Entrance Exams

Series 79 Exam (Investment Banking Representative)

The Series 79 Exam, also known as the Investment Banking Representative Exam, is a financial industry licensing exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This exam is specifically designed for individuals who wish to become licensed as investment banking representatives. It’s an essential requirement for those who want to engage in the securities business, particularly in roles related to investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance.

Series 79 Exam (Investment Banking Representative)

Here are some key points about the Series 79 Exam


Purpose and Content

The Series 79 Exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge of key concepts, regulations, and industry practices related to investment banking activities. The exam focuses on various aspects of the securities industry, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings, underwriting, deal structures, and regulatory compliance.


To be eligible to take the Series 79 Exam, candidates typically need to be associated with a FINRA member firm. This means they are often employed by investment banks, broker-dealers, or other financial institutions that are registered with FINRA. Candidates may also need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam as a prerequisite.


The Series 79 Exam is a multiple-choice exam, consisting of 75 questions. Candidates have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is currently set at 73%.

Study Materials

Preparing for the Series 79 Exam typically involves using study materials and resources, which can include textbooks, online courses, and practice exams. These resources are designed to help candidates understand the various topics covered on the exam and get familiar with the test format.

Regulatory Focus

The Series 79 Exam places a strong emphasis on regulatory compliance, as investment banking activities are highly regulated. Candidates are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the rules and regulations governing securities transactions and financial industry practices.

Career Implications

Successfully passing the Series 79 Exam is a crucial step for individuals looking to work in investment banking. It allows them to engage in activities related to raising capital, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, and underwriting securities.

Continuing Education

Like many other FINRA exams, Series 79 license holders are required to engage in ongoing continuing education to stay updated on industry regulations and practices.


Series 79 licenses need to be renewed periodically, typically every two to three years, and involve continuing education requirements. Renewal ensures that individuals remain knowledgeable about the latest changes in the securities industry.

Overall, the Series 79 Exam is an important credential for professionals seeking to work in the field of investment banking. It ensures that those involved in the underwriting and advisory aspects of securities transactions are knowledgeable about the regulatory framework and industry practices that govern their activities. It’s essential for both the professional development and regulatory compliance of individuals working in this specialized sector of the financial industry.

Exam Content

  • The Series 79 Exam covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:
    • Debt and equity offerings: The exam assesses your understanding of the processes and regulations surrounding initial public offerings (IPOs), secondary offerings, and debt issuances.
    • Mergers and acquisitions: Candidates are tested on their knowledge of M&A deal structures, tender offers, and regulatory requirements.
    • Financing and capital structures: This section focuses on corporate financing methods, capital structure decisions, and the role of investment bankers in advising clients.
    • Valuation and financial analysis: You’ll need to demonstrate your grasp of financial modeling, valuation techniques, and financial statement analysis.
    • Regulations and compliance: Knowledge of federal securities laws and regulations, as well as ethical and professional standards, is critical.

Career Opportunities

The Series 79 license is often a requirement for professionals in investment banking roles. These roles can include investment banking associates, analysts, vice presidents, and other positions involved in the execution of various financial transactions.

Industry Regulation

Investment banking is a highly regulated sector of the financial industry. The Series 79 Exam ensures that individuals working in this field understand and can adhere to regulatory standards. It also emphasizes the importance of ethical conduct in the industry.


Before taking the Series 79 Exam, candidates are often required to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam. The SIE Exam is a foundational exam that tests general securities industry knowledge.

Study Materials and Preparation

Preparing for the Series 79 Exam can be a rigorous process. Candidates often use study materials provided by various educational and training organizations. These materials include textbooks, online courses, practice exams, and study guides. Many candidates also participate in formal training programs offered by their employers or third-party institutions.

Continuing Education and Renewal

After obtaining the Series 79 license, individuals are required to engage in continuing education to stay current with industry developments and regulatory changes. This continuing education ensures that professionals in investment banking are equipped with the latest knowledge and can maintain their licenses.

Career Advancement

Having a Series 79 license can significantly enhance career opportunities in investment banking. It can open doors to more senior roles and responsibilities within the field. Many professionals use this license as a stepping stone to advance in their careers or pursue higher-level designations, such as the Series 7 or Series 24.

Significance for Firms

Investment banking firms and financial institutions benefit from having employees who hold Series 79 licenses because it helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. It also enhances the reputation and credibility of the firm, which can be appealing to clients seeking financial advisory and underwriting services.

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