Explore high-paying roles in the field of finance – The Financial Express

By Ajay Lakhotia

Finance market in India is growing at an annual rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 14.97%, resulting in a projected market volume of US $18.75 million by 2027. Despite experiencing harsh economic conditions due to inflation and COVID-19, the market has bounced back and how. 

So far the industry has attracted over $26 billion in funding since 2014. Of this, $14.8 Bn was raised between 2021 and H1 2023.

Despite the fast-paced growth, the finance industry is nowhere close to its peak. As the market grows, it’s attracting talent from across the industry, experience, and skill set to work in finance and scale FinTech companies, exposing them to unique roles, and opportunities. 

While some argue that this unprecedented growth can be largely attributed to widespread economic expansion and financial inclusion powered by digitisation, the advent of AI, penetration of digital means, and large funds by the government have added fuel to the growth. 

Once a mere buzzword, FinTech now wields top talent from across the globe.  Talent is being enticed away from traditional institutions into payments, lending, wealth management, and growth in blockchain and neo-banking – a trend further intensified by the pandemic.  

Want to understand what roles are disrupting the industry with: high paying, and high growth capacity? Take a look; 

Risk Officer

Risk officer is an executive who is responsible for protecting an organisation from operational, compliance, regulatory and strategic risks. A Chief Risk Officer is skilled at crisis management and business continuity planning.

  • Average pay – Rs 20.0 lakh to Rs 1.01 crore

(The starting salary of Risk Officers is around Rs 20 lakh per year. Senior CROs draw an average of Rs 63.6 lakh annuals, as per AmbitionBox.)

  • Top employers –  Financial Services companies like hedge funds, mutual fund houses, insurance providers, banks and stock brokerages, 
  • Famous CROs: Ashley Bacon (JPMorgan Chase and Co), Sanmoy Chakrabarti (HDFC Bank), P. C. Paikray (LIC)

Fund Manager

Fund managers devise and implement investing strategies for a firm’s portfolio. Based on the portfolio’s performance, they earn a percentage fee on its assets under management.

  • Average pay – Rs 18 lakh to Rs 93 lakh

(The average salary of Senior Fund Managers is around Rs 18 lakh per year. In executive roles, Fund Managers annually draw upwards of Rs 90 lakh, as per AmbitionBox.)

  • Top employers –  Mutual fund houses, stock brokerages, hedge funds, private equity and proprietary trading firms
  • Skills required – Wealth / Portfolio Management, Fundamental Analysis, Equity Research and Valuation.
  • Case studies –  Globally, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have been long-standing fund managers for over 60 years. In India, Sailesh Raj Bhan’s Nippon India multi-cap fund has consistently provided higher than category average returns since May 2005.
  • Famous Fund Managers: Saurabh Mukherjea (Marcellus Investment Managers)  – author of The Unusual Billionaires and Coffee Can Investing.

Investment Banker

Investment bankers advice organisations on important financial transactions involving fund raise, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. They often connect firms looking for investment with potential investors.

  • Average pay – Rs six lakh to Rs 65 lakh

(The average salary of investment bankers with less than two years of experience is around Rs six lakh per year. Senior bankers draw upto Rs 65.0 lakh annually in consulting firms, as per AmbitionBox.

  • Top employers – Financial institutions like banks, consulting firms and global MNCs 
  • Skills required – Fund Raising, M&A knowledge, Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management, Due Diligence and Financial Modelling
  • Case studies – In recent times, Amit Mimani (Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Standard Chartered Bank) successfully closed two big deals- UltraTech’s acquisition of Jaypee and Diageo’s acquisition of United Spirits.
  • Famous Fund Managers: Ray Dalio and Jim Simons

The buck does not stop here. The lucrative finance industry also comprises other high-paying roles like equity research analysts, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, senior accountants, private equity associates and more. 

All the roles command a starting salary of Rs six lakh for professionals skilled in financial analysis, modelling, accounting and regulatory awareness. With experience, the pay scales go beyond Rs 50 lakh per annum in case of premium employers.

India is amongst the fastest growing FinTech markets in the world and finance professionals will lead the way. So, if you love crunching numbers or enjoy finding the best investment or income generation opportunities, finance is just the domain for you. Do use this guide to find your dream role and accelerate India’s growth trajectory!

The author is founder, CEO, StockGro.

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