Investment management professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring the financial well-being of both institutional and individual investors. While quite lucrative, the global financial services industry is highly competitive, and requires mastery of an extensive skill set and demonstration of numerous competencies. Additionally, as a result of recent financial scandals, both individual investors and institutional investors increasingly demand that managers exhibit a strong ethical orientation. When institutional and individual asset management firms look to hire employees, they look for knowledge, experience, an ethical orientation, and high motivation.
The global financial markets have increased dramatically in complexity in recent years. With the advent of financial innovations such as collateralized mortgage obligations, credit default swaps and various other derivative products, the body of knowledge in the investment management profession continues to expand rapidly. Thus, it is imperative that financial professionals have a mastery of the fundamental tools and strategies used in the financial markets, as well as knowledge of cutting edge developments. Firms look to hire financial professionals who have a broad-base of knowledge and who understand how financial markets operate. Analytical skills such as the ability to solve complex financial problems and suggest alternative solutions to achieve client goals are particularly highly valued.
Practitioners will tell you that book knowledge alone is not enough. Work experience is vitally important in any industry, and the investment management field is certainly no exception. Clients want to partner with experienced professionals – individuals who have been through the ups and downs of bull and bear markets and who have experience in the line of fire. These seasoned individuals can draw upon their experiences to craft cogent solutions to serve client needs.
Clients literally place their life savings and dreams in the hands of financial professionals. Unfortunately, many individual and institutional investors have become the victim of unscrupulous investment managers as evidenced by the rash of recent improprieties in the investment management field. These highly-publicized scandals have forced investors to be as much concerned with return of investment as they are in return on investment. Increasingly, clients are cautiously investigating the ethical orientation of prospective managers in a careful due diligence process prior to the commitment of any funds. Investors want assurances that investment professionals will wisely manage and protect their interests while also providing sound counsel and advice. Increasingly clients look to engage financial professionals who are ethically-centered. Most often this orientation is demonstrated by references from other clients as well as adherence to a voluntary code of ethics.
Knowledge, experience and an ethical orientation are very essential qualities but the motivation of the investment manager is equally important. Because the field is constantly evolving, investment managers must continuously monitor developments in the profession and maintain a current skill set. Successful investment managers are often involved in formal professional development activities sponsored by colleges and universities as well as professional associations.
Learn more about the knowledge, skills, and abilities a successful investment manager should posses with the online Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis (MIMFA) Program from Creighton University. Classes such as Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fixed Income & Derivatives, Portfolio Management and Asset Management Within a Portfolio Context provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the world of investment management.