Derivatives: currently 225 jobs.The latest job was posted on 07 Feb 16.
Derivatives is a huge and diverse area of financial services – when all of the subsectors of derivatives are added together, the market is estimated to be worth more than one quadrillion dollars. Roles within derivatives cover a lot of ground too, including trading, sales, and structuring positions.
If you’re looking at a career in derivatives, there are a number of different avenues you could take to get your foot in the door. In the front office, client facing roles the first is sales – retail or institutional. This avenue is ideal for those who are more adept at communications than the complexities of valuation and analysis. The second front office avenue is trading. Trading means putting the employer’s money at risk, buying or selling at the right prices. Trading is not without stress, but this can be more than compensated for by the potential rewards in terms of money and adrenalin. Thirdly, analytics and valuation. For anyone who enjoys math, with a passion for research, analytics and valuation is the perfect pathway. The roles involves spotting trends and calculating the value of derivatives, so that clients take the right position at the right time and price. The fourth and final front office avenue is structuring. This is putting together the right derivative, or combination of derivatives, to enable the client to achieve a particular outcome. An example might be an energy company wanting to lock into a particular level of revenue in the future.
Away from the front office, there are numerous roles elsewhere in banks and other financial institutions involving derivatives. For example, compliance roles, risk management roles and operations roles.
Who to Work For
As the derivatives field is so varied, there is a wide choice of different institutions in which to work. Global banks, local banks, investment banks, local or national brokers all need derivatives specialists, and you could even become a self-employed independent trader after gaining commercial experience. The types of employers you consider should be based on your own personal preferences. Typically, the smaller the employer, the more involved you’ll see of the whole picture, but you’ll likely be working with narrower range of products. In larger companies, you may be able to choose your specialty, rather than working on a more general level. Also take into account the activities of the company – do they focus on exchange-traded derivatives or OTC derivatives? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
To legally practice in the field of derivatives in the United States or Canada, you’ll be required to take two examinations once you’ve undergone on-the-job training and gained some degree of experience. Firstly, you’ll need to take the Series 7 exam, which qualifies you to work with general securities, and subsequently the Series 3 exam for a license to work in derivatives.