Corporate finance: graduate area of work

When businesses are in the process of change they need graduates with initiative to advise and add value through buying and selling.

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Complex deals often require detailed knowledge of the area of business in which the organisation is trading.

Adding value

Corporate finance primarily involves adding value to businesses through buying and selling. For example, a company may decide to buy out another company to augment its business. Or the owners of a company could sell the whole or part of a business and allow senior staff to attempt a management buyout – extra funds would need to be raised to make this possible.

Roles range from lead advisers, who project manage the process of raising capital, through to reporting accountants and auditors, who are responsible for making sure that the accounts of any target company are in good order, to lawyers, who ensure that any transactions are carried out in the correct legally binding way.

New developments

Due to events in the banking sector, and Brexit, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find the extra funding necessary to take important steps forward. There has been an increase in the visibility of private equity firms in the past few years, the current conditions will provide fresh challenges for those interested in this area.

Starting out

Auditing roles provide good experience in calculating how much businesses are genuinely worth. Professional qualifications for this role are now offered by the ICAEW. In some roles within corporate finance, complex deals often require detailed knowledge of the area of business in which the organisation is trading – in those roles, staff will need to have acquired this special sector-specific knowledge.

Skills required

To work in corporate finance, you need excellent communication skills. Brokers and lead advisers in this area need to be able to strike deals effectively with other parties. Confidence is essential, as are good numeracy skills and the resilience to be able to work long hours under a high degree of pressure.

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