Here's What You Need to Know to Kick Start Your Career in the Financial Market
Chanakya Dissanayake, Managing Director, Acuity Knowledge Partners, 0
At a broad level, aspirants could look forward to the following roles in the financial markets industry:
•Investment banking – Mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets (DCM), structured finance
•Public market research – Equities, fixed income, quantitative research, ESG research
•Private market research
•Data sciences and technology
•Risk and Compliance
•Sales and marketing
The key educational qualifications for these roles are a post-graduate qualification in finance (e.g., master’s in business administration, Chartered Accountant [CA], Chartered Financial Analyst [CFA], Chartered Institute of Management Accountant [CIMA], Certified Public Accountant [CPA]). Apart from a background in finance, candidates aspiring to build a long-term career in this industry should have a strong analytical mindset, high numerical proficiency, an ability to have a big-picture view, excellent verbal and written analysis and communication skills, attention to detail, and an open mind to learn in depth about new companies, industries, and markets. In addition to these core skills, given the high degree of integration of technology in financial services, an ability to absorb new technology and market data tools, such as Bloomberg, is expected in this industry.
Some key attributes of people who wish to succeed in the financial market industry. Firstly, given the highly dynamic nature of the industry and uncertain outcomes, successful individuals in this industry resist the urge to form an opinion about a complex matter, without first conducting their own research (vs following the herd) into the topic and understanding the dynamics and inter dependencies at play.
At the entry levels, individuals typically start as generalists and, in many cases, straddle multiple business/product areas before going deep into a specific sub-segment of business or product. With experience, they can move into specialist areas with a deep focus on specific market segments/products within the industry. Working with the right mentor in this industry is vital for personal and professional growth and development.
the financial markets industry provides an exciting long-term career opportunity for individuals with a passion for this industry with great scope for all-around personal and professional development
At the mid-career level, individuals typically specialize in a specific business, such as research and investment banking and have a responsibility to drive the product/franchise in their territories. Typical engagement in these roles is with CXO (CEO, CFO, and COO levels at companies and their boards; hence, individuals should have a professional demeanor and a strong ability to influence people. Over time, building one’s own brand and track record in this market makes individuals valuable to potential employers in this industry.
Starting salaries tend to vary based on the profile of individuals and the business in which they operate. In many cases, a significant portion of their compensation can be variable in nature to allow employers to align compensation to business performance and growth.
Financial markets are a truly global industry that provides excellent career mobility globally to individuals who have the right skills. Some individuals based in India cover distant global markets, including the US. Given the strategic nature of these roles, individuals after gaining experience in this industry are also highly sought after by global corporations, given their unique insights into the industry and ability to effectively manage diverse stakeholders and investors. Over a longer period, some of these individuals have even become entrepreneurs, running diverse global businesses or their own financial services boutiques.
In summary, the financial markets industry provides an exciting long-term career opportunity for individuals with a passion for this industry with great scope for all-around personal and professional development.