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Beginner's guide to the Investment Industry: Part 1

28-March-2019
28-March-2019 14:04
in General
by Admin

Three business women sat around a table

An introduction to the Investment Industry: Part 1

Welcome to the first instalment in our investment industry guide. If you’re interested in a career in Financial Services, we aim to help you navigate some of the terminology you’ll encounter.

Skilling Gate is a recruitment firm based in Bristol, specialising in roles in the Financial Services sector. Its founders built their careers working for Financial Services firms and therefore have an insight into the industry that is fairly unique to recruitment.

You can find our latest vacancies on our website, or register your CV to be notified of any future positions.

What are Financial Services?

It’s an incredibly broad sector. In the UK it accounts for 6.5% of total economic output and employs 1 in 14 people. Any firm involved in the investment and management of money and assets can be considered Financial Services, from commercial and investment banking to current accounts offered to the public. From stockbroking and share dealing to advice about pensions. Insurance and mortgages. From a bank cashier to complex derivatives traders, ultimately, it’s a huge duty of responsibility and the privilege to look after people’s money, wherever you are in the chain.

Wealth Management, Investment Management, Asset Management, Fund Management. Huh? What’s the difference?

-          Wealth Management

Wealth Managers offer advice to clients on all aspects of their finances, from investments and savings to retirement and estate planning, and can include accounting and tax services. Clients will usually work with a single wealth manager who will coordinate input from other financial specialists to give comprehensive and holistic financial planning and provide financial solutions. Larger firms will employ specialists in-house. Smaller firms may use third parties for some activities, but there will always be individuals involved that are qualified to offer financial advice and authorised by a regulator.

Wealth Management advisors will work with clients to establish their financial goals, review current investments, savings, protection and income and produce a plan to achieve those goals as tax efficiently as possible. Wealth Managers may offer their services in an ongoing discretionary arrangement – where assets are actively managed by them on behalf of the client- or an advised service where they meet clients at fixed intervals to review their portfolio and rebalance or re-plan dependant on performance and life circumstances. Clients will pay wealth management firms fees for these services.

Roles at firms will vary dependant on the services offered, but could include financial advisors, paraplanners, tax specialists, accountants, analysts, compliance specialists, risk managers, client service and administrative support.

-          Investment Management

Investment Management is usually a subset of Wealth Management and involves the management of specifically assets and securities within a client portfolio to achieve investment goals. Clients can be private investors or institutions, and Investment Managers will buy and sell assets (shares, bonds, mutual funds and other securities) for the benefit of their clients within the remit of the portfolio investment objective and at a level of risk that the client is happy with. The distinct difference to fund management is that portfolios are not packaged into units and sold on the open market.

Roles at firms will include analysts, traders, stockbrokers, risk management, compliance and business support.

-          Fund Management

Whilst it holds similarities with Investment Management (and indeed some firms use them interchangeably), fund management in the UK generally refers to firms that operate Unit Trusts or Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs). They are collective investments, where investor money is pooled and managed by a fund manager in line with a stated investment objective. Funds will focus on a sector and/or geographical location (such as “UK Income” or “North American Smaller Companies”) and invest in shares of companies that fit the remit. Units in these investment vehicles can be bought and sold much like shares – although not on a stockmarket - allowing investors to invest and disinvest with relative ease. Investment Managers and Wealth Managers may invest their client’s money into these funds as part of a wider portfolio.

Roles at firms will include analysts, traders, risk management, fund managers, compliance, sales, back office administration and business support.

-          Asset Management

A term that is often used interchangeably with Investment Management and Fund Management, as well as used to describe wider investment service firms, the definition will depend very much on the company using it. Where this term is used by a company to describe itself, it's best to check the "about us" or "products and services" sections of their website to understand where they are positioning themselves.

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