Financial services mini series: Part 3
By Ayoob Rawat
Financial Services is a huge industry with many career opportunities. It can be rewarding and lucrative but because of that, there is a lot of competition. It does not matter what existing degree or qualification you have, as long as you are numerate and passionate about financial independence.
After this series that has been broken down into 5 parts, you will be able to better plot your path to an exciting future in the Financial Services sector.
In our first post we looked into :
Then we explored:
In this post we will:
3) Bust the myth that you need to have MBAs and be a rocket scientist to succeed in the financial services industry.
And then we will investigate:
4) Like for any career, what skills will you need to build on to shine?
5) For those interested to set up independently: what organisational structure will you need?
So, what qualifications do you need to succeed in financial services?
The truth is (from my experience), it doesn’t really matter what degrees or qualifications you have! I did not acquire a degree or get an MBA!
I did not complete my A-Level’s and did not even go to university. However, I can still testify that I became the CFO of a bank managing $20B and running family offices for UHNW Banking dynasties.
In understanding and progressing up the wealth pyramid, this is what I found:
- General basic education is essential to make citizens financially secure.
- Financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and a network will considerably improve your prospect of becoming financially independent.
- Wealth Services (Personal Financial Planning, Wealth Services, Family Office, Entrepreneurship) and networks are the tools to riches.
So, what you do need is to:
- be able to read,
- be interested in numbers,
- have a methodical nature, and
- love to report and tell stories.
➡️ How do you get the appropriate education can also be an outcome of your career roadmap. [You can access our Professional Career Roadmap for free at https://www.pwfo.org/offers/cmNng45n/.
Our team will assess the questionnaire to provide you advice specifically suited for you for free].
Before you embark on a costly degree or an MBA, you should perhaps consider acquiring your "driving license" then get your map ready (network). I am NOT saying you should not go to university. All I am saying is that somebody with a degree will not necessarily have a head start over an intern or trainee at a firm.
It is the initial license that will take you to the destination you set. For example, you need a professional license to drive an F1 car or a cargo lorry. It is the same in the finance industry -> Start with the fundamentals, which is the base on which you will add layer by layer as your path will take you in a direction that will evolve.
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant which gave me a good entry but at the assistant level. I could have moved in the front, operate in the back-office, or be in control. By working with the dealing-room, I had the opportunity to understand the world of derivatives, options, futures, forward exchange, and very quickly I was able to specialise in that field.
Very early in my career I understood the importance of data. This was before the term “Big Data” became a thing and it was with this that I got a view of and invested to understand the power of Data Management.
These were positions that did not exist and I was able to tailor-make my training and formation to provide what was needed.
Having understood who you are and what you want, you then need to invest in understanding who you will serve - who will be your end client.
Consider whether you want to operate in the front, mid-office, or back. That will determine what your clients will require from you. This is about predicting the future, using all the information you collected when you undertook the project. You need to go beyond looking at the daily routine but think long term.
Do not get caught by the big sell going on by universities and business schools. They are looking for revenue and transferring knowledge is now secondary to their needs.
The point is that it is not the degree that will lead to success; it is knowing what you want to do in your life that will guide the training that you will require.
In-house training and formation, often funded by employers, are becoming more prevalent. So rather than getting expensive specialist degrees, it is preferable to get an “entry” qualification and a lower position and then grow by learning on the job.
This route may even keep your debt down and still allow you to reach your career destination much quicker.
The next post will discuss the actual skills you will need to succeed in your career.:
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