Investment analysts provide vital market information for salespeople, traders and clients. They analyse financial statements and projections and provide a broad range of analytical and research support to all the professionals within their group.
Whilst fund managers are responsible for making decisions about investments, it is investment analysts who have the responsibility of providing information and recommendations that enable such decisions to be made. Investment banking analysts are expected to assume significant levels of responsibility requiring a high degree of maturity, self-confidence and technical aptitude.
Day-to-day responsibilities of an analyst include, but are not limited to:
Other duties could be to prepare clients’ proposals, supply advice on projects such as mergers and acquisitions, the process of selling of subsidiary business interests or investments, equity financing etc, analyse quantitative and qualitative data, do industry research, obtain knowledge of economic markets, interact extensively with other product groups within their firm to assist companies and institutions raise capital, grow and invest, assist in debt and equity underwriting, produce the information needed to make investment decisions, analyse companies’ annual results, write reports on potential investment sectors, research areas including share prices and companies’ abilities to pay back their debts.
Investment banking analysts usually specialise in one sector, which they get to know well, for example, energy, retail or financial services. Undertaking sector and company research, attending presentations, networking and speculative applications are worthwhile.
Investment work provides high levels of responsibility, good promotional opportunities and impressive financial rewards for the most successful employees. However, the role is demanding with long working hours, sometimes up to 12 hours per day.
Key skills for this career wouold be confidence, determination, self-motivation, time-management, ability to work effectively under pressure, IT skills, analytical, teamworking, numerical, problem-solving and communication skills.
Schooling & School Subjects
Degree: BCom - most universities
Diploma: BTech and NDip Banking - UNISA
Most analysts are required to pass the Chartered Financial Analyst examination, a two- to three-year course administered by the CFA Institute.
The Investment Analysts Society of Southern Africa
Tel: (011) 791-0105 Fax: (011) 791-0107