In the midst of a sea change in investment banking, we could well see a new breed of M&A banker. Being a deal maker will no longer be enough. The key to landing a job in M&A will be the ability to roll with the changes.
Some key attributes of that new banker:
Well-Rounded: Its no longer just about raking in fees that tops the list. You'll need to be well-versed in risk management, for starters - or be trusted that you won't put the banks top clients in undue danger through a shaky deal.
Trustworthiness: Clients must be comfortable in the way you handle their needs, one recruiter says. By being able to listen and understand, you'll not only be able help clients, but be able to put the bank's full arsenal of products and services on display so you can forge deeper relationships.
Relationship-Building: "Relationships are the way that you win new business," says Richard Lipstein, of the Boyden Group. M&A is one of the linchpins of advisory services, and clients need sound advice that can be based on perspectives gleaned over time.
Logical Thinking and Analytical Skills: The financial crisis has led many companies to become gun shy when it comes to deal making. More often, deals will require deeper due diligence and number crunching so that the deal's parameters make sense.
Understand the Big Picture: Show you can understand what the client needs and you're doing well. Demonstrate that you get the role that you play in shaping the corporate landscape, in the form of a deal that creates a new organization that helps the economy and consumers, and you're way ahead of the game.