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Finance Careers: A quick look at Investment banking career roles.

Investment Banking Finance Careers takes a quick look at a range of Investment Banking careers in finance. Just a handy quick reference rather than a career guide.


Roles Focus Profit Center Prospects Required Attributes
Proprietary Trading Buying, selling financial securities for the banks account. Position include Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities, Equities and Derivatives Yes Strong in up and down economies since you make money whenever volatility is high. Down in flat markets. Analytical and market timing instincts and discipline. Understanding of chained effects of events across markets and appreciation of risk return trade off. Live as long as you don’t blow up your account and the bank with it.
Sales and Trading Marketing and selling equities and debt on investment and corporate banking commitments. Also market making Yes Strong in up economy, down in recession but linked to profits and outlook At the intersection of proprietary trading and investment banking. Lower end talent but high stress jobs driven by quotas and at some banks egos.
Private Client Services Wealth and asset management for high networth individuals Yes Neutral but linked to performance and ability of unit to attract custodial funds Relationship and network driven and is akin to a high end retail sales job.
Credit Counterparty limits No Neutral but biased against a recession on account of operational costs Quantitative and risk focus. Ability to understand credit drivers and their impact on bank’s counterparty exposures.
Prime Brokerage Margin financing and third party administration services for financial counterparties primarily hedge funds Yes Linked to the health of the hedge fund industry Independent business unit with marketing, service, trading and risk roles.
Investment Banking Preparing pitch books, locking underwriting commitments, executing deals. Yes Strong in up economy, down in recession. Sales role that on one hands requires generation of deal flow and on the other hand the ability to lock in underwriting commitments from investors. Relationship and network driven
Risk Exposure management No Neutral Hard core quantitative roles. Need to marry mathematics, economics, finance, probability, models and computer science.
Front Office Client and transaction facing Yes Profits driven Trading, relationship, service roles
Middle Office Risk No Profits driven Risk orientation but with an appreciation for the business point of view
Back Office Accounting, confirmation and settlement No Profits driven Accounting and settlement driven. Closer to operations rather than trading
Operations Back office No Some sensitivity to a recession. Keep the network running, hands on mindset

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