banks are as follows:

  • Analyst - focused exclusively on financial modeling, valuation work and pitch book support
  • Partner - manages analysts, also does modeling and writes presentation books
  • Vice President - manages associates, designs presentation books, attends client meetings
  • Director - meets clients, structures deals, leads team
  • Managing Director - focused almost exclusively on winning new business/clients

To learn more about compensation at each level, see our guide to investment banking salaries.

Additional Resources

This has been the CFI's guide to how investment banks are structured and hopefully sheds some light on what exactly it means to be in the IBD. To continue learning and growing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources:

  • What do investment bankers do?
  • Investment Banking Interview Questions
  • Equity Research vs Investment Banking
  • Financial Modeling Guide

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