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Five top career options in the finance sector

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Now that you have acquired a degree and are passionate about carving out a lucrative career in finance, you need to stop and take a look around at the various options that you can explore. The finance industry is incredibly multifaceted and offers a variety of positions that cater to your special interests and skills. Each of the options can offer extremely challenging and rewarding careers but you need to conduct a candid assessment of your talent and inclination so that you end up really enjoying your job.

1. Corporate finance

People working in corporate finance have the responsibility of finding the most optimum capital mix for the company to conduct its operations and managing it efficiently so as to maximise return and minimise risk. Typically, job responsibilities of those working in corporate finance will involve preparation of financial strategy, profit and loss forecasting, opening and structuring lines of credit, preparation of internal MIS and statutory reports as well as coordinating with external auditors. You may also be involved in valuations of companies that are acquisition targets or units that need to be hived off. In a global economy, corporate treasury functions and cross-border currency management can be vital to the company’s financial success.

2. Commercial banking

Commercial banks that deal with retail customers as well as institutional clients require a lot of employees to handle important functions such as loan disbursal, savings and checking account management, operations, teller management, branch operations, and marketing, among others. Beginning humbly, a young professional with the right skill and attitude can really climb fast and get important assignments in the domestic as well as foreign operations of the bank. Senior people can play vital roles at the corporate headquarters that will oversee the entire banking operations.

3. Investment banking

Investment banking deals with the structuring and issue of corporate securities. Investment bankers are intimately connected with financial deal making for companies as well as offering investment and portfolio advice to high net worth individual clients. Investment banks are strictly speaking not banks at all but have a number of different divisions that may deal with equities, debt and a complex mix of derivatives that can be structured as per customer requirements. If you work in in an investment bank you can be interacting with stock issuers and traders, people who structure and trade in debt instruments as well as those who work out corporate mergers and acquisitions

4. Venture capital and private equity

Venture capital and private equity funds take on the responsibility of funding capital for startups and a large number of potentially high-risk transactions that may not be favored by the usual funding channels. Usually these funds are allotted shares in the companies that they are funding and they make their exits when the company is doing really well and the value of the shares have gone up substantially. These funds require finance professionals who can analyse the business environment and model of the company seeking the fund infusion and predict the potential for making profits. These funds also employ a lot of people to seek out high net worth investors who will be willing to contribute to the investment corpus of the fund. Often representatives of the funds may take up board membership of the company being funded to ensure that their investment is being properly utilised.

5. Insurance

Insurance is a booming sector all over the world employing a large number of professionals in various capacities. Companies specialise in either general or life insurance that protects property and human lives respectively. Those with a penchant for sales and marketing but with proper financial planning skills may opt to sell insurance policies and with time rise to senior positions in the organisation. You can also act as an actuary who specialises in crunching huge amount of data pertaining to computation of insurance premiums in line with the risks as evidenced by historical data. The growth of insurance comparison sites like Quote Goat have also given rise to online insurance jobs. The sector also employs a large number of people with accounting and audit skills, besides those who specialise in regulatory compliance.

Do you know any further career options in the finance sector? Tell us in the comments section below.

Photo: GotCredit / Flickr

Mariam Knightley is a senior recruitment officer in one of the most prominent lawsuit funding companies. She also teaches at a well-known business management school.
Mariam KnightleyFive top career options in the finance sector

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