This is the second part of our series on Sales & Trading, focused on what it’s really like working in sales and trading. Read part 1, what is sales and trading, here.
Not all roles on a trading floor are the same. Generally, teams within Sales & Trading are called “desks”. For example, within Equities, there is a Sales desk, Electronic Trading desk, Prime Brokerage or Prime Services desk and Equity Derivatives desk… the list goes on. Sales people are generally called Research Sales personnel, responsible for selling the research and insights of the Investment Research department and also maintaining and building relationships with investors. Sales Traders also focus on relationships, typically liaising with the dealers on the buy-side to facilitate trading. Those working in Principal Trading will actively trade and invest in securities for the bank. Some banks may also have a Special Situations group within their Sales & Trading function, investing directly in private equity-like transactions. Essentially, within Sales & Trading, there are a variety of roles, suited to a variety of different skill sets and personalities.
Do all Investment Banks offer Sales & Trading internships?
In Australia, investment banks are generally present in Sydney and Melbourne, with Sales & Trading typically based in Sydney. From observation over the years, the majority of global investment banks in Sydney have summer internships, typically called Summer Analyst programs. These may be in Sales & Trading specifically – either in FICC and/or Equities, depending on the firm. However, some firms with a Sales & Trading function may not consistently hire interns each year as it may be contingent on business needs. Commercial banks also have summer internships and rotate interns through their trading function, which generally focuses on FICC, as part of their Corporate and Institutional Banking streams.
Sales & Trading at banks may not be referred to as ‘Sales & Trading’ at all banks. Some banks may call such a division ‘Markets’ or ‘Global Markets’ or ‘Securities’. Confusing huh?
It is also important to clarify that the division you are applying for is of a Sales & Trading nature, as opposed to Capital Markets (which is a Corporate Finance style division).
Lifestyle and hours
Sales & Trading generally does not feature the regular late nights of an Investment Banking Division. That being said, if there is an after-market capital raising or function with clients, or if you have an intern project you need to work on – late nights aren’t out of the question. Working or rotating in Sales or Sales Trading in Equities, you can expect to be in the office around 6.30am to digest overnight news, read emails and be ready for daily morning meetings which set the focus of the day. In client-facing roles, you can expect to finish work after market close, so generally between 5-7pm. Personnel in FICC and principal trading may start later in the morning, with FICC finishing later than those in Equities (due to different market trading hours). Interns will have limited client contact and should expect to work hours congruent with the desk that they are rotating through.
Still keen? Click here to read what you should do ahead of applying!