Incredible salaries, fat cat bonuses, luxury offices – yes we’re talking about the financial world and quite simply, if you can’t beat them – should you join ‘em?
Whilst it may not get the greatest press, the financial services industry provides the infrastructure for life as we know it and forms the backbone of the economy (hence the panic when it all went pear shaped). To outsiders the financial world may appear monochrome, dealing simply with banks, figures and shares; in fact the industry is multi dimensional and offers a wide range of opportunity.
Innovate CV TV met with Rick Sopher, Managing Director of LCF Rothschild Asset Management, who highlighted the challanges and opportunities facing those looking to enter the profession.
“If you’re a brain surgeon… …the size of the universe that you look at each day is only about two inches wide….in finance… …everything in the world somehow affects what you do.”
Career Paths into Finance:
Sopher briefly describes the career path that he has taken which is typical in some respects. A degree from Cambridge University led to accountancy where he quickly became a partner (at BDO Stoy Haywood). Following this, he moved into financial services, where he now finds himself in his current role in LCF Rothschild Asset Management, a subsidiary of the LCF Rothschild Group. The company offers services in portfolio management, investment advice, company administration, consulting, insurance, fund management, brokering and real estate.
Sopher offers several points that are crucial to achieving a footing in the financial world.
An interest in the industry and the particular firm is imperative. As Sopher highlights, the finance industry spans a broad spectrum. Some knowledge of key areas and a genuine interest in all relevant activities are definite requirements. Good contacts and friends are important as in any industry, but in finance such connections will be vital, especially when looking for a promotion.
The significance of work experience placements is another major factor; the importance of which, Sopher cannot stress enough. In his own words, “nobody at that placement thinks that you’ll take their job. It’s a great opportunity to find out about business in a short space of time.”
Despite mentioning a variety of factors that can enable one to succeed in the finance industry, in Sopher’s mind nothing is a substitute for lots and lots of hard work.