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      Corporