Financial services refers to an area of the finance industry which deals with the management of money, and covers an extensive range of organisations. It is a diverse and exciting sector to work in, with roles existing in commercial, private and investment banking, insurance and a range of advisory services.
Financial controllers provide statutory, financial and management support for the different business streams within a bank, such as fixed income trading, private equity, corporate finance etc. Key responsibilities include financial planning and analysis, financial policy and standards interpretation and communication, as well as strategic and tactical planning.
In this role you would be responsible for the financial reporting, offering a great opportunity to interact with the rest of the business, and providing you with a very transferrable skills set. You would be responsible for examining a range of costs and revenues that are important in ensuring the organisation operates as a viable business. Key responsibilities in this role are statutory accounts, consolidations, supervising credit control and sales/purchase ledgers, bank/cash reconciliation, stock, fixed assets, general ledger and VAT work. You may also be involved in accounting policy and implementation work.
Decision support analyst, management accountant, business partner
As a decision support analyst you will face off to the business and help them to understand their numbers through revenue analysis and commentary. This is an opportunity to impact financial decisions and add value through analysis and management of stakeholders.
You will typically prepare budgets, forecasts and engage in financial planning activities for the business. There is also the opportunity to look at the costs of a business and how they are allocated as well as projects around cost reduction. These roles are much more commercial in focus.
In this role you would be responsible for providing support to the sales and trading floor, liaising closely with the front office. Key responsibilities include analysis of profit and loss, price and model testing, and risk and market reporting. Product controllers require strong technical, analytical and communication skills.
Regulatory risk controller
This is a function exclusive to investment banking. You would be responsible for monitoring compliance with the capital requirements of the various securities and governmental bodies existing in the UK and overseas. Key responsibilities include calculating, analysing, monitoring and reporting regulatory information internally to senior management and externally to regulators. Working in this area provides a unique opportunity to understand the wide range of financial products traded by a bank, the trading strategies employed and the regulations applicable to these products.
Equity, credit analyst
Equity analysts produce verbal or written research on publicly listed companies. Research produced may be specific to an industry, country or region and is marketed to fund managers to assist them in making investment decisions.
Credit analysts interpret financial reports and other supporting information in order to assess the financial standing of counter parties, whether they are corporate or financial institutions.
Fund managers invest funds in international financial markets on behalf of clients, whether they are institutions or private. Funds may be based on products such as cash, equities, bonds, FX and derivatives.
Risk managers work to ensure that the level of risk exposure of banks remains within the acceptable boundaries by analysing the risks linked to equity, fixed income or derivative products. The main forms of risk are credit, liquidity, operational and market. These roles require a strong mathematical background and solid modelling skills.