Global custody is not just about storing securities for large institutional investors and reporting on their performance. As the business has become more complex, any graduate looking to start out in the sector has a broad range of options available.
Broadly, there are four types of role in the global custody industry:
Client-facing: These are the people who bring in new clients, schmooze with existing clients, and make sure clients are happy.
Product: These are the people who look at the products their employer is offering. Are theirs the best on the market? Can new solutions be tailor-made for particular clients?
Delivery: These are the people who actually deliver custodians services. They might be involved in fund accounting, settlements, collateral management or compliance monitoring.
Technology: These are the people who build the giant digital data storage and transfer systems which are core to custodians' function. They include programmers, data architects, business analysts and systems integrators.
If you work in global custody, you're not going to become a client facing professional immediately. Nor are you going to be able to custom-solutions for new clients. Like banks, most custodians hire graduate trainees onto 'rotational training programs.'
You'll get to spend time working in different product areas of the custody house during the first two years, and will then be given an opportunity to specialize. Sales and solutions roles are typically given to more senior staff.