The finance industry is extremely lucrative. This means they are highly sought after, and the entry qualifications for these jobs are as impressive as their pay. A majority of professionals require an undergraduate degree, but many have post-graduate degrees.
The opportunities in the finance industry are numerous and as diverse as you can imagine. One option is to join a company’s finance department, work in the banking and services sector, or go into investment banking or the financial market.
These careers have a higher starting salary and can take you to the top. Here are some examples of high-paying finance jobs around the globe.
1. Portfolio Management Jobs
Portfolio management is one of the most highly regarded roles in the finance industry. Portfolio managers are also known as money managers. They oversee the daily investments of institutional and retail clients. This gives them tremendous power and deep responsibility. Portfolio managers can recommend investment strategies and make investment decisions for clients. They often have discretionary power to execute those strategies in order to achieve their client’s goals.
Portfolio managers often specialize in certain asset classes such as fixed income or equities. Others are more specific. Managers may specialize in specific stocks or blockchain-related startups or high-yield bond types. These specialized managers might be employed by focused funds that require research analysts. Some mandates are more complex, such as multi-asset strategy. These firms may look for managers who have a similar investment background and knowledge.
The sector has many employers, with each one focusing on a particular segment. Retail investors can access funds through financial services and investment companies. The investment banks offer strategic advice to large corporations and governments. A variety of investments are offered by commercial banks to their clients. High-net-worth people can benefit from money management firms, portfolio management companies, and hedge funds.
Many potential money managers are able to earn the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA), after completing a four-year college education. Portfolio manager positions are a “destination” jobs that can lead to other areas. Portfolio managers can manage increasing amounts of money or leave to start their own company or hedge fund, instead of climbing the career ladder.
2. Corporate Finance Jobs
A finance department at a company is another option. This field is open to specialists from many industries.
Types Of Corporate Finance Jobs
Finance Manager – Every company has finance managers. They are one of the highest-paid jobs in the financial sector. They manage all aspects of financial management for the company, including planning, risk management, financial reporting, and bookkeeping.
Accounts Manager The accounts manager oversees all aspects of the accounting function, including the preparation of financial statements and ledger accounts. Some companies may require that individuals have at least seven years of experience in accounting and a Certified Public Account (CPA).
Risk Management: Business risk managers are responsible for avoiding a variety of pitfalls, such as credit risk, market risk, and operational risks. These companies are investing large sums of money in sophisticated technology and people to manage and mitigate their risks. This field gained immense importance in banks and financial institutions after the Great Recession. Numerous scandals and failures led to stricter industry and government regulations and higher accountability standards.
A certification by PRMIA and GARP is one way to start a career in risk management.
3. Jobs in Investment Banking
Investment banks often work with governments and corporations to raise capital or advise them on strategy. They help companies become public, assist with mergers and acquisitions, as well as invest in new ventures. They often buy and sell various investment products such as bonds, stocks, and other securities.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the biggest names in investment banking, but they’re not the only ones that hire investment bankers. There are investment banking departments at large commercial banks such as Citigroup, and smaller regional and boutique banks. Alternative asset management companies such as venture capital firms or private equity institutions also have investment bankers. Large companies often have an internal division that functions like an investment bank and provides evaluations of strategic opportunities as well as corporate mergers.
Investment banking has been regarded as a blueblood profession for a long time. Although many investment bankers have had prestigious academic backgrounds from top colleges and universities, the profession is becoming more democratic, at least socially. It still has an elite feel: Investment bankers are more likely to have MBAs than other types of finance jobs. However, they are less likely to pursue professional certifications such as the Series 7 or CFA.
Types Of Investment Banking Jobs
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A: M&A bankers specialize in strategic advice for companies looking to merge with other companies or buy smaller businesses. M&A bankers use financial modeling to help evaluate large-scale potential deals. These professionals must be able to interact with clients successfully since these jobs often require interaction with high-profile executives. M&A specialists must also be able to convince them of their ideas.
Underwriting – Raising capital is a part of an underwriting department at a bank. Most underwriting specialists are focused on equity or debt and have a strong industry focus. This group of bankers often works with clients to establish capital needs. They also work in-house with security salespeople and traders to find the best options. In recent years, underwriting has expanded to include larger universal banks as well as investment banks.
Private Equity Many investment banks have private capital arms. However, private equity jobs tend to be at smaller firms that are more specialists. This area of banking allows banks to raise capital for companies and non-public entities, while also keeping a portion of any profits that they can generate through deals. Private equity professionals are expected to have previous experience in investment banks and outstanding academic credentials.
