Investment Banking & Investment Management

Choosing Your Role and Company in Banking and Investment

You don’t have to give up your finance-career aspirations just because you don’t have a degree related to finance!
The gradsingapore Team
The gradsingapore Team
BFA_Choosing your role and company in banking and investment


Firms in the industry

Large global investment banks offer a broad range of banking and investment services, from trading on financial markets to overseeing mergers and acquisitions.

Besides banks, financial services firms – such as private equity firms, asset management firms and fund houses – also hire for specialised roles in independent advisory services and sales of products like hedge funds or derivatives, among others.

Inter-dealer broking firms like ICAP act as intermediaries, helping clients negotiate and trade anonymously.

The ideal candidate

Having a finance-related degree or professional qualifications, such as the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), may be advantageous, but they aren’t prerequisites. Instead, the main criteria for working in this sector are to have a good understanding of the financial markets, as well as strong numeracy and analytical skills to think laterally and discern market trends.

A genuine interest in banking and investment is also essential, and you should constantly keep up-to-date about the latest developments in the field.

Besides credibility, as well as having excellent communication and negotiation skills are important – especially in a client-facing role, such as that of an investment manager or interdealer broker. Last but not least, you have to be both hardworking and resilient in order to cope.

Working in the industry

Early responsibilities and a fast-paced environment means that work is often challenging, unpredictable and stressful.

In most organisations, teams are often put together based on areas of specialisation – teammates frequently work closely together and keep each other motivated. Exposure to intelligent colleagues and top business leaders also provides many learning opportunities and valuable insights into the field.

While high salaries, hefty bonuses and other financial rewards are undeniably the biggest perks of the job, keep in mind that working hours tend to be extremely long and professionals are often expected to work on weekends and, on occasion, even round-the-clock.

Roles available

Positions in the field mainly fall into three categories: the front office, middle office and back office.

As their names suggest, employees in the front office usually interact with clients by trading and selling products.

Middle office roles, such as risk analysts, on the other hand, are tasked to directly support the people in the front office.

Finally, support services, like HR, technology and operations, are considered back office, and keep transactions and deals running effectively Common job roles in this industry include:

  • Asset manager
  • Inter-dealer broker
  • Investment banking analyst
  • Investment banking associate
  • Investment management analyst
  • Investment manager
  • IT manager
  • Operations manager
  • Private banker
  • Risk management analyst
  • Trader