Interested in a career within the banking sector but unsure which role is for you? The range and width of roles available within the industry make banking a diverse and exciting career choice, but it’s always best to know which specific role you would like to pursue before you start planning your career.
We’ve outlined the main roles along with their accompanying necessary skills below to give you an idea of which roles suits your own skills, experience and ambitions.
Trading is one of the most technical and analytical roles within the profession. The role mainly involves the pricing and execution of trades as well as the making of transactions in bonds, currencies, equities or futures with traders to create complex structured products. Traders need an in depth knowledge of the markets in order to make a return over a long period of time or to ‘beat the market’ in a much shorter period.
- Strong diagnostic skills.
- High energy and passion – traders work long hours and so need to be motivated.
- The ability to use initiative and learn new skills quickly as traders work in very fast-paced environments.
Fund managers, also known as investment or asset managers, make decisions for clients in order to increase the worth of their portfolios. Fund managers have a choice of where to work: independent companies, divisions of banks, institutional clients or for private individuals.
- An in depth knowledge of the markets.
- Self-confidence and belief in their knowledge in order for clients to trust their decisions.
Those that work in sales act as the intermediary between traders and clients. Their job is mainly comprised of taking orders and negotiating rates with clients on behalf of traders. Unlike many banking roles, the projects in sales are not long-term; new projects begin everyday as they follow the opening and closure of the markets.
- Excellent communication skills – sales people spend a lot of their time on the phone to clients, building strong and lasting relationships.
- Dedication, passion and energy – the trading floor is high-octane and often stressful.
Investment analysts partake in the research and analysis of specific sectors in the aim of advising their sales and trading colleagues about the different markets. This advice can also help in the creation of new financial products. Overall, this role allows investment analysts to develop certain areas of expertise.
- Strong research and analytical abilities.
- Investment analysts tend to have a less hectic role compared to others so individuals must be happy with the slightly slower pace.
- An interest in current affairs or a particular field is very useful.
Client advisers (also known as relationship managers) look after a selection of wealthy clients who they provide specialist services for. This can involve portfolio management and estate planning. Client advisers are involved in financial planning and dealing, especially when their clients prefer to take on more of a risk.
- Competitive and driven – the atmosphere of the role can be extremely competitive.
- Strong networking skills as career progression in this role depends a lot on networking.
- Strong communication and persuasion skills when advising and building relationships with clients.
As the name suggests, risk management involves the identification, assessment, prioritisation and management of risk that can arise in the banking industry. This can be quite difficult as banking is in a constant state of flux. The role can also be varied due to the different types of risk; some people are employed within trading and investment banks while others work with trading limits and constraints.
- Good communication skills in order to persuade colleagues and communicate potential risks to them.
- Strong technical and analytical abilities.
The purpose of the compliance office is to make sure that all employees of the company know and abide by the rules. The financial services is highly regulated with both local and international laws, so there are many rules out there. Much of a compliant officer’s work involves liaison with HR departments to ensure all training is carried out and that staff documentation is kept up to date. They can also investigate any suspected breaches of regulations.
- Sensitivity – compliance officers have to question their colleagues methods and enforce new strategy when needed.
- Must be approachable but also maintain a distance from those they watch in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
This role involves dealing with the administration required after a trade has been made. This is done so that the money is secured, and the traded assets can be transferred from the seller to the buyer. A lot of responsibility is placed on this area; if it is not working effectively some of the capital generated by a trade may be lost. Today, operations is recognised as playing a huge part in a company’s profitability and is central to its risk management.
- Operation analysts must be organised and have strong attention to detail to avoid any costly mistakes.
- Strong numerical and methodical abilities.