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Thursday, December 26, 2013

A PROFITABLE CAREER - An article in Times of India by Sudhir Dhar

Employment opportunities for finance professionals are immense and will grow if the industry grows, says Sudhir Dhar

 There is a  potential source of confusion regarding careers in finance. On one hand, there is a function called finance that is common to all business enterprises, in every industry. On the other, there is a financial services industry. Additionally, note that the finance function is but one of many possible career paths within the financial services industry.

    There are career opportunities in various areas like commercial banking, forex management, investment banking, wealth management, financial planning, corporate finance, financial research and so on.


In corporate finance, you would work for a company to help it find various sources to raise finance, grow the business, make acquisitions, plan for its financial future, manage any cash in hand and ensure future economic viability.


Investment banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities and provide financial advice.


Commercial banks serve large corporations, small businesses, as well as the general public. Despite recent consolidation in commercial banking, the industry continues to provide more career opportunities in finance than any other sector in the financial services industry.


Indian companies have been increasingly attracting foreign capital either through listing on international stock exchanges or through private equity placements. Companies that wish to access markets for capital or become leading global suppliers to corporations in developed markets have to hedge forex exposure.

    The forex treasury division in banks offers a full range of vanilla and derivative products in forex, interest rates and commodities. These include spot, forward, swaps, currency options, interest rate derivatives, commodity futures and options in addition to high yield structured deposits linked to currencies, interest rates and commodities. Several companies are looking for professionals who understand the nuances of international finance, international capital markets and risk management.


Money managers purchase and carry corporate bonds, agency securities, assetbacked securities and other fixed-income investment products. Some specialise in small stocks, large cap funds, fledgling markets, and other equities.


Financial planning helps people make advance provision for financial needs that may arise in the future.

    The Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) course is presently offered in India by two authorised education providers of the Association of Financial Planners (AFP). Alternatively, an MBA/CFA/CA/Insurance specialisation - singularly or in combination, would also give you a broad understanding of the various investment instruments and options, and their implications.


Brokers or stock market professionals are now either playing host to foreign investment bankers, who are looking for opportunities on the Indian stock market, or visiting fund managers abroad seeking investment here. Stock market houses are redefining themselves and the business of stock broking is highly visible today. Communication links between the dealing room and the trading ring are being improved.


Commodities trading is a global phenomenon and offers tremendous potential to market participants for both profit taking on small price corrections as well as to hedgers looking at managing price risk on account of price fluctuations. In developed markets, futures trading is conservatively ten times the size of cash market in commodities. If we consider the fact that in the US, the futures trading is almost 20 times that of the cash market production, it would only be fair to suggest that our futures market would be a very large and deep one, easily many times more than that of the securities market.


Apart from career opportunities available with insurance companies, employment avenues are also open in the corporate sector, stock broking firms, finance companies, shipping companies, etc. With private participation in the insurance sector, the number of employment opportunities has gone up.


Real estate is collateral for mortgages and a large amount of financial assets. Identifiable real estate fields are mortgage banking, property management, real estate appraisals, brokerage and leasing, and real estate development.

- The writer is associate director

    and head HR, Motilal Oswal

    Financial Services Ltd 

>> Sudhir Dhar 

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