The big professional services firms and consultancies will usually have a department focusing on financial advisory, and are top providers of financial advisory services to businesses of all sizes.
What goes on in a financial advisory department?
As the term implies, financial advisory is all about providing advice to firms to help them make the best decisions possible for their business. This could relate to aspects such as regulatory compliance, helping clients to discover and refine the best ways of keeping up to date and in check with the processes demanded of them by law from official industry regulators (organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for example, or regulators in other jurisdictions for companies with business spread across other countries). Financial advisory teams might also provide support and advice to businesses who are going through forensic/fraud investigations. Or comprehensive, bespoke advice on risk management or IT issues depending on how the financial advisory department is set up.
These crews are usually made up of analysts and consultants, who are clued up on their commercial awareness and have specialist knowledge in financial advisory issues. They work directly with their clients, often conducting face-to-face meetings, providing updates and presenting research findings, to help guide them through myriad regulatory issues and give them the most suitable business advice for their needs.
A bit of career advice…
School leavers can get involved in school leaver programmes, Higher Apprenticeships and sponsored degrees run by some of the country’s biggest professional services firm to gain paid work experience and qualifications in advisory services from the off. There are plenty of structured graduate schemes in this area too! And it’s not just limited to students with a finance background (though you will have to be strong with numbers and analytical thinking), because many schemes will accept applicants from any educational background.