Job descriptions and industry overviews

Investment fund manager: job description

7 Jul 2023, 14:24

Investment fund managers advise private and corporate clients to help them get the best return on their investments.

Four fund-manager-esque piggy banks with glasses on

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

Investment fund managers (also known as investment managers) work with their clients to help them maximise their investments. They work 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:

  • liaising with clients and their representatives to explore their investment preferences and appetite for risk
  • meeting with investment analysts and company managers to discuss clients’ needs
  • carrying out rigorous research
  • reading financial briefings (often written by investment analysts)
  • keeping knowledge up-to-date about the UK economy, current financial news and financial markets
  • assessing and interpreting complicated financial information
  • communicating financial information accurately and simply to those without a background in this area
  • keeping detailed records and reports.

Graduates tend to enter the industry in investment analyst roles and move over to fund manager roles with experience. Some firms hire trainee or junior investment managers and provide training to help you progress These roles normally involve supporting an investment management team.

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: you may find yourself working 12-hour days and needing to travel to meet clients.

Graduate salaries

Starting salaries for graduate investment fund managers range from around £28,000 to £32,000, according to jobs comparison site Glassdoor. Alongside this, there are likely to be other benefits available, including gym memberships and private health insurance.

Earnings will increase with experience, particularly if you achieve a wealth management qualification.

Typical employers of investment fund managers

  • Investment banks
  • Investment and asset management companies
  • Stockbrokers
  • Insurance and life assurance companies
  • Boutique investment firms.

Vacancies are advertised on targetjobs and by careers services. You’ll also find them advertised by specialist recruitment agencies, although these positions are often for more experienced professionals.

Qualifications and training required

This career is open to both graduates and school leavers. Graduates will usually 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.

Competition is tough for roles in investment so work experience will help your applications stand out. Look for vacation placements and insight days as well as traditional work experience such as work shadowing. Early applications for vacancies are advisable because of the competitive nature of recruitment into this field.

School leavers can enter the profession via apprenticeships and gain qualifications with a professional body to aid employability, starting with foundation-level qualifications.

Once you’re employed, you may be supported to study for an investment-related qualification such as a diploma in wealth management.

Key skills for investment fund managers

Employers of investment fund managers will be looking for:

  • excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • confidence
  • research skills
  • strong time management skills
  • the ability to work effectively under pressure
  • excellent numerical and IT skills
  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • teamworking skills
  • a keen interest in and understanding of financial markets.

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