Increasingly, Investment Bankers, from grad-level Analysts to senior VPs, are getting tired of the long hours with variable reward and are seeking to make a seismic career shift into the Fintech game. In our opinion the concept of working in ‘Fintech’ is getting broader and less defined, but across our four coverage locations from Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney the top 4 ways to move into Fintech off the back of your Investment Banking experience are surprisingly similar.
1. Demonstrate how your skills translate to your target Fintech employer
With every application or approach to a prospective Fintech employer, try to remind them how your IB skills can add value to their business. This is crucial if you want to make a move, because for sure the guys [or girls] you are interviewing with are probably thinking, “this guy is sharp, talks well, but he wants a lot of money, maybe we should just hire another developer instead”. So whether your background is in sales, corporate advisory or trading it’s best to target job opportunities or Fintech firms that are seeking your specific talents. This is more likely to get you an interview, and ultimately an offer to move in to Fintech.
2. Be okay with earning less
This rule applies at any level, but if you are relatively senior in banking or trading this pay adjustment may be severe. So it’s best to plan a career shift when you have a bit of cash in the bank, or ideally after a payout. With no prior track-record in Fintech, even with a move that draws heavily on your prior experience, it is likely that your base salary will be much lower. Also with any form of Fintech start-up you will probably be offered some form of equity, which realistically won’t often pay out that generously or at all. In short, you should view the move as a great opportunity to make a career tack and expect that the financial return will be less initially.
3. Learn the game: get coding!
I know you are thinking “oh man, that sounds like a lot of effort”. Well yeah, maybe, but it will give you a huge benefit when interviewing with a rapidly growing Fintech firm. Also this tip doesn’t mean you need to go enrol in a full BSc. in Computer Engineering. Just by doing a basic course in coding or website development or one of any tech related areas, demonstrates a genuine interest and commitment to diversify your experience and career. Building any form of digital tech knowledge, even at a broad theoretical or academic level, will help with every Fintech application.
4. Go start something yourself
Seriously, why not?! Life is short, and there is certainly no absolute job security in Investment Banking these days anyway! Get a few buddies together, and go create your own future. There is no more confident way to move from Investment Banking in to Fintech than to give it a crack yourself. Your idea and your execution doesn’t need to be perfect, but being involved in all aspects of actually building and creating a digital business will empower you with some exceptional knowledge to shift your career. Even if your new digital venture doesn’t get any traction, when you step into your next Fintech interview in the future, trust us, they will give you a tonne of respect.
Want to move into Fintech? Send your CV to email@example.com and we can connect you with a diverse set of Fintech clients across Asia-Pacific.