Graduates of Accountancy, Finance-related or Business degrees* will usually look at a career in Fund Accounting due to its clearly defined path and opportunities. For graduates within this discipline, it is often recommended to try your hand at an internship within a company focused on Fund Administration roles so that they may get a feel for what is the right path for them.
*Not limited to those within these fields
Having valuable experience as a mid-senior manager or decision-maker in unrelated industries definitely serve as an entry point into the funds industry. It is important to choose a company that will both leverage on your past expertise and add to your experience in the long-term – whether it encompasses one or more asset classes.
The advantage of a career in this industry is that progression comes quickly. Within 2 to 3 years of gaining good solid experience, Fund Administrators will often progress to a senior post before moving up the rankings to management. It is also increasingly common for those with experience in fund administration to eventually exit and gain placement as an in-house fund accountant.
Fund administration experience is absolutely transferable internationally. Australia, Canada, London, Hong Kong and more recently Poland, all have buyout financial services sectors where fund accounting is an internationally recognised discipline.
Staying the course in Fund Administration can certainly be lucrative from both a salary and career building perspective. Salaries are as competitive to banks – a Managing Director in fund administration is paid a comparable amount to that in a corporate bank.
Your experience and skills gained will open opportunities in Transfer Agency, Trustee, Custody, Pricing, AML and Compliance. Such experience is also highly transferable to any client relationship roles within financial services, as compared to being a corporate accountant.