// Careers in Finance
Careers in Finance
Explore the numerous career opportunities available in the field of finance. Learn where you want to be.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
The CFP designation is the standard for certifying financial planners in Canada. In order to attain the CFP designation, candidates must complete a Core Curriculum consisting of financial planning course at an approved institution, write several examinations, and must gain appropriate financial planning work experience in order to be fully certified. For those interested in the financial planning field, obtaining the CFP designation is highly recommended in order to gain recognition and trustworthiness from clients. For more information on obtaining the CFP designation, please visit http://www.fpsc.ca.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
This is the premier designation for candidates seeking to enter the field of investment & portfolio management or equity research. In order to attain the CFA Charter, candidates must write 3 exams (Level I, Level II, and Level III) and meet specific requirements for professional experience. Students are eligible to write the Level I exam at any time but to write the Level II exam, an undergraduate degree is required. Students are encouraged to write the Level I exam after completing their third year of university. For more information on obtaining the CFA designation, please visit https://www.cfainstitute.org.
Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
This designation is relevant to students seeking a career in Risk Management. In order to obtain the FRM designation, a passing score on the Financial Risk Management exam is needed along with relevant work experience in the field of financial risk management or other related areas such as trading or portfolio management. The regulating body of the FRM designation is the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). For more information on obtaining the FRM designation, please visit http://www.garp.com.
Investment Banking is a highly competitive field within finance. Most large financial institutions have an Investment Banking arm in order to help public and private sector companies raise capital, provide advice on possible mergers and acquisitions opportunities, and assist in underwriting financial securities among other duties. A career in the investment banking field is tremendously competitive due to the prestige and compensation associated with it. Successful investment bankers tend to be highly analytical, driven, and have excellent negotiation skills. For those looking to enter the field upon graduation, a high GPA as well as excellent extracurricular and leadership experiences are necessary. In Canada, the major Investment banks include RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities, Scotia Capital, BMO Capital Markets, and CIBC World Markets. These Investment banks typically hire Summer Analysts who are normally students completing their third year of university. Applications are usually accepted in January with first and second round interviews taking place soon after. Successful summer analysts tend to be given offers to return full-time after graduating from university. Graduates from an MBA program can be considered for Associate roles within Investment Banking as well.
Sales and Trading
Sales and Trading is a fast-paced and exciting career in Finance that is also extremely risky. Sales people usually work for large financial institutions and provide various financial instruments such as equities, currencies, commodities, bonds, and derivatives to buyers who can range from wealthy individuals to large national pension funds. Traders usually work on the trading floor for large financial institutions and are always in direct contact with sales people. Traders execute orders on behalf of clients and work to obtain the security at the best possible price. Sales and Trading Professionals rely on sophisticated software and up-to-date market data provided by companies such as Bloomberg and Reuters. A Bloomberg terminal, similar to the one available for use in the Management Wing, is a staple on the trading floor of major financial institutions. Successful sales and trading professionals tend to have excellent communication, analytical and quantitative skills, have a natural ability to focus attention, and have a deep passion for the financial markets. Graduates from undergraduate and graduate finance, economics, engineering, and mathematics programs with high academic achievement are typically sought by financial institutions looking to hire sales and trading professionals.
Investment / Asset / Portfolio Management
A career in asset or portfolio investment involves careful selection and management of securities which can include equities, bonds, currencies, derivatives, commodities and also physical assets such as real estate and infrastructure. In this buy-side career field, professionals manage large amounts of assets on behalf of clients in order to generate superior returns or maintain annual payouts to investors. Professionals are usually compensated on the basis of performance and earn a portion of either invested assets or capital gains. A large proportion of the asset management field lies in mutual or hedge funds where large pools of capital are invested on behalf of clients into various financial instruments. Large public and private sector pension funds also operate under the asset management field. Canada's largest pension plans include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - they manage large sums of assets with investments diversified into public market investments such as equities, commodities, foreign exchange, and fixed income, as well as investments in real estate, private equity, and infrastructure. Many entry-level opportunities at OTPP and CPPIB are available through the co-op management program at UTSC.
Private Equity is a field that involves capital investment into private companies. Private Equity professionals first conduct thorough research on potential investments in private companies, develop financial models to determine the company's attractiveness, and if successful, will eventually deploy the funds needed to acquire the company. Private Equity investors usually invest in companies that have significant potential growth or are currently valued below its anticipated future value. Private Equity professionals usually start out by focusing on a particular industry field such as telecommunications, energy, healthcare, or information technology, and usually remain in the space for the rest of their careers. The Private Equity Arm of large pension funds such as CPPIB Private Investments and Teachers' Private Capital are some of the largest Private Investment firms in Canada. Entry-level positions at Teachers Private Capital are available through the co-op management program at UTSC.
Financial Planning involves developing a one-on-one relationship with clients in order to help them achieve financial success. Financial planners work with both middle income and high net worth clients to develop a long-term financial strategy. Financial planners assist with opening bank accounts, mortgages, tax planning, Registered Education Savings Plans, Registered Retirement Savings Plan, estate planning, and Investments. Many financial planners have attained the Certified Financial Planner designation. Some financial planners work at banking institutions but many are entrepreneurial and have either started their own practice or work independently under a financial services firm. Such firms include Investors Group. Investment Society has held several information sessions in conjunction with Investors Group to provide students with information on career opportunities in this field.