Today's finance executives are increasingly focused on controlling, reporting, analyzing, and formatting information that is increasingly abundant and complex. Find out more about five interesting jobs in finance!
Advisors (or experts or analysts) in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) accompany their clients or their companies during complex financial operations, such as a merger between two companies, the takeover of a company, or even an initial public offering (IPO). The scope of this job actually extends beyond mergers and acquisitions.
Depending on the context and the type of employer (a firm, a company, or a bank, for example), M&A advisors act upstream by identifying opportunities in the market. In addition to solid financial and legal expertise, M&A advisors need to have in-depth knowledge of the market in terms of the relevant context, opportunities, and trends. The objective of this position is to detect the best opportunities available in order to propose them to clients or companies. Therefore, M&A advisors must have strong synthesis and analytical skills, as well as the ability to persuade others of the value of the proposed transaction.
Once a transaction has been validated, advisors have to put together a file with a risk assessment, the definition of financial and legal elements, and potential scenarios.
After a proposal has been accepted, the M&A advisor controls the operation by coordinating all the mergers or sales agents, including economists, business lawyers, and so forth. The position requires taking on the role of a true leader and manager.
Qualities: Very good negotiator, interpersonal skills, bilingual in English and another language, analytical and synthesis skills, rigor, ability to convince and coordinate different actors around a project.
Prospective employers: Cabinets, big companies, banks
In business, risk managers have a key function. Their mission consists of anticipating, analyzing, and managing the various risks that a structure faces: risks of accidents, attacks, or fires, as well as risks related to activities or company strategy. This activity is part of the finance business because the purpose of managing these risks is to limit financial costs.
Risk managers need to identify risks and develop a risk map. They can then define, implement, or animate the risk management action plans in house. They also need to anticipate but also make plans, a process that involves many stakeholders in the company.
Risk managers also often have the mission of raising awareness and internally disseminating the risk management culture. To work with the right data, these professionals have to rely on their thorough knowledge of human resources, processes, and the different activities of the company.
Qualities: Listening skills, anticipatory and planning skills, ability to imagine unplanned scenarios, pedagogy, strength of conviction
Prospective employers: Large companies, especially ETI and firms specializing in risk management.
Financial controllers supervise all the budgetary and accounting operations of a structure. In an office or in a company, this is a very analytical role that requires analytical skills . In this sense, the financial controller’s role in the company differs from that of the management accountant, who has a more operational and purely accounting-related mission.
Financial controllers analyze all the financial data of the company: turnover, profits, profit and loss accounts, and cash flow. They must implement accounting processes that comply with the laws and regulations in force. Financial controllers prepare the budgets related to the different departments and the financial director.
Qualities: Autonomy, rigor, sense of organization and planning
Prospective employers: SMC, large companies, audit firms, investment banks
Medium-sized and large companies often have multiple services, entities, and subsidiaries. Gathering all their accounting and financial data poses a real challenge and constitutes the consolidator's mission. This position requires a specialist in financial analysis who can develop accounts consolidation processes. The purpose is to create a single financial statement that can be communicated to management, legal entities, or shareholders if necessary.
This consolidation mission is often decisive in the process of acquisitions, mergers, or IPOs. In these contexts, the consolidator plays a key role.
Therefore, consolidators serve as facilitators since they have a supporting role for the different groups involved in order to develop a global vision for the activity in question.
This role differs from that of the management controller, whose mission entails creating and using tools and indicators to measure and analyze the results obtained.
Qualities: Great rigor, excellent analytical and synthesis skills, excellent organization, fluency in English
Prospective employers: Major international groups, law firms
Financial regulation has become much more complex in recent years since financial crises and scandals have forced states to legislate and regulate financial and banking activities much more drastically. Thus, compliance with these regulations has become a major issue for medium-sized and large companies.
The compliance officer's mission is therefore to implement the means to make the company comply with the existing regulations and the various codes of ethics. To this end, compliance officers need to watch new regulations and their evolution very carefully, as well as to follow the implementation actions that can allow the company to comply with the regulations. This relatively new position, which is even mandatory for certain sectors, did not exist a decade ago: Since 2006, French banks have been required to have a compliance officer.
Working halfway between regulation compliance and ethics, the compliance officer also has an ethical mission; in banking institutions, this individual is indeed the guarantor of the interests of customers in their relationships with their banks (e.g., the fight against over-indebtedness, as well as information regarding the cost of banking services).
Qualities: Ethical sense, rigor, knowledge of banking regulations (AMF) and European texts, fluency in English
Prospective employers: Banks, large companies, cabinets
If you’re interested in building a career as an M&A Advisor, Risk Manager, Financial Controller, Consolidator or Compliance Officer, the MSc in Finance is the right program for you to acquire the necessary specialist knowledge to succeed in the finance industry.