How Investment Banks Are Improving Employee Experience with Automation

investment banks improve employee experience automation

Only 3% of Harvard Business School’s 2020 graduates “opted for careers in investment banking, sales and trading. That’s down from 5% in 2016 and 12% in 2006, right before the financial crisis,” according to Bloomberg.

Those numbers won’t surprise those familiar with the investment banking industry’s reputation for requiring employees to work late nights and weekends. But several industry leaders are working to change that. In fact, we have worked with a number of management teams across the industry who are acutely aware of the burnout risk facing junior bankers and have turned to automation to help lighten the workload for their beleaguered teams.

Many of these clients were already experiencing the benefits of automation in other parts of their businesses, driven primarily by traditional automation programs led by a center of excellence (COE). However, an exciting trend has emerged over the past year, with a growing number of these firms now enabling their employees to capture the benefits of automation for themselves through large scale, citizen-led automation programs.

Not familiar with citizen developers? Start here: Understanding Citizen Developers.

Through citizen developer programs, employees at these investment banking firms are being equipped with the low-code tools and the know-how to start building automations for themselves and their teams. These employees now have the power to apply the benefits of automation to the tedious tasks they are doing daily, freeing themselves to focus on higher-value work for the organization.

Benefits of citizen-led automation

There are many reasons as to why firms are embracing citizen development as part of their automation strategy. 

For starters, relying solely on a CoE to develop automations for employees can create bottlenecks. Across every organization, there are thousands of manual, repetitive tasks being done by employees every day. However, many of these are simpler tasks that will likely never be prioritized by the CoE and its resources. So, the opportunity arises for employees to be able to address these automation opportunities for themselves through citizen-led automation.

In many instances, clients have also recognized the opportunity for business users to be able to quickly modify workflows to meet the demands of changing business cases. For example, it becomes cumbersome to have junior bankers request workflow changes every time they start on a new deal or project and need to incorporate new datasets into workflows. Citizen-led automation provides the flexibility business users require to quickly adapt to a variety of changing business cases.

Finally, many firms are looking to citizen developers as an integral pillar in their workforce of the future. With a growing number of digitally native employees entering the workforce every year, access to low-code/no-code tools to help enhance productivity has become more of an expectation than a nice to have.

I recently spoke with the chief information officer (CIO) of an asset management firm in the midst of becoming a UiPath client, and he shared that he had been fielding multiple requests for access to UiPath from some recent new hires. These new hires had experience with UiPath from prior firms and were adamantly requesting UiPath be added to the productivity toolkit they were accustomed to working with, which included the likes of Alteryx and Tableau.

Improving the employee experience

The reasons mentioned above, alongside their demanding workload, make junior bankers a natural fit for citizen development. Equipped with the ability to build automations for themselves (which can be done using UiPath StudioX), front-office teams across the industry are freeing themselves from thousands of hours previously spent on:

  • Sending weekly trading updates: robots create client reports with charts and trading data extracted from providers like FactSet and CapIQ and send draft copies to analysts for sign-off before sending to clients.

  • Preparing pitch books for client meetings: robots help build Microsoft PowerPoint presentations by adding dates and titles, updating comparable company metrics, pulling in market performance charts, and other relevant deal data points.

  • Sending trading comps to clients: robots extract relevant comps data from third-party data providers, format data, and attach the data to client presentations for analyst sign-off before sending.

  • Creating public information books (PIBs): robots pull company filings, press releases, research, and news articles from multiple sources and combine into a single PDF document.

  • Compiling working group lists: robots navigate across multiple applications to gather all relevant client information and input into a formatted document to be shared with the team.

  • Formatting earnings models: robots work across multiple Microsoft Excel worksheets to transfer data from prior quarters into the current quarters data in preparation of earnings releases.

These use cases represent a mere fraction of the ways junior bankers are leveraging the UiPath Platform, but the benefits of citizen-led automation are paying dividends in many ways. Precious time is being returned to junior bankers’ days, allowing them to focus more of their time on higher-value, client-facing tasks and a deeper collaboration with their colleagues. All of which have a tangible impact on the employee experience and improving their work-life balance.

To have a deeper conversation about what citizen development opportunities exist in investment banking or to learn about where we are seeing citizen development deployed in other segments of financial services, please reach out.

bill hincher uipath
Bill Hincher

Director, Financial Services, UiPath

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