New research commissioned by Refinitiv shows how investment bankers can automate workflows and differentiate from their competitors through better use of digital tools
- Investment bankers face a myriad of challenges related to data and productivity, particularly with deal activity at an all-time high.
- New ways of working with data and digital tools can help reduce ‘app overload’, boosting productivity and freeing up junior bankers’ time to spend on high-value activities.
- Next-generation workflows using coding could increase revenues and help generate new mandates – but many institutions have yet to make the leap.
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In 2021 YTD, global deal-making has topped US$4.4tn from more than 40,000 transactions, making it the strongest opening nine months of any year since records began in 1980. Competition is high, as is the need to work more productively; and clients are expecting ever-better levels of service, including demonstrations of more innovative analysis.
Watch: Workspace Without Limits – New Insights for Investment Bankers
Our new research, Workspace Without Limits, explores how new ways of working with data, including greater use of coding, could solve for many day-to-day challenges.
These range from delays in producing models, to reducing the amount of time junior bankers spend on routine tasks (chiefly data preparation and aggregation).
The pressure to be more digital
The report shows that investment bankers are under pressure to make better use of technology.
Eighty-eight percent of senior bankers say their organisation has become more digital and data-centric as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 82 percent say their teams are now doing work traditionally done by others, such as advanced data modelling.
Clearly, new tools are needed to keep pace with a changing industry. Junior bankers report that a typical task can currently involve as many as nine applications.
Transferring data between platforms and consolidating data between sources are identified as major sources of delays – with flexible delivery of data into core workflow applications (such as CRM systems, Excel and PowerPoint) becoming ever more crucial.
The report highlighted that 80-90 percent of a typical junior’s day is currently spent on manual and repetitive tasks.
This could be activities such as preparing the public information book (PIB) on a potential client, or formatting PowerPoint presentations – leaving very little time to generate new ideas that could lead to additional business for their teams.
More than half of juniors surveyed say new tools could help solve this by automating routine tasks.
Could coding be part of the answer?
Many banks have been demanding coding skills from recruits for some years, but those skills may be under-utilised: just 28 percent of juniors say they code frequently at work. That’s below the industry average and compares with 44 percent of buy-side analysts surveyed.
However, the research shows that many banks are on the verge of moving to next-generation workflows.
Seniors are convinced of the potential: 60 percent say that greater use of coding will improve revenue generation, while 87 percent of those already using coding to formulate pitches articulate this to clients, either to show the depth and breadth of modelling that went into their thinking, or to gain an edge on the competition.
Junior bankers also say that coding will enable them to upskill for their futures – 62 percent say that within two years coding will be essential for their role, or give them a competitive advantage.
To find out how investment bankers can leverage new ways of working with data to improve speed and accuracy, impress clients and win mandates, download the full Workspace Without Limits report.