By: Konrad Philip
Two days of speeches, three panels, three simulations, and countless learning opportunities made up this year’s National Investment Banking Conference. The high profile two-day event began on January 8th at the Pan Pacific Hotel. In his opening keynote, speaker Egizio Bianchini of BMO Capital Markets recounted his childhood dream of discovering a gold mine. While his career has instead led him to investment banking, delegates were treated to a gold mine of career insights, technical knowledge, and hands-on experience. Leading professionals – many of whom are UBC alumni – delivered speeches, sat on interactive panels, and hosted workshops.
NIBC is known for its high-caliber speakers and informative panels, and this year’s organizers didn’t disappoint. Those wanting to find out about breaking into and working in an investment bank had their questions answered at the newly added investment banking Q&A panel. The first day featured a client’s perspective panel, which gave future investment bankers advice on how to build and maintain their business relationships, and a panel on private equity.
A deeper understanding of the industry could be gained by attending the three workshops. Topics included “Going Public: the IPO Process”, which explained the steps necessary to list a company on the stock market, and “The Art of the Deal: Mergers and Acquisitions”. Delegates seeking hands on experience were able to participate in the asset management, sales and trading, and investment banking simulations. Competition was intense and great prizes were awarded.
Of note is the social aspect of the conference. Because it is also a case competition, it attracts student delegates from across North America and overseas. Everyone had a chance to mingle at the two networking sessions, gala dinner, and afterparties. While business professionals were a definite minority in the room, I had no trouble finding delegates who had lots to say. Some of the 1st and 2nd year students I spoke to said the conference convinced them to choose finance as their specialization. Older and repeat attendees liked the keynotes and panels, but would have preferred more advanced workshops. More choice in the future could better cater to students in senior years. In the mean time, those who already have an understanding of the basics are encouraged to enter into the case competition, which this year featured a prize pool of $15,000.
Special thanks to the NIBC organizing team, UBC Finance Club, and corporate sponsors. NIBC-you next year!