Specialist markets: graduate area of work

For graduates working in specialist markets, developing expertise in a particular sector and client base is part of the job.

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A large aspect of the role is understanding the client – what their goals are and what they are looking to do.

Specialist market teams focus on industries ranging from healthcare to technology or energy. The work can involve advising corporations on everything from strategy to financing or mergers and acquisitions (M&A). People who work in this area become specialists in a particular sector and are then well placed to understand clients: what their goals are and what they are looking to do.

Sector knowledge provides expert advice

Professionals in the area will meet clients, prepare presentations and provide financing solutions. There is a strong client focus and the main business objective is to deliver innovative and effective solutions for the client.

A large aspect of the role is understanding the client – what their goals are and what they are looking to do (for example acquire or sell a business) – and then giving specialist advice.

Whether it’s raising money or trying to find a buyer, specialist market teams are well placed to offer advice as they have sector knowledge, good finance skills and a grasp of the economic environment that the business is operating in. At a senior level, members of specialist teams are called on for expert advice by board members and CEOs.

The work can be unpredictable because it reacts to client demands, so it’s important to be flexible. Bigger organisations may cover a whole spectrum of sectors, while boutique firms or consultancies may cover a number of sectors within one specialist area.

More specialist teams have been set up in recent years due to the realisation that specialist knowledge adds value for the client.

Starting out as a graduate in specialist markets

At first you will undertake training in products and banking; specialist skills will develop later through experience. As a recent graduate you’ll begin to understand investment banking through work such as putting together presentations and models and developing your analytical skills while analysing companies. Later you will gain more responsibility, generate ideas and interact more with clients – you may be the main point of contact during an M&A transaction.

Skills required for careers in specialist markets

You must be able to absorb a lot of information: much specialist knowledge is learned on the job, but you can’t just learn a bit at a time – it’s a huge learning curve. Successful applicants often have a good academic track record and are enthusiastic, analytical, numerate and level-headed individuals who are willing to work hard and want responsibility.

Job descriptions related to specialist markets

With thanks to Chetan Tailor, vice president in global banking covering the healthcare sector at Deutsche Bank , for his help with this article.

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