Plenty of areas in banking and finance provide roles with a good dose of analysis as part of the focus – or even as the main event. But there’s incredible variety in what you could be analysing within these industries.
There are some analysis roles that are centred on grappling with statistics and figures. Others get stuck into the core of a particular market or industry. These professionals are invaluable to an organisation as the ones who can provide the unique insight into the services, products and solutions they provide.
Relevant areas of finance:
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You’ll find actuaries working away in a pensions firm or insurance company, risk management departments in investment firms and investment banks and insurance, as well as within various departments across the public centre. Analysis is a big part of what they do! These guys apply their technical and mathematical knowledge and ability to analyse risk levels for the likelihood that a client will make an insurance claim or that an eventuality will occur, the chance that a potential investment could fall through and lose money, for example. It’s a game of uncertainties and possibilities; an intriguing and highly lucrative industry to get involved with!
Into the belly of the financial markets beast! Financial analyst roles scour out the nitty-gritty goings on of a business’s financial data and financial markets to give an accurate picture of market trends, asset performance and what’s going on in a business.
You could branch out into one of these directions within financial analysis:
‘Quants’ are arguably the new reigning stars of the investment banking scene. Their mathematical brains are the engine rooms of modern trading! The majority trades are now conducted by extremely complex and powerful computer programmes which can ‘predict’ the markets and if they’re going to go up (a bull market) or down (a bear market).
Data Analysts / Data Modelling Analysts
This is to do with grappling with complex data, using and developing models to understand it and glean information and trends from it to help determine things like asset pricing (determining the appropriate rate of return an asset in a portfolio would be required to bring in bearing in mind lots of different risk factors etc.)
Market Data Researcher / Data Scientists
These guys also use quantitative methods to analyse huge samples of data and prepare it for deliverance to clients as part of an information solution service or product.
On the buy-side of things (institutional investors on the lookout for assets to invest in), there are also financial analysts involved in research to scope out the best potential investments for their employer. Research analysts carry out valuations and evaluate investment performance using modelling techniques as part of their role.
Any firm providing consulting and advisory services rests on the work of their team of analysts in the first instance who chip away at analysis of aspects of their specialist areas of expertise or markets in order to get the most up-to-date and relevant information to their clients. Graduate roles may well kick start with learning the intricate details and core analysis skills through an analyst role before they progress to more advisory, client facing responsibilities with experience.
Client / Marketing Analysts
Professionals in marketing work for professional services firms, specialist consultancies, private banks, retail banks, investment banks, boutique firms such as wealth management specialists and insurance and pension companies to promote their organisation’s brand. They have their eye on the competition to figure out the best ways to make them stand out in their marketing strategies and need to have the confidence to present to existing and potential new clients to win them over.
The technical crowd also often have analytical elements to their jobs in areas of finance. Analysis and testing of complex systems, data models and software applications, for example risk management systems.
Accountants have to fish out what’s been going on with the books as they conduct thorough analysis of a company’s financial information. Accounting Auditing, forensics and tax…it all requires a beady eye for detail and some out-of-the-box analytical thinking.