There often comes a point when institutional investors such as trustees of pension schemes, endowments and wealth managers require advice on where they should be investing to make the most money. Cue the investment consultants!
Investment consulting works purely on an advisory basis; that is, they won’t actually manage assets for their clients, they’ll advise on strategy based extensive research. Expertise within an investment consulting team spans across different specialist areas which help to formulate a picture of the opportunities available to a client.
Investment consultants can focus in client consulting as their role; winning over clients by demonstrating how their firm could help them get more out of their investment strategies. They are responsible for maintaining relationships with existing clients, so networking is a huge part of this role!
Fund manager research is another core element of investment consulting. This involves monitoring fund management companies (those that actually manage assets on behalf of asset holders by buying or selling them etc.), the products and services they offer and their performance. Investment consultants will use this information to provide guidance to their clients on fund managers they may choose to use. Graduates who start of careers in investment consulting will often take on fund manager research duties as investment analysts. Other research tasks can include market and economy research for reports and presentations.
Then there are the strategists of the investment consulting world who specialise in researching asset classes and asset allocation. It’s their job to make clients aware of the asset classes out there most suitable for their investment.
Investment consultants generally advise top tier representatives, such as directors. There aren’t very many consultancies at all that specialise in this area alone; it usually forms part of the services portfolio of a professional services firm. Some investment banks offer investment consulting services, but this will only be for the services that bank provides.
The best foot in the door for school leavers and graduates interested in investment consulting is via a school leaver programme/Higher Apprenticeship or graduate programme with a professional services firm.