Rotman School of Management

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Major in Investment Banking

Risk and reward

An investment banking career involves raising equity and debt capital for companies. While competition for these positions can be tough, the profession remains a highly-attractive option for MBA graduates. Located just blocks away from North America's third largest financial centre, Rotman is the ideal place to build your career in this rapidly-growing field.

In the Investment Banking major, you will learn how to evaluate investment proposals, financial strategies and instruments, and the rationale and execution of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

The courses in this major develop skillsets in financial analysis and deepen institutional understanding of financial instruments and institutions. With this knowledge, you are positioned to help firm management to create value as they explore investment proposals, financing options, consider alternative ways to manage cash and dividends, and consider acquisitions and divestitures. Specific topics include the process for issuing and underwriting new debt and equity securities to support strategic and financial buyers. You will also learn key legal and regulatory constraints on corporate activity and deepen your understanding of financial statements. 

Specific topics cover:

  • How to make capital structure, dividend policy and debt structuring decisions
  • How to evaluate capital budgeting proposals for the internal acquisition of assets
  • How to buy other people's assets or sell off assets no long needed by the firm through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

"The best time to invest in U.S. Treasury securities may be spring, thanks to changes in risk tolerance linked to depression."

- Lisa Kramer, a finance professor cross-appointed to the Rotman School, in an online article

Requirements to Complete the Major

You must successfully complete 3 of the following 4 core courses:

  • Corporate Financing
  • Financial Management
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance

It is also recommended that students in this major complete the fourth core course and choose other courses from the following selection:

  • Corporate Strategy
  • Current Issues in Financial Reporting and Disclosure
  • Financial Institutions and Capital Markets
  • International Financial Management
  • Options and Futures Markets
  • Hedge Funds and Broker Dealers
  • Business Analysis and Valuation

Career Paths

Investment bankers are responsible for advising clients on how and where to spend and save, how to get the most from their finances, and how to make their money work for them. They must understand the markets, keep up with financial trends, and use analysis and history to predict future growth. They may also be called upon to sell products and services, in addition to managing clients’ money.

There are at least four career paths. A first career is as an investment banker, advising firms and financial buyers and structuring large and complex financial transactions, such as debt issuances, equity issuances and major acquisitions and divestitures. A second career is as a private equity professional, in venture capital or leveraged buyout firms. A third career is management of non-financial corporations, including C-suite roles, corporate treasurers and controllers, and corporate development and strategy. A fourth career is as a consultant, providing services to firms and financial buyers, as they consider alternative strategies for value creation that involve and large and complex financial transactions. 

Major investment banks include Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Warburgs, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Brothers, UBS, Credit Suisse, Citibank and Lazard. Many investment banks also have retail operations that serve small, individual customers. In most firms, there is a sales and trading area (which works with owners of securities), investment banking (which works with issuers of securities, such as firms and governments) and capital markets (which goes between the two).

Flexible Internship Program

The Rotman Full-Time MBA Program provides a unique opportunity for students to integrate and apply management knowledge gained within the program through a 4-month internship. Students are required to complete the course “Applied Management: Placement” in conjunction with a work placement which may be done in the Summer, Fall or Winter terms. Depending on their academic area of concentration/major and career objectives, students will be guided on the best work term option to secure a placement with an employer. Throughout their work placement, students will benefit from enhanced communication with their host employers, tracking of project deliverables and feedback from faculty supervisors.

A selection of investment firms where Rotman MBA graduates have worked in recent years:

Finance companies

Thought piece - Investment banking

Investing with a Gender Lens

Sarah Kaplan is an associate professor of strategic management

Career directions
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