Investment banking finance analyst: Ben Bonny explains why CIMA professionals will have an advantage when competing for this highly sought-after role.

AuthorBonny, Ben
PositionSo you want to be...

Analytical roles such as the one advertised above are always popular, mainly because they are forward-looking rather than process-orientated in nature. Finance analyst positions are also broader than traditional accounting jobs: they entail close collaboration with a number of business units across an organisation rather than with one, as would be the case for many financial positions.



The provision of high-quality management information for decision-makers is obviously particularly important for investment banks. But, although the number of finance analyst vacancies has risen recently in the industry, so has the number of potential applicants. The good news is that CIMA members definitely have an advantage over their competitors. I would even go as far as to say that banks are targeting CIMA-qualified accountants for these roles, owing to the commercial understanding and industry experience they accumulate during their training. Whereas banks traditionally sought professionals with two to three years' post-qualification experience, a lot of newly qualified CIMA members are filling such vacancies at the moment.

Your work will typically include budgeting, forecasting, variance analysis, trend recognition and guiding strategic decisionmakers. It can be quite ad hoc and you may get involved in tasks ranging from product development projects to writing complex reports and management information packs. You'll routinely present key findings and pitch ideas to senior managers--almost from day one. There are few jobs that offer this level of exposure at such a junior level, so you'll need to be a confident...

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