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

Investment Banking Careers

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

RolesFocusProfit CenterProspectsRequired Attributes
Proprietary TradingBuying, selling financial securities for the banks account. Position include Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities, Equities and DerivativesYesStrong 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 TradingMarketing and selling equities and debt on investment and corporate banking commitments. Also market makingYesStrong in up economy, down in recession but linked to profits and outlookAt 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 ServicesWealth and asset management for high networth individualsYesNeutral but linked to performance and ability of unit to attract custodial fundsRelationship and network driven and is akin to a high end retail sales job.
Credit Counterparty limitsNoNeutral but biased against a recession on account of operational costsQuantitative and risk focus. Ability to understand credit drivers and their impact on bank’s counterparty exposures.
Prime BrokerageMargin financing and third party administration services for financial counterparties primarily hedge fundsYesLinked to the health of the hedge fund industryIndependent business unit with marketing, service, trading and risk roles.
Investment BankingPreparing pitch books, locking underwriting commitments, executing deals.YesStrong 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
RiskExposure managementNoNeutralHard core quantitative roles. Need to marry mathematics, economics, finance, probability, models and computer science.
Front OfficeClient and transaction facingYesProfits drivenTrading, relationship, service roles
Middle OfficeRiskNoProfits drivenRisk orientation but with an appreciation for the business point of view
Back OfficeAccounting, confirmation and settlementNoProfits drivenAccounting and settlement driven. Closer to operations rather than trading
OperationsBack officeNoSome sensitivity to a recession.Keep the network running, hands on mindset
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