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    (Original post by 123banana123)
    I don't have a great background in maths since i'm more of an arts-ie essay type.

    My GCSE in maths was A and I have not taken it any further.

    Does this mean I can't do investment banking, as some people say, or do investment banks require people with different skills for different departments. E.g. I would have better communication skills than the average math-mo!

    I'm hoping to do politics at cambridge or maybe government at LSE, otherwise at Warwick, Durham or Edinburgh.

    Would I have a chance of getting into Investment Banking with JP Morgan or Sachs etc?

    Thanks
    Offence taken :p:
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    There's always HR.
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    (Original post by 123banana123)
    I don't have a great background in maths since i'm more of an arts-ie essay type.

    My GCSE in maths was A and I have not taken it any further.

    Does this mean I can't do investment banking, as some people say, or do investment banks require people with different skills for different departments. E.g. I would have better communication skills than the average math-mo!

    I'm hoping to do politics at cambridge or maybe government at LSE, otherwise at Warwick, Durham or Edinburgh.

    Would I have a chance of getting into Investment Banking with JP Morgan or Sachs etc?

    Thanks
    I did English Literature, History, Biology and Chemistry at A Level and I had no problem breaking into Banking. I did do an MSc after uni but only really because I wanted the qualification - I had internships and job offers at that point regardless.
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    (Original post by II ANALYST)
    I did English Literature, History, Biology and Chemistry at A Level and I had no problem breaking into Banking. I did do an MSc after uni but only really because I wanted the qualification - I had internships and job offers at that point regardless.
    Out of interest, how did you find the quant stuff on the MSc? Were you just picking up concepts from scratch?
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    (Original post by Christo)
    Out of interest, how did you find the quant stuff on the MSc? Were you just picking up concepts from scratch?
    Took a couple of crash courses the summer before but otherwise I picked it up as I went along. I had to do a lot of pleading to convince Imperial that I could do the course. They rejected me originally based on my undergrad concentration. The math was pretty challenging, but I'd had a lot of exposure to Finance through work experience, so the concepts behind it were easy for me to grasp.
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    (Original post by 123banana123)
    I don't have a great background in maths since i'm more of an arts-ie essay type.

    My GCSE in maths was A and I have not taken it any further.

    Does this mean I can't do investment banking, as some people say, or do investment banks require people with different skills for different departments. E.g. I would have better communication skills than the average math-mo!

    I'm hoping to do politics at cambridge or maybe government at LSE, otherwise at Warwick, Durham or Edinburgh.

    Would I have a chance of getting into Investment Banking with JP Morgan or Sachs etc?

    Thanks
    Given all the bad press that quants have been receiving lately about the failure of their models to anticipate real risk, I'm thinking there'll be a shift towards recruitment of graduates with a better grasp of macro issues, so a degree in government will come in handy if you can market it well - I'm hoping, at least! I'm doing a degree in economics, but I plan to do the min quant modules I'll need to graduate and focus on political economy, which is what I'm interested in.

    It really depends on which department you're looking at as well - if the guy behind mergersandinquisitions is to be believed, then M&A doesn't actually require very complicated math. Structuring and trading are definitely very quantitative and require a high level of mathematical understanding - whereas in sales you do need to be numerate to understand how the products work - but in a more overall strategic/solutions sort of way rather than how to engineer it. Certainly in any area of banking you will need to be analytical, have an aptitude for math and able to make quick mental calculations - but that's not complicated math.

    I'm a more artsy type too I had an A for gcse math, did economics/history/english for my A levels and took a gap year. I'm doing economics right now and I find the level of math required is more advanced than the math I came across during my internship!
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    The maths you need for traditional investment banking- M&A or equity/debt issuance is:

    addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

    this is why russian lit majors from target unis are recruited for banking

    Now if you want to do derivatives structuring stuff or prop trading, then yeah, you probably need to know math
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    (Original post by Verne_Lundquist)
    The maths you need for traditional investment banking- M&A or equity/debt issuance is:

    addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

    this is why russian lit majors from target unis are recruited for banking

    Now if you want to do derivatives structuring stuff or prop trading, then yeah, you probably need to know math
    you need to be numerate enough to spot obvious mistakes
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    Not at all.

    Getting good grades in advanced math classes just make you stand out from the rest. Getting good grades in high school, high standardized exam scores, prestigious university, good grades in university classes, advanced university classes and etc. are all different ways to differentiate yourself and prove to your future employers that you are smart.

    Since investment banking is a competitive field to get in, you would want to take high math classes and what not to prove your high intrinsic value. It is therefore not uncommon to see investment banks recruiting at only select universities or prefer math/physics/economics/finance etc. students over liberal arts students (i.e. english, history, music studies and etc.) This is of course assuming that math is intrinsically harder than your average English or History class...I think so.

    All that, however, does not mean investment banking is rocket science. It is not. What's more important is accounting and finance background.

    1. Know ins and outs of the three main financial statements (BS, IS, CF)

    2. If I ask you the effects of an increase in inventory on all three financial statements, you should be able to walk me through it thoroughly. These problems are very easy. In fact, all you need to know to do well in accounting is how to compute simple arithmetic problems. But if you don't know basic accounting principles, you wouldn't be able to.

    3. Know finance concepts, such as the difference between levered and un-levered cash flows. Know which discount rate to use when doing DCF (levered cash flows vs. un-levered and how you use CAPM model Cost of Equity for levered cash flows and WACC for un-levered cash flows).

    4. Know why we add minority interest to our Enterprise Value number.

    5. Know how to calculate EV

    6. Know different valuation methods

    7. Which cash flows to use when building an LBO model and why

    8. Be able to explain why we un-lever betas of comparables and re-lever the average or median beta using the capital structure of the company you are looking at. Be able to convert levered betas to un-levered betas and vice versa.

    the list goes on and on...

    All these things you need to know (very basic things, fundamental stuff you learn in your introductory accounting finance classes) require very little math.

    In short, no. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to do well in banking. However, you do need to do well in advanced quantitative classes to prove to your employers that you are smarter than the rest.

    If you are coming from a non-finance/accounting/business background, you should be able to learn these things very quickly. That's probably what your interviewer thinks while he's interviewing you. "Is he smart enough to learn quickly?" And again, one way to gauge your ability to learn quickly and well...is your university performance and your academic concentration's level of difficulty.

    Best,
 
 
 
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