Career Focus: Work as a Fund Manager in Banking

If you already know a career in fund management is for you, click below to search and apply for industry-relevant internships and placements!

What do fund managers do?

Fund managers do what it says on the tin. They make choices about financial investments and do the legwork when it comes to buying and selling stocks for clients.

This can involve acting as a financial adviser for clients and providing their expertise in wealth management.

Fund managers have to balance the need to generate profits for their clients with the ability to avoid and manage risk; it’s a role that needs people who are able to make big decisions and appreciate the risks involved.

This involves pinpointing investing opportunities for long and short-term ventures, spreading assets across a number of products to cast the net wide and providing asset management services.

What is an investment fund?

A fund is made up of money invested by a number of clients to make it weightier, before being ploughed into products that a fund manager believes will perform well, like property, bonds and currency.

This is where the element of risk comes into play, as clients can choose whether they’d rather play it safe by investing in markets that are steady, or take a gamble for bigger gains on more volatile markets. Each fund type will normally have different managers who specialise in certain markets.

Why should I become a fund manager?

Picking a career as a fund manager will help you develop many of the traits needed to make it to the top of the business world.

The ability, time and effort needed to make it will show employers that you can cope under pressure and deliver big results. Some experienced fund managers go on to start their own fund if they have enough confidence in their abilities.

Then there are the financial incentives. It’s no surprise that the highest salaries offered to graduates in 2016 were in the investment banking sector, hitting an average of £45,000, not taking into account bonuses and allowances.

Many people who become all-powerful fund managers will start off as a research or investment analyst, basically helping their colleagues explore markets and make sense of financial data.

We have more benefits of working in the banking industry on our guide to Banking Internships and Placements.

How to become a Fund Manager

After a few years as an analyst assisting portfolio managers, it’s likely you’ll get the chance to become one yourself.

Taking on more responsibility and sticking more experience under your belt will give you a chance to become a fund manager later in your career, as will earning qualifications from the CFA Society to become a Chartered Financial Analyst.

To succeed in your aim of becoming a financial top dog, you’ll need to be extremely committed and put in the hours. The banking industry is all about strategies and having faith in your choices; you’ll need to have a tenacious side.

You also need to spend time keeping up to date with financial markets, because these will inform your investment decisions, as will your analytical ability.

Gaining fund management and finance work experience

Using work experience to expose yourself to financial markets and everyday tasks of analysing figures, spotting investment openings and reporting your findings to colleagues will give you a far better idea of whether you’re right for this industry.

You can do this by undertaking a placement, banking internship or shorter insight scheme working for a portfolio management or fund management company, such as Morgan Stanley, UBS or Credit Suisse.