Financial services are the companies, people and processes that manage money and offer credit, saving and investment opportunities. They help individuals with their personal finances, provide the capital that businesses need to grow, and insure against risk. Without them, our economy wouldn’t function. The health of the financial sector is critical to everyone in society, from individuals to corporations. If people are able to control their own money, they can be more resilient during unforeseen events and make smart choices about their investments and savings. A healthy financial services sector supports communities by providing jobs, as well as helping families and businesses buy and sell goods and services.
The industry includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurance companies and other credit and financing organizations. It also includes the critical utilities that support these activities, such as payment systems (credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard), debt resolution services, and global exchanges that facilitate stock, derivatives and commodity trades.
When most people think of a career in finance, they envision the banking sector or wealth management services. These professions do play an important role in the financial services industry, but it’s a much more diverse and varied field than most people realize. There are countless opportunities in the financial services sector that can be highly rewarding for those who have the right skillset.
For example, an underwriter is a person who reviews the risks associated with insuring individuals and businesses. A broker is a person who represents the insured and shops around for insurance policies that fit their needs. And a family office is an investment and wealth management firm that works with wealthy individuals or groups of wealthy families.
Another area that makes up the financial services sector is asset management, which includes things like pension fund management and private equity. Many of these firms focus on specific industries or geographic regions and are often run by a team of specialists, including investment managers, tax professionals and lawyers.
While a degree isn’t a necessity for getting into most financial services positions, it can be helpful to have one if you want to advance within the industry. The pay for entry-level roles is typically quite good, and once you start, you can learn on the job and move up quickly if you prove yourself.
In general, the more you know about the different types of financial services and professionals, the better equipped you will be to select a role that’s a good fit for your skill set and interests. In addition, it’s always a good idea to build your network when starting out in any industry, but especially in the financial services sector. If you’re looking for a new challenge, explore the opportunities in our list of financial services jobs today. You can find a fulfilling career in this exciting sector that powers NYC, the nation and the world.