In corporate finance you work for a company to help it raise money in order to run the business, expand the business, make needed acquisitions, plan for the firm’s financial future, and manage cash on hand. You could work for a large multinational company or a small firm with high growth prospects. In general, the job of the financial officer is to create value for a company.
Commercial banks provide banking services to individuals, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. The traditional functions are commercial and personal lending, savings and demand deposits, and various forms of retail banking services. While the banking sector has been consolidating, it is worth noting that far more people are employed in the commercial banking sector than any other part of the financial services industry. In the United States, the leading banks as of 2009 include JP Morgan-Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of New York Mellon, and State Street Corporation.
Investment banks help companies and governments issue new securities (bonds and stocks), help mostly institutional and corporate investors purchase these securities, manage financial assets, trade securities, and provide financial advice. Due to deregulatory measures that began in the 1990s, most commercial banks in The United States also offer investment banking services. These banks include JP Morgan-Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup.
In general, a broker is an agent that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor. Stock brokerage is perhaps the most popular broker function. In order to become a stockbroker in the United States, you must pass the General Securities Representative Examination, also known as “Series 7 Exam.” Until the 2008 financial crisis, the largest stand-alone brokerage firms in the United States are Merrill Lynch, Paine Webber & Company, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Bear Stearns. Today, these firms have either been merged into larger banking institutions or expanded their types of financial services to make them more competitive and stable.
Jobs in insurance involve helping individuals and business manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk problems. The field includes life, property, and casualty. In the United States, insurance is a trillion dollar business employing over 2.5 million people. As the population ages and wealth grows, the demand for insurance professionals is expected to increase dramatically. Insurance advisors help clients understand their insurance needs, explain their options to them, and help them purchase appropriate insurance policies. Areas of employment include underwriter, sales representative, asset manager, customer service representative, and actuary.
Financial planners help individuals plan for their financial future. As an insurance planner, you help your clients deal with issues related to retirement planning, insurance, education savings, personal taxation, wills and trusts, estate planning, investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Although a financial planner could be employed by a major financial institution, most operate as sole proprietorships. You can upgrade your status by seeking the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Also, you can seek to become a “Registered Financial Planner,” when you register with the Registered Financial Planner Institute (RFPI).
Money managers hold stocks, bonds, and other financial assets for institutional clients and are on the buy side of Wall Street. Part of what you do as a money manager is to analyze market trends, evaluate securities as to their intrinsic values, and manage large portfolios for wealthy clients and investor groups. Many work with the latest sophisticated quantitative techniques while others do quite well using simple intuition. Mutual fund managers are money managers.
The field of real estate includes title insurance, construction, mortgage banking, property management, real estate appraisals, brokerage and leasing, and real estate development. Many real estate professionals deal with corporate real estate and real estate lending within commercial banks, savings and loans, and insurance companies. Because over a third of the world’s wealth is in real estate, the importance of this field could not be over emphasized. Real estate is collateral for mortgages and a large amount of financial assets.
Finance Job Sites on the Web
The links below are a few of the online resources that provide useful information about careers in all areas of finance. In addition, the Finance faculty are always happy to advise students concerning career opportunities in finance.
- AXA http://inside.axa.com/gb/index.htm
- D.A. Davidson http://www.davidsoncompanies.com/dc/jobs.cfm
- Deutsche Bank www.db.com/careers
- Goldman Sachs http://www2.goldmansachs.com/careers/
- Northwestern Mutual Financial Network http://www.nmfn.com/tn/careers–intern0–int
- Prudential http://www.prudential.com/careers/
- Waddell & Reed http://www.waddell.com/
- Bank Jobs- www.bankjobs.com
- Financial Job Network- www.fjn.com
- BizTalk- www.biztalk.com/
- Bloomberg- www.bloomberg.com
- CNN Money- money.cnn.com/
- Association for Financial Professionals- www.afponline.org
- CFO.Com- www.cfo.com
- Financial Jobs- financial.jobs.com/
- Jobs in the Money- www.jobsinthemoney.com
- Banking-Financejobs.com: http://www.banking-financejobs.com/home/index.cfm
- Careers-in-finance.com: http://www.careers-in-finance.com
- Hotjobs.com: http://hotjobs.yahoo.com
- Chittenden Commercial Real Estate Association: http://www.ccrea.com
- Nareit.com: http://www.reit.com