The financial services industry covers a wide range of companies and services that manage money and financial affairs for individuals, and for private or public sector organisations. Graduate roles can be found across the industry. TARGETjobs provides a useful overview of the financial services and insurance industry.
Financial services companies are usually found in clusters in local, regional, national or international financial centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Where can you work?
- Insurance –works closely with other professionals, including doctors, lawyers and fire officers, to gather evidence, assess risk and resolve claims against insurance policies. With a range of careers available within the industry, insurance companies look for graduates from a variety of disciplines.London is the world's number one market for insurance and reinsurance. Discover Risk provides useful information about careers in insurance.
- Brokerage –a brokerage firm facilitates the buying and selling of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and money market securities. A broker may provide appropriate recommendations to investors who trade public stocks and other securities, or work as an insurance broker liaising between client and insurance firms to find the best insurance products for the best premiums.
- Actuarial –actuaries use their skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events. Actuarial roles can be found across a range of industries and organisations, e.g. at insurance/reinsurance firms, brokerage firms, consultancies, accountancy and professional services firms, pension funds, retail and investment banks and the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD). Many actuaries are now moving into areas including healthcare, banking, business management and enterprise risk assessment. A good website for finding out more is www.beanactuary.org
- Retail and commercial banking–the sector's biggest employers, banks and building societies enable individuals and businesses to manage their money and access products such as loans, mortgages and insurance. Retail banking roles are predominantly found in large banks, but increasingly within online banks and supermarkets offering financial services. TARGETjobs explains graduate work in retail banking in more detail.
What’s changing in the sector?
At the time of writing, there is still uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. However, as a leading financial centre, the UK can plan for various eventualities from a position of strength.
The financial services industry has been facing concerns relating to increased automation and cybercrime and is now investing heavily to replace outdated banking systems with more sophisticated technological solutions.
A heavy merger and acquisition environment has affected job availability across the insurance sector. However, the surge in new, innovative insurance products means that actuaries are increasingly valued as they can identify, understand and manage new trends.
In this fast-paced environment, qualifications are subject to alteration, so always keep up to date with exam syllabus changes.
CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.
UK Finance – the trade association for the UK finance and banking industry.
British Insurance Brokers Association – provides useful information about current issues and careers in insurance.
Lloyds Market Directory – useful directory of insurance firms.
eFinancial Careers – a key website for finding financial careers postings.
Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) – provides information about vacancies and the Trainee Actuary Programme.