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Career profile: Fund manager

fund managerFund managers work with clients (either wealthy individuals or companies) to invest their money in shares and bonds, with the hope that it will increase in value over time.

A what?

Fund managers look after other people’s and organisation’s money. Whether it is for pensions or insurance companies, they have to invest the money for long-term growth.

On the job

You have to be prepared to work long hours as a fund manager, and the job involves communicating with a range of different people. Fund managers have to spend time with their clients, finding out what their requirements are and explaining how their money is being invested. They will also have to provide explanations if a fund hasn’t performed as expected.

Fund managers often specialise in a certain area – either geographically or by industry. So there will be some who concentrate on technology or manufacturing while others maybe experts in a region, like the Middle East or Europe.

As well, as managing clients, you would have to work with investment analysts and sales teams. Your job would be to apply what you’ve learnt from researchers and analysts to particular client funds.

So to be a good fund manager you need to be great at communicating with a range of people – as well as being able to understand the technical details provided by the analysts, you would have to translate that information in a way that would make sense to clients.

As most fund managers work for global banks, fund management companies, stockbrokers and insurance companies, the work tends to be in large cities – so in the UK, lots of fund managers work in London. Because you would be working for big international organisations, there could be opportunities to work abroad too.

What would I earn?

Starting salaries (in London) can be around £30,000 a year. Though experienced fund managers can earn more than £100,000, so you do get rewarded for those long hours, if you manage to stick with it for a few years!

What qualifications do I need?

You will need a fairly well-respected degree to train as a fund manager. To qualify for a good degree, you will need at least five GCSEs or equivalent at grades A-C and two A-levels (or equivalent qualifications). There are no hard and fast rules on what degree subject you should do, but candidates who have studied maths, economics, engineering or science would be in a strong position.

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