Venture Capital Venture capital firms specialize in providing capital to new companies in fast-developing industries such as tech and biotech. Venture capitalists are often successful because they get their financial stake early in the development stage, which can produce huge returns on investment. However, many target companies fail. Venture capitalists’ employees are often skilled at deal-making and number crunching, and also have a good understanding of new technologies and ideas. The excitement of finding “the next thing” is what they get.
4. Trade Jobs
These jobs are a classic Wall Street image, with individual trading stocks, commodities, currencies, and bonds. The scene is changing, however.
Trade jobs are available at investment and commercial banks, asset management companies, and hedge funds, as well as in other areas such as financial institutions. A trader’s goal is to make a profit for the client or employer, regardless of where they work. When trading securities on behalf of clients, asset management firm traders seek the best price. Hedge fund traders aim to hold proprietary positions to reap the benefits of market movements.
You used to be able to climb the ranks as a trader without having to have a college degree. Although the path to trader success is less clear than that for investment banking, most traders have a background in finance from a strong university. Many also have advanced degrees in mathematics, statistics, and other related fields. It is common for traders to take Series 7 and Series 63 exams in the early years of their careers.
High-performing traders will often be given more capital. Top traders may form hedge funds on their own.
Types Of Trading Jobs
Banks typically employ sell-side traders. They purchase and sell products either for their clients or for the bank.
Buy Side Traders: Traders are also employed by buy-side firms like asset management companies. They usually work under the supervision of a portfolio manager and conduct selling and buying.
Hedge Fund Trader: Hedge funds traders do not work to fulfill client orders but to maximize fund profits. Hedge fund traders may accept orders from portfolio managers, but they might also be able to decide their own buys or sells.
5. Economic Analysis Jobs
To identify major trends, economic analysts monitor broad areas of the economy and markets. This job is for people who love to analyze data and track trends. They also have the ability to make opinions about financial markets’ future based on these trends. Writing, public speaking, and extensive Excel or other spreadsheet work are all part of analytical jobs.
These jobs include those of strategist, economist, or “quant” and can be found at many institutions. These jobs are available at money management companies, investment banks, and other traditional financial institutions. These jobs can also be found in the government, academia, and in the public sector. Financial analysts almost always have an MBA and many others have a Ph.D. Experience writing or publishing in this field is a plus.
Although there is an initial barrier to entry, financial analysts have a lot of flexibility once they are on the job. Analytical jobs are often able to move between different types and employers. A well-established economist might move from an analyst job at an investment bank to one at the university to one with government while doing the exact same type of work in each case.
Economic Analysis Jobs
Economist: There are many institutions that finance economists work for. Economists are employed by central banks, investment banks, asset management firms, central banks, government agencies, and academic institutions. An economist analyzes and tracks data to help predict future trends and explain market conditions.
Economist: There’s a fine line between an economist and a strategist. Economists tend not to pay attention to the wider economy, while strategists focus more on the financial markets. Banks and money management companies are better placed to find strategist jobs than academic or government institutions. Many strategists start their careers as research analysts and then focus on one product or industry.
Quant – While certain economic analysis positions may require public speaking or writing skills, quants work behind the scenes. This branch of analysis employs mathematical models to forecast market activity. These professionals can be found in banks, money management companies, and hedge funds. Many quant workers have a background in statistics or mathematics and often include a Ph.D.
Financial Analyst Jobs
These jobs sound very similar but they are different from the ones discussed above. Analysts in financial-industry firms are usually responsible for researching possible investments and providing opinions and recommendations to guide traders and portfolio managers. Non-bank companies also have financial analysts who help with budgetary planning and analysis of the company’s financial situation.
Financial Analyst Jobs
Investment Analyst: Investment analysts usually specialize in one or two areas. These could include specific regions, economic sectors or types of investment vehicles. Analysts who work for sell-side firms will often make recommendations to clients on how to buy or sell securities. Analysts who work for a buy-side company may recommend securities that they sell or buy for their portfolio managers.
Financial Analyst – Financial analysts are more likely to work in traditional, non-finance organizations or government agencies. Nearly all large companies, regardless of industry or sector, have financial analysts on staff to help analyze cash flows, and expenditures, maintain budgets, and much more. They may help determine the most efficient capital structure for the company or assist in capital raising. Financial analysts can rise up the ranks in their company and eventually become treasurer or chief financial officers.
Many financial professions share many common traits, despite their differences. Financial careers can be stressful and have high entry requirements. However, they are also highly lucrative with attractive salaries and are located in major financial centers. These careers can be challenging because you are constantly under pressure and interact with highly motivated and intelligent coworkers. There is also stiff competition among applicants. We wish you all the best in your endeavors.