Investment operations administrators provide a wide range of support services to members of the investment teams in investment and pensions companies, and their customers. They set up and maintain investors accounts and records, deal with any queries, prepare portfolio reports and investment market information.
They may be called fund or portfolio administrators.
You could be:
processing the buying and selling of shares and valuing investment funds
checking the prices of unit trusts and stocks on live financial indexes every morning
compiling investment reports for clients, including performance calculations and valuations
downloading information about dividends (profits paid out to shareholders) and checking that it is accurate
monitoring the value of funds and updating clients or custodians (financial firms who deal with other people's financial assets)
working with particular portfolios (groups of investments) for clients such as pension fund contributors or individual investors
updating information on databases or identifying problems on computer systems
making sure that all funds bought and sold are balanced every day
attending internal and external meetings and presenting reports for fund managers and other clients.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary in investment operations is usually around £20,000 to £25,000 a year. A senior investment operations administrator can earn about £26,000 to £38,000 a year, and above.
As with other jobs in the financial sector there may be bonuses such as such as a pension scheme, private medical insurance, cheap mortgage facilities, free shares and performance-related incentives.
You would work at a computer in a modern open plan office.
You would work normal office hours but sometimes may work early mornings or attend meetings at other times.
You could work as part of an investment operations team.
You may spend a lot of time talking to clients or colleagues on the telephone.
You may regularly have to work to tight deadlines.
You could apply for trainee investment administrator posts. Employers usually ask for 3 or more National 5 qualifications, including English and Maths. Many employers prefer applicants to have a good group of Highers.
Some employers will consider graduates with any degree (SCQF Level 9), but some may prefer subjects in business or finance.
For entry to a degree course you usually require 4-5 Highers, depending on the subject and university.
Studying for a relevant Foundation Apprenticeship while in fifth and sixth year at school could count towards entry requirements of a job or course. Entry requirements vary between colleges, but you usually require some subjects at National 5 including English and Maths.
You might enter this work after gaining relevant skills and experience in another job.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
excellent written and verbal communication skills
an eye for detail
good analytical skills
strong numerical skills
good IT skills
excellent organisational skills
a genuine interest in stocks and shares.
You need to be able to:
handle large volumes of work
work well under pressure and meet deadlines
work alone or as part of a team
be responsible and make decisions.
Initial training is on the job and by attending internal training courses.
You could start with the entry level course, Introduction to Investment - The Foundation Qualification, which can be taken as part of the IOC.
The CISI offer further foundation qualifications including IT in Investment Operations as well as more advanced qualifications in specialist areas such as global securities. You can get dates of all the up and coming short courses from the CISI website.
Throughout your career you will have to keep up to date with changes in the market place and financial regulations.
There are good prospects for advancement.
You would take on more responsibility before progressing to positions such as team leader, supervisor or trainee fund manager.
With experience, you could move into one of a range of specialist fields, such as: stock settlements, corporate actions, treasury settlements, data management, compliance, valuations and fund management support.
Taking further qualifications through the CISI, such as the Diploma in Investment Operations, could help you progress to a senior position in the industry.