Career in Finance – Operations

The operations division in the finance industry is a growing career opportunity for both experienced and entry level finance professionals. Assisting in across all divisions of investment products, the operations roles are key to ensure a smooth flow of information from the front and back office processes. The most common positions for operations include support and analyst roles. The operation support role is mainly responsible for assisting trading desks and client services teams with administration and processing activities. The operations analyst role is also involved in processing activities but instead looks to research how information moves throughout the organization and work to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. The analyst role is also sometimes involved with how information is stored and physically processed within the firms internal systems as well as how it is communicated and reported to external parties.

Common activities for operational roles in the trade support:

  • Reconciliations
  • Executing, clearing, and settling trades
  • Data entry
  • Monitoring and controlling processes and payments
  • Investigating “exceptions” or system failed trades
  • Ensure all internal and industry standards are upheld on a daily basis

Common activities for operational roles in client services support:

  • Communicating directly with clients
  • Investigating inquiries
  • Responding to client requests
  • Gathering information from clients
  • Data entry
  • Monitoring document processing
  • Ensure all internal and industry standards are upheld on a daily basis
  • Client onboarding activities

Qualifications & Skills: Professionals interested in a role as an operations specialist in financial services must hold a Bachelors Degree typically in Finance, Accounting, Economics or similar fields of study. All operations professionals should be computer savvy as most processes will require use of internal systems to manage information in and creating reports or models. Exceptional operations professionals have advanced skills using MS Office applications Access and Excel – particularly Macros, Lookups, and Pivot Tables. Following instructions, analytical thinking, and organization are key traits for those interested in operations.

Specialities: Operations professionals typically deal with one specific area of trade processing or client support. As such, specialities can include various types of asset classes (Currency, Fixed Income, Commodities, Derivatives, etc.), settlement systems (SWIFT), specific activities (reporting, database management, etc.), or even industry/geography.

Expected Compensation: Entry level operations positions typically pay between $19 – $25 per hour. Experienced positions pay between $30 – $45 per hour. Senior or highly specialized operational professional can pay up to $65 per hour.

Locations: As more regulations are created in the industry, there is a greater need for operations professionals to ensure processes are being followed and standards are being upheld. Typically institutions hire operations professionals for each of their locations, however more organizations are beginning to centralize all operations processing into one facility. Recently we have seen locations growing outside of the New York City financial area and a significant increase in operational units and positions opening in Purchase – New York, Salt Lake City – Utah, and Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania area.

View current job opportunities for Financial Consultants in Operations