Without strategy in place, businesses would, quite simply, fall flat as a pancake. And strategy isn’t a one-pronged concept: there are different types of strategies for all sorts of divisions and aspects of banks, financial institutions and businesses that all unite to form overall business strategies for every single one of these organisations.
There are then, perhaps unsurprisingly, loads of different jobs that focus on strategy in business and finance which have evolved (and continue to evolve) in an attempt to deal with the demands of ever-expanding markets, technological advancements and, at times, the odd over-zealous manager! Strategists help to keep a business on track for its overall financial goals and avoid running into disastrous waters.
Strategy: the cunning plan…
This job type requires analytical thinking, an ability to interpret data and set into a real-life business context (there’s that commercial awareness bell ringing again…) by looking at the here and now and the impact of possible eventualities in the future. A knack for communicating the findings clearly to other professionals within a business who will have usually have little-to no understanding of that particular area of expertise is also essential! Strategists have to put together a sensible, realistic plan to minimise risk in whichever area they work in and will help the company to meet specific aims within a determined timescale.
Relevant areas of finance:
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The wise words of a consultant or two over time should not be missed out on by any medium-sized to large companies! Their commercial awareness can provide an up-to-the-minute, fresh perspective for practically any element of business strategy.
Financial Planning & Advice
An Independent Financial Adviser (IFA), financial planner or wealth manager helps their clients (for example individuals who wish to save for their future, millionaires with huge estates and assets to manage and grow, or businesses across any industry) to develop their own strategies in the form of a financial plan. A financial plan sets out certain strategies (e.g. funds to invest in), milestones and timescales to make their financial aims a reality.
You won’t see many investment decisions made nowadays without asset managers and traders first taking a good, hard look at results from risk analyst research and taking on their advice.
Since the financial crash there have been seismic changes in the way investors and traders handle investments. Risk strategy now forms a major part of modern investment and business strategy development.
Risk analysis and risk management roles involve quantitative methods to study statistics and data for different asset classes, operations (e.g. a company’s internal departments), or the risk that a borrower from a company may miss out on a loan repayment (credit risk) and provide risk assessments to develop strategies across the business.
Strategy Adviser (In-house)
This is usually a pretty senior position and tends to be part of a company’s in-house team of business and finance experts. A strategy adviser might work on budgets and how to make the business run as efficiently as possible. They provide regular business reports to the company board on progress, and give advice on how to spread business objectives throughout the company and ensure different departments are fully aware of the role they play in the wider aims of the business.