Are you confident and ambitious, with a flair for cracking puzzles? A career in investment management might just be perfect for you.
Investment management, sometimes called asset management, is all to do with advising people and businesses about how to invest their money.
But if maths isn’t your forte, don’t be put off by the focus on money: this career path isn’t just for number crunchers. There are plenty of roles available across the field, everything from communicating with journalists to solving tech puzzles.
When it comes to investment management jobs, employers are looking for bright young minds who love working with people and have a knack for finding answers to problems. So with help from the finance experts at Investment2020, we’ve put together this guide to the 7 main areas of asset management, and the roles you could do in each.
1. Investing the money
This area is the nuts and bolts of asset management jobs. The main role here is fund manager. A fund is a pot of money that many people have paid into (take a look at this overview of the investment management industry if you’re still unsure). Fund managers are the guys who invest their customers’ (aka clients) money in these funds. They make sure the invested money grows in the way their customer wants it to.
Analysts find the best places to invest money. They look at how different companies are doing financially, and whether their value is going up and down. They also look at collections of similar companies, to get a sense of whether that industry as a whole is losing or gaining value.
Analysts study the company’s finances and they get out there and meet the staff in person. They use this information to work out what industries and companies are worth investing money in, and present their findings to the fund manager.
Because analysts study different types of industries to see if they’re worth investing in, this role gives you the chance to learn about a field you might have a special interest in, let’s say the car industry, fashion, or sport.
- This is for you if… you think critically, can adapt to new challenges, and have good numeracy skills.
Celine is doing an apprenticeship programme with Investment2020. She’s developing valuable skills and experience (plus a salary!) while working as an analyst for M&G Investments.
“My role involves supporting two senior analysts covering the food and utilities sectors,” she explains. “I enjoy modelling the financial data whilst performing and understanding calculations which ultimately help the analyst give good advice to fund managers.”
Investment2020 has also given Celine training to help her develop commercial awareness and a wider understanding of the asset management industry.
2. Processing the investments
When it comes to investment management jobs, staff are needed to make sure that all the investments are made properly and on time. They are known as the operations team. Trade processing staff are the people who actually make the investments happen – they take instructions from fund managers and transfer money to the fund.
Accounting teams stay on top of the investment management company’s own internal finances. And then there are performance specialists, who measure how well a particular fund is doing.
- Subjects that will help… history (which gives you strong analysis and research abilities), business studies and economics.
Check out this video to hear from Fraser, an operations trainee with Investment 2020.
If you’d like to pursue a career in the operations field, Investment2020 have more trainee asset management jobs in this area than any other.
3. Checking that everyone sticks to the rules
Making sure people play fairly is the job of an asset management’s “regulatory and compliance” team. The asset management industry has to follow a huge number of rules and laws, and the consequences for breaking them are very serious.
Asset management jobs in the regulation and compliance department exist to give advice to fund managers and make sure everyone behaves properly.
- Skills you’ll need… excellent attention to detail and an analytical approach. Maybe you’re a stickler for the rules when it comes to board games, tennis or football – you could be a budding compliance pro!
4. Promoting the investment management company
Asset management companies need to attract their customers – doing that is the job of the sales, marketing and PR department.
Marketing executives promote the company. As a marketing executive, your job is to reach your ideal customers and present your company as reliable and trustworthy. This means deciding what makes your company different from your competitors, and shaping the way you present your company.
You might need to identify new audiences to increase your customers, then work with fund managers and business directors to come up with new fund products for these new groups.
You’ll also need to decide the best way to reach customers, from using the internet, to more traditional approaches like TV and radio advertising. You’ll be responsible for making sure you’re making enough money to justify the amount you’re spending.
Public relations staff talk about your company to the public, journalists, other companies, and the government. The aim is to make sure the company is well known and trusted by potential customers.
- This is for you if… you’re good with words, have a creative flair and enjoy working with people. It’s for you if you know how to write a great essay with lots of persuasive arguments, or you’re a pro at giving convincing speeches.
5. Building the tech that keeps everything running smoothly
IT systems are really important for investment companies. They store lots of information about their customers, and also use computers to make predictions about what might happen to investments. A role in IT could be for you if you’re a good problem solver or enjoy programming. There are plenty of exciting roles, including in software development and data architecture, IT infrastructure, IT security and business analysis.
- Skills you’ll need… problem-solving, teamwork and discipline.
Ella works in finance IT as a trainee with Investment2020. She doesn’t have a technical background – but says the role is perfect for anyone who enjoy finding answers to riddles. Have a watch…
6. Looking after the staff
Hiring new recruits and making sure staff are happy are the tasks of the human resources department. This department looks after employees and helps them set goals to help them progress. Job roles include recruitment and resourcing; performance and reward; employee relations and engagement; learning and development or overall HR strategy.
- Subjects that will help… business, psychology, law.
“I love helping out with recruitment and meeting new people,” says Maggie, an HR apprentice with Investment2020. “I am a very talkative people person, so this role suits me perfectly. I have learned a great deal about the company and developed my communication skills. Investment2020 has really been great, not only has it exposed me to a whole network of new people, I have picked up and honed many different transferable skills.”
7. Keeping customers happy
Customer service staff look after customers. At an investment management company, the customers are the people who are putting their money into firms. They need to be reassured that their money is being taken care of, and they need someone to contact in case they have any questions or problems.
Customers need to get good service so that they feel well-looked after and keep investing with your company. They also need to know their money is safe with the company.
Skills needed for customer service jobs include interpersonal skills and adapting to changing situations.
- This is for you if… you’re focused, patient and good at thinking on your feet.
Does a career in investment management sound up your street? Investment2020 provide asset management trainee jobs with leading investment management companies. You get practical skills and hands-on experience—while earning a salary at the same time. You don’t need any prior experience and can apply straight from school.