The Investment20/20 scheme offers jobs across all of the specialist areas in the investment industry depending on where your interests and skills are. Take a look inside each area of the industry explained here.
Investing the money
Investment managers invest their customers’ money in companies, governments and other entities looking for finance to grow and develop. If the businesses and ventures prosper, the customers’ investments also grow. Investment managers are lynchpins: on one side they accept individuals’ and institutions’ long term savings; on the other they allocate the capital to chosen enterprises.
Analysts provide investment managers with information and recommendations to support their decision-making. They track and study companies and markets, searching for new investment ideas and opportunities. A lot of the work focuses on interpreting data and writing and presenting reports.
Investment managers determine where and how to invest the investors' money. They can allocate the capital into shares, bonds or property or other assets around the world. They may focus on one asset type or choose a mix. Their overriding aim is to meet the investors’ objectives. Strategies and tactics will vary considerably from one fund, or portfolio, to another.
Wealthier clients can choose to have a mix of investments tailored to their needs, including direct investments in companies as well as pooled funds. These investors, often called private clients, opt for varying levels of help, advice and portfolio management from managers who are often referred to as wealth managers.
Consulting companies advise big investors such as pension funds or charities on which investment management company to choose and also on which types of investment to make. This area involves detailed knowledge of the investment management market.
The operations division of an investment management company is the nerve centre of all the investment trades that are made. Correct process and timing are critical. The teams are responsible for all the stock that is bought and sold and all associated accounting; the performance experts hold and run all the valuation data. Some investment management companies outsource parts of the operations to external companies which specialise in this activity. More Investment20/20 opportunities come up in this area than any other. Operations professionals have a detailed understanding of how the industry works.
The team has to work closely with the investment managers and external brokers to swiftly follow through all their buy and sell requests.
Internal corporate finance experts provide a key window on the outside corporate world. They work on behalf of the investment teams to keep on top of all corporate activity relevant to invested companies such as pay-outs or a change in company ownership or structure.
Precision is required to always ensure an exact match between the records of external sellers and buyers, and the investment management company’s own books.
Nimble numbers teams provide the crucial figures which reveal the changing value of all the investments in a manager’s fund and measure how well it is doing.
Investment rules & regulations
Sales and marketing
The rulebook for the investment management industry is extensive and covers every area of the business, evolving as the market changes and develops. The regulatory and compliance divisions of an investment management company are responsible for steering the business within these rules. The implications for a company failing to comply in any way are serious. Jobs within regulation carry large amounts of responsibility; the work has a strong technical and legal bias and it is important here to have an aptitude for detail and strong analytical skills.
Compliance & Legal
Compliance teams have expert knowledge of the regulatory rules which are designed to give investors appropriate protection and a fair deal. Compliance work involves monitoring as well as significant advisory support.
Investment management companies look after huge amounts of other people’s money and so risk has to be managed at every possible level. Risk management is an increasingly sophisticated discipline involving highly technical strategy and analytics.
Sales, marketing and client services at the front end of the company are focused on business development. They develop strategies to build up the client base with new customers while also looking to maintain and enhance the existing client base. The investment market is very competitive so these are often large and busy departments. Jobs cover a very broad range of roles but in general suit people who like interacting with customers and the wider public. Staff need to be dynamic, professional and people oriented.
The sales department manages all of the different distribution channels an investment management company can use. Sales may be through external advisers whose business is to give financial advice to investors. Companies also sell direct to investors or through on-line systems which provide the purchasing platform by itself or some form of advice as well. A sales force is very focused on building strong client relationships.
Marketing works closely with sales providing them with the company’s messaging and branding so it communicates clearly with one voice to the outside world. Marketing strategy is closely integrated within the overall business strategy.
Companies in the investment industry in particular rely on reputation and integrity to assure their success; the role of public relations (PR) is key in this, responsible for managing all of the organisation’s interactions with the media.
As with most other aspects of modern life, technology is fundamental to supporting business activity: from trading stocks and shares to performance and risk calculation, and from web sites to desktops. Technical and analytical skills are needed to build effective and efficient systems that allow businesses to grow and develop in the ways they want and need to. Change is continual with demand coming from the business, increased globalisation, new market rules and improvements in technology. This is a rapidly growing area and there are many exciting opportunities available through Investment20/20, for example in software development and data architecture, new systems, information technology (IT) infrastructure, implementing innovation, IT security and business analysis.
Companies have professionally qualified teams to handle their legal obligations across every part of the business. Legal questions may arise from specific issues concerning regulation, new client relationships or any commercial contracts; or advice may be needed when companies want to raise fresh capital, undertake mergers or acquisitions, or potentially run into trouble. The legal department is integral to the business and its development.
Human resources (HR) departments look after staff, set expectations and help employees with their career development. In doing so, they maintain and improve the health of the business. The skills and knowledge required are similar in all industries, but the innovative and global nature of the investment management industry makes it a good place to build a career. Jobs might focus on one of the more specialist areas such as recruitment and resourcing; performance and reward; employee relations and engagement; learning and development or overall HR strategy.
Companies need to keep close tabs on their finances. They run regular reports for internal purposes and also to fulfil legal requirements. Finance departments have the clearest handle on the health and progress of the business overall. They produce the corporate accounts and help to chart the path for the company going forward, backing up business strategy with numbers.