Overview: Within the dynamic and lucrative sector of banking and finance, there is a huge variety of job opportunities. You could work for an investment bank, a private equity firm, a commercial bank, asset management firm or in insurance. The various roles within this sector include a Corporate Financier, Credit Analyst, Financial Adviser, Commodity Stockbroker, banker and Investment Analyst.

A career in corporate finance entails helping companies make financial decisions, planning for future investments and managing risks.

Investment banks are different to commercial or high-street banks. Investment banks work with companies; they raise capital, trade in securities and manage corporate mergers and acquisitions. A commercial or high street bank, on the other hand, provides services directly to customers.

A hedge fund is an aggressively managed portfolio of investments that uses advanced investment strategies in both domestic and international markets with the goal of generating very high returns.

Private equity firms raise funds from private sources, usually pension funds and wealthy individuals. They then use this cash, along with borrowed money, to buy companies that they have identified as underperforming, but with the potential to do far better. Their aim is to turn the business around and sell it on at a profit at a future date.

Jobs in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential problems.

Skills required:  Careers in Banking and Finance require excellent quantitative and qualitative analytical skills. They also requires self-motivation, good communication skills, good team working skills, a proficiency in IT and ability to manage deadlines.

University and beyond: There is no ‘one way’ to Banking and Finance; it attracts graduates in both humanities and science subjects and employers welcome a diverse range of skills. Graduates must, however, demonstrate an aptitude for numbers.

How the SMF can help: The professional diversity of our Mentors reflects the breadth of careers available in this industry. Our Mentors include: banking executives, analysts in hedge funds, investment advisers and traders. We have offered internships with numerous financial service providers, including leading investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms.

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