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An Analysis of Front and Back Office Career Path

Overview

The success of an investment organization does not only depend on efficiency of the recruitment and selection process but also on the progressive move that the organization’s staff take as they continue to serve. Each staff serving at a particular level must take the stipulated time in order to achieve growth and realization of benefits The Human Resource Department must therefore be keen in determining the required skills at each level and subsequently promoting staff as well as providing motivation in order to fully unlock their potential and commitment. In addition, the career path is one of the biggest factors for improving employee retention in the organization.

Career progression in investment banking is a challenging aspect. Many candidates are greatly encountering difficulty in trying to leap from one job to another in both front and back jobs. Career progression in these jobs is extremely competitive primarily because investment banks are looking for the high calibers.

OBJECTIVES

Some of the objectives to be incorporated in this report are

  1. To model a career progression market practice in the front office jobs in the investment banking. For example Analyst, Associate, AVP, VP, director and managing director
  2. Outline career progression market practice in the back office in the investment banking jobs. For example officer, manager, senior manager, and division head
  3. Clear description of each job and how long the person should stay in each position before moving to the next.

Job Families

A “job family” is a group of jobs involving similar types of work and requiring similar training, skills, knowledge, and expertise

The career path project team in the Human Resources Division successfully created a “Job Family” (see appendix A) of which breaks down the similar jobs and highlights the necessary competencies required to resume the duties and job functions role.

How Job Families are Used

Knowledge of job families can be used by managers, staff and Human Resources to:

  • Define career development opportunities for staff within a current or another job family
  • Facilitate career planning discussions, clarify the need for specific training, and assist staff members considering course enrollment and career advancement
  • Obtain accurate market pricing through greater understanding of job content and job requirements
  • Ensure greater consistency in job evaluations through the comparison of similar jobs within the same job family

Front & Back Office

Front Office staff are involved directly in generating revenue. In GIC organization, Front Office consist of Principal Investment and Global Market Group Divisions. The Back Office is not directly involved in bringing in revenue but provides vital support and administration. In GIC’s organization, Back Office consists of Operations, HR, IT, Accounting, Legal & Compliance, Risk Management, Internal Audit, Research and Public Relations.

 

 

Career path & Front Office Progression

1/ Analyst

The starting point in the Front Office is a Financial Analyst. He or she in this position performs technical, financial services that involve the valuation and financial modeling. Financial Analyst mostly holds an undergraduate degree in Business or Finance. One can work in this position minimum 2 to 3 years.

2/Associate

The immediate rank from an Analyst is the position of Associate. This level can be served for 3 years. An Associate works hand in hand with Analyst, drafts memos, interact with clients as well as run complex models of finance.

3/Assistant vice president(AVP)

An Associate who demonstrates unique skills especially in mentoring and training of Analyst is a likely candidate for Assistant vice president. Success of projects handled by Associates is also a merit for promotion of Associates to Assistant Vice President. This position requires an experienced person in business with MBA education. This title is held by an Associate who has showed good skills in analysis and judgment as well as the potential and ambition in the industry. However, such Associate requires more time to develop both their proficiency and reliability in the work. The Assistant Vice President assists the Vice President and may fully execute the work for Vice President in his/her absence. Before progressing to the next level, one can stay in this position for 3 years. This, however, mostly depends on the organization structure and other factors.

4/Vice President (VP)

The next rank from assistance vice president is Vice President, the V.P. acts as the project manager for marketing. In some cases can also be involved in client interactions. The Vice President may be in this position for 3 years and/or above which would give experience in this managerial position.

5/Director

This rank is critical in the wining of business deals, creating and enhancing relationships between clients as well as making critical decision such as the use of the firm’s resources. A director should be hired from pool of vice presidents or any suitable industry hire. Those who have good management skills are suitable to serve in this role. The director serves as the spokesman of the firm and can serve indefinitely while supervising and generating revenue for the investment firm. There is no specific time based career progression for this role .

6/ Division Head

The Front Office tops with the Division Head/ Group Head. The major role of Division Head is to develop marketing initiatives, winning clients, and developing relationships and meeting companies as well as making critical decisions such as the use of the firm’s resources. It is essential to mention that other elements do play a role in the time based career progression for this position such as the organizational structure, the nature of the business duties, etc. (Front Office Career Path – See Appendix B).

Career path & Back Office Progression

1/Support Staff & Officer

Back Office professionals in GIC’s Organization perform work that primary effect customer services. The starting point in the Back Office is the Support Staff (i.e. secretaries) and then Officers. The Officers ensure that employees do have all the necessary equipment and resources to perform and complete their assigned duties. The duration before proceeding to the next level is on average 4 to 5 years.

 

2/Manager

The next position from officer where employees can progress is the Manager. The duration before proceeding to the next level on average is 5 to 6 years. The Manager oversees the operation of financial services.

3/Senior Manager/Department Head

The next rank is the Senior Manager or Department Head who leads the team or Department and there is no specific time based career progression for this role.

4/ Division Head

The Back Office Top Management are the Division Head/Group Heads. These positions have no specific progression period. They work together to ensure that strategies, goals and organization expectations are met (Career Path Back Office – See Appendix C).

Recommendation

In order to assist employees in their Career Path, it is recommended that the “Job Family” (Appendix A) and Career Path (Appendix B & C) be clearly communicated and shared within the organization. By doing so, employees will be able to identify the necessary competencies and career path to reach their goals.

Conclusions

Career progression in any investment bank requires one to have skills, competency and other factors with direct and indirect influence for career and career development like Personality of employee, Education, completed training and courses, Behavior and self – presentation ,Job performance and evaluation of superior ,Performed job position and any other factor includes in the organization internal policy and procedures.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Sample Questions