Investment Banking in South Africa

Does anyone here have any insight on the investment banking environment in South Africa? Which is the most profitable department to aim for hours worked interview questions asked etc etc.

 
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If you're a well educated person (which if you're targeting finance I assume you are) you should 100% leave and try your luck somewhere in Europe. My girlfriend was born in Johannesburg and had to grow up in a house built like a fortress. Her parents decided to leave when mom started seeing adds on buses trying to teach locals that raping virgins did not in fact cure aids. There's a very good reason why non-black South Africans are emigrating at an accelerating rate, it's a shithole. The country is tailspinning into a full Zimbabwe 2 electric boogaloo. Such a shame because it's an absolutely beautiful place, I'd argue one of the most gorgeous coastlines in the world.

 

It's a meme making light of the fact that the mass of uneducated black native South Africans are destroying their country in a poorly (read - not at all) thought out attempt to achieve "reparations". Ironically, the government under apartheid (important to note, not BECAUSE of apartheid) is what at one time made South Africa one of the wealthiest regions on the continent. They could have kept the basic infrastructure and support systems in place, eliminated the racist dogma that made black South Africans second class citizens and tried to move forward as a beacon of prosperity for the continent. Instead they decided that anything put into place by the former white-led government was inherently oppressive (sound familiar?) and needed to be reclaimed. Hence the black empowerment and land reform policies enacted by the government that are resulting in roving bands of black natives purging farms that have been managed by generations of white South Africans, only to realize that they don't know how to farm. Then of course there's the water shortages, rampant corruption as is the norm in Africa when there's a large number of state-owned enterprises, near 0 investment into building out a proper educational system, and the subsequent brain drain of educated South Africans due to all of the former.

It's a big fucking boogaloo

 

This topic is very dear to me so I will try to give a detailed answer. Some of my best friends are from Joburg and the situation is absolutely insane. Mind you, if you live at home, drive everywhere and have walls and electric fences you'll be fine but it really is no way to live and ALL of my friends who are still there are trying to leave to the UK, Australia or US. In terms of IB/M&A work, most BBs have offices in Sandton (which is the richest square mile in Africa and the only reasonable place to work/live in Joburg). Most, if not all, of Africa's M&A and IB activity is carried out from Sandton. If leaving SA is not a choice for you, then I would try to get into a BB for IB/M&A or big4 (PwC and EY are big there) and move to a different country (mind you it's worth doing EY just to get out imo). The only two target schools I can think of are Wits (Witwatersrand Uni), UCT and maybe Stellenbosch. Feel free to let me know if I could be of any additional help.

 

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