Investment Banking & Investment Management

Operations: Graduate Area of Work

Support the running of banking, and investment organisations and process transactions, all while ensuring greater efficiency.
The gradsingapore Team
The gradsingapore Team
Investment Banking_Operations

The operations department, also informally known as the “back office”, supports a firm’s revenue-generating departments by ensuring business activities are performed smoothly, successfully and efficiently. It oversees the entire life cycle of a transaction, from initial preparations such as booking trades for traders, to post-trade processes in settlements.

While it doesn't actively generate revenue, operations’ role is key for business profitability through managing risk and minimising loss. 

Securities operations, for example, are responsible for ensuring that desks in linked markets have enough capability to communicate with each other. On the other hand, the risk function is in charge of ensuring that the company’s internal processes comply with regulatory guidelines.

General overview

Most graduates start in training programmes before being assigned to an experienced analyst for mentoring and more on-the-job training. Work in the early stages can include introducing a new product or improving a control.

Advancements in technology now enable companies to trade across multiple product areas and regions, increase the volume and speed of processes and transact instantly. Because of this, however, the sheer volume and extreme time sensitivity of transactions means that work can be challenging.

Required skills

Excellent numeracy and analytical skills are needed for assessing and analysing transaction cycles, as well as generating contingency plans. A keen eye for detail and foresight to spot potential problems before they happen, along with exemplar communication and listening skills for interacting with numerous internal and external parties, are also valued.

Keeping up with the latest developments in the financial services industry, such as regulatory changes and technological innovations, is vital. Because this line of work relies heavily on emerging technologies, learning quickly on-the-job and staying flexible in decision-making and scheduling are also crucial.

Pros & cons

Troubleshooting problems even before they happen keeps professionals on their toes. Many firms also encourage self-improvement among operations staff, with plenty of opportunities to forward their ideas for the enhancement of certain controls of the company and department.

However, on the other hand, there’s also the chance these ideas may not be actively implemented or even left on the back-burner.