Banking / “sell-side” overview
The banks, which are often referred to as “dealers” or collectively as the “sell-side”, offer a wide range of roles that fall under the corporate finance umbrella:
These roles themselves have further subcategories. For example, investment bankers can range in firms sized between the bulge bracket investment banks and the boutique firms. Commercial bankers can handle different job functions such as customer cash management, insurance, investments, advisory, and even private banking, where bankers are tasked with handling the financial needs of high net worth individuals.
The term sell-side means a firm involved in the origination and sale of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other securities. As the name implies, there is a large degree of sales involved with most sell-side careers, particularly in top positions. Professionals are typically client-facing in senior roles with compensation closely tied to fees generated. In junior roles, the focus can be more analytical with compensation tied to analytic performance.
Sell-side bankers may often also design different investment products. The famous mortgage-backed security bonds were designed by bankers as another derivative investment instrument.
Sell-side work environment
The banking section of our corporate finance career map is characterized by individuals who are highly competitive, ambitious, smart, and motivated. You can make a lot of money straight out of school and move up the ladder quickly, however, the hours are long and the work is very demanding. That being said, you can expect to be challenged and, therefore, develop skills rather quickly.
Explore each of our sell-side career profiles to discover which path is right for you. Alternatively, if the sell-side doesn’t appeal to you, be sure to check out the buy-side to see what careers are like on the other side.