Embarking on a career in the investment sector can be one of the most rewarding choices a graduate can make, not simply in terms of the financial rewards or the opportunities for promotion, but also for the sense of satisfaction when a particular deal comes to fruition or a risky investment pays off.
There are a number of directions to choose from in this sector; it all depends on the interests and skillset of the individual concerned. When starting out, it is well worth gaining practical experience as an intern working in the areas under consideration. There is no substitute for gaining first-hand experience before making a final decision on which direction to take on a career path.
Investment and Asset Management
The prime objectives of any investment manager are to ensure the returns on a client’s portfolio of bonds, shares and various other assets are maximized. They must also work with clients to assess how risk averse they are and, based on the results, suggest a suitable mix of financial instruments that meet those requirements as closely as possible.
A quick internet search will bring up a cross section of the types of firms involved in the investment/asset management sector; however, rather than simply reading about how one of these companies is structured, why not take a visual tour courtesy of the graphs and photographs on Fisher Investments’ Flickr page? This is a great way of to view analytical charts, the faces behind the names on its board, and the locations in which it operates. Fisher.
Individuals employed in the investment banking sector deal with raising capital by planning and arranging the issuance of securities, shares and bonds on behalf of corporations, governments and charities, and publicizing their availability to potential investors who may be interested in purchasing them. Other key aspects of the role include organizing acquisitions and mergers, transaction banking, and treasury services. Roles are split into back office, which are centered on providing IT and other forms of operational support to colleagues in other departments; middle office, where legal, compliance and risk management tasks are undertaken; and front office, which is where all the company’s research and analysis, sales and actual trading operations are carried out.
Front office jobs are the most sought after, being perceived as glamorous and exciting, and competition for vacancies can often be intense. Anyone considering a career in such a frenetic environment should sit back and carefully consider whether they possess the specific set of skills required, such as an ability to work under constant and intense pressure, be exceptionally persuasive, have both the confidence to take risks, and an acutely analytical mind.
The global recession, which thankfully appears to have finally ended, has resulted in the number of openings for graduates in the investment sector being fewer than in the past, so competition for places is fierce. However, investment firms and banks are actively looking for graduates with the talents necessary to grow their businesses and offer graduate recruitment programs and internships.