Research & Strategy
Banks and funds that provide wealth management and asset management services rely on the work of research analysts in order to help their most affluent clients to invest and grow their wealth effectively. Research and strategy is at the foundations of what they do!
Though their work may not always be client-facing, research analysts provide the core information with which wealth managers and asset managers can attract and inform clients.
The lowdown on research & strategy
Essentially, research analysts conduct in-depth research – primarily data analysis – into asset classes such as commodities, derivatives, bonds, alternative investments and equity and the kinds of investment opportunities these asset classes provide to clients. It’s the role of the research analyst to thoroughly understand the history and performance of these asset classes, and from this information to determine the risk levels associated with them and to estimate the return on investment (commonly shortened to ROI).
Research & strategy responsibilities
Research analysts in wealth management will work closely with wealth managers and asset managers (the ones who manage a portfolio of assets and will either make decisions to invest on behalf of the client or advise accordingly) to determine the best bespoke investment strategy for a client’s needs based on their research. They have to be able to present information clearly and give their judgement. Reporting and presentation skills are a must!
Research analysts will usually look into a multitude of different assets, though roles for different types of financial institutions might mean there will be more weight on research into specific asset classes. For example, research for a wealth management department at an investment bank could involve more focus on asset classes like equity (shares of a company).
Graduates can enter this industry as research analysts with starting salaries of around £25,000. Degree disciplines such as mathematics, economics and science-related subjects are generally preferred.