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Investment fund managers provide financial advice and services to private and corporate clients about a range of investment matters, including buying and selling investment trusts and shares or bonds, to help these clients invest their money in the best places.

For speculative applications, the Wealth Management Association lists member companies on its website.

What does an investment fund manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and Training | Key skills

Investment fund managers work very closely with investment analysts – fund managers make decisions about investments, while analysts provide them with financial information and recommendations that enable such decisions to be made.

Typical tasks include:

  • regularly meeting with investment analysts and company managers to discuss financial matters
  • researching companies
  • gathering information
  • reading financial briefings (often written by investment analysts)
  • making informed financial recommendations and decisions
  • keeping knowledge up-to-date about the UK economy, current financial news and financial markets
  • assessing and interpreting complicated financial information
  • liaising with clients.

Investment work provides high levels of responsibility, good promotional opportunities and impressive financial rewards for the most successful employees. The working hours may be less demanding than other investment roles but they are still long compared with other careers.

Typical employers of investment fund managers

  • Investment banks
  • Investment and asset management companies
  • Stockbrokers
  • Insurance and life assurance companies
  • Banks

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, specialist recruitment agencies, online, in newspapers including The Financial Times and The London Evening Standard, and in publications such as Business Week, Investors Chronicle, The Economist and The Banker, as well as on their respective websites.

Sector and company research, networking and speculative applications are highly beneficial. For speculative applications, PIMFA lists member companies on its website. Early applications for vacancies are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

This career is open to both graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a 2.1 degree in any subject, though business studies, management, statistics, finance, mathematics, accounting or economics can be helpful, as can an MBA or similar professional qualification. Relevant paid or voluntary experience gained via job shadowing, vacation work and internships is particularly beneficial. Graduates normally enter the industry in investment analyst roles and move over to fund manager roles with experience.

School leavers can enter the profession via apprenticeships and gain qualifications with a professional body to aid employability, starting with foundation-level qualifications. For more information about school leaver routes, see the finance sector of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for investment fund managers

  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Self-motivation
  • Strong time management skills
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure
  • Good numerical and IT skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Keen interest in and understanding of financial markets
  • Communication skills.

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