An investment analyst is tasked with researching, collecting and analysing information which helps investment managers to make effective and profitable decisions on behalf of clients whilst building a successful investment portfolio.
Investment analysts are employed by companies and investment trusts, stock trading and brokerage firms, insurance providers, investment banks, non-banking financial companies and private equity firms.
More often than not, analysts handle multiple projects and usually specialise in a particular industry segment, geographical area or class of investment.
You can find current vacancies on our Jobs page in the Banking, Finance and Accountancy sector.
Salary & benefits
Investment analysts receive generous compensation and benefits packages at all levels of experience. There may, however, be significant variations based on location, type and size of employer.
For example, packages for analysts based in London or employees of large investment banks are higher than those elsewhere. Basic compensation consists of salary and annual bonuses.
Graduate trainee analysts receive salaries ranging from £25,000 to £45,000 and 20% to 100% bonuses in the initial three to five years.
In the next five to ten years, annual salaries can rise to between £50,000 and £100,000, with 35% to 150% bonuses.
Analysts with more than ten years of experience can receive salaries between £100,000 and £150,000, with bonuses starting at 150% and going beyond 200%.
At this level, the ratio between base salary earnings and bonuses is skewed towards the latter, which is driven by quantifiable performance objectives and actual achievements.
Working hours usually average around ten to 12 hours on weekdays and at least five to ten hours over the weekend.
Analysts may be required to travel to companies or businesses that they are researching, or to different locations if they’re handling a specified market or geographical area.
Many employers in the commercial and private sectors, particularly investment banks and transnational consultancy firms, offer overseas placements and/or client secondments as part of graduate training programmes.
Candidates with a 2:1 or higher honours degree, UCAS points in excess of 300-320, and grades B and above at GCSE and A-level are eligible for most graduate programmes in the industry.
While degrees can be in any subject, preference is accorded to finance, business studies, economics, mathematics, statistics, accounting and other related disciplines.
Knowledge or fluency in a second European or foreign language is an added advantage in the case of jobs that involve overseas travel.
Profile attributes and skills include:
- A consistent record of academic and extracurricular excellence
- Intellectual vigour and prowess
- Outstanding analytical and quantitative reasoning
- Creative logic
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Leadership and organisational skills.
Training & progression
Training and development programmes are facilitated through structured, time-bound graduate schemes, which are a combination of in-house and external learning.
This tends to include hands-on experience through several placements across different areas and teams, as well as supervision and support from a dedicated team of line managers, mentors, graduate buddies and representatives from human resources.
Trainee analysts are also required to complete prescribed professional qualifications, depending on the organisation and assigned role. These may include: Investment Management Certificate (IMC) and CFA qualifications from the CFA Society UK, credentials from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) and other mandatory certifications required by statutory and regulatory authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Career progression is based on performance, individual qualifications and contributions. There are several career paths open to experienced investment analysts; you could become a fund manager, take a management role in the research & analysis division or establish a reputation as a leading adviser in a specialist area.