Is Investment Consultancy Becoming A Career Option?
12 investment consulting firms, all under the umbrella of The Association of Investment Supervisors (AIS), are launching the Net Zero Investment Consultants initiative. The goal is to help the supervisory industry better manage investments that go into pension plans and other retirement accounts. This is part of the broader efforts by insurance industry giants to reduce costs associated with running retirement plans. The Net Zero Initiative is the latest step in that direction, AIS said in a statement. The new initiatives from AIS join the growing list of industry-related initiatives to improve retirement funding, which has been a major issue in recent years as the financial crisis continues to take its toll on both retirement planning and total income available to retirees.
The Net Zero initiative focuses on making investment consultants more effective. For starters, it will require investment consultants who have earned their bachelor’s degrees, and have had significant experience in finance and insurance. Those who hold master’s degrees may find the additional education and experience preferable, while those with bachelor’s degrees may find they were not able to adequately prepare for financial responsibility in their careers. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree, those individuals must complete at least one year of relevant field work experience as well, such as working as a junior associate in a finance firm or a member of an investment consultants team.
Investment consultants will need to develop a profile of their clients and create a tailored portfolio that is relevant to that client’s needs. While their current clients may have diverse needs, they should also be looking for portfolio diversification, according to the Net Zero site. This will allow them to offer a more customized and comprehensive service, and to build their reputation as experts in their field. Portfolio diversification may include things like joining an investment management association, purchasing stocks or mutual funds, or investing in alternative investments. All of these endeavors will help the investment consultants build a profile and client referral networks that are relevant to their area of expertise.
Another way to separate themselves from the pack is to focus on a specific sector. For example, while many investment consultants provide general asset management services to corporations, some specialize in helping large firms increase their energy efficiency. They will likely be focusing on businesses with high fuel costs, because the bulk of these firms’ money comes from gas and oil purchases. In order to stand out and become more valuable to their clientele, firms that can provide more specific solutions will benefit.
In order to get ahead of the competition, investment consultants must continually innovate, develop new services and products, and explore new opportunities for collaboration. Innovation comes by the ability to expand one’s customer base, create new markets, and/or find creative solutions to problems that arise. As the Net Zero society continues to grow, investment consultants will likely serve as the bridge between pension funds, who have a large need for capital raising, and small business owners, who often lack the resources needed to meet their goals. Many small businesses are starting operations without any form of help from an outside source, and this can prove disastrous. If investment consultants can find innovative ways to provide solutions that will make both the company and the investors more money, then they will likely find themselves at the forefront of new trends and ideas.
Investment consultants need to differentiate themselves from other professionals in the industry. To do this, they should have strong leadership skills and be able to effectively communicate with a variety of clients. The ability to get along with people and be able to adapt to different situations should also help an investment consultant shine above the competition. Many college degree holders are already familiar with technical subjects, such as mathematics and accounting, and can use this knowledge to help their clients. Graduates with degrees in business or marketing can add value by developing relationships with other professionals and providing them with new ideas. Once financial advisors get beyond their training and start landing jobs, they may begin to focus on new sectors, expanding their client base and their influence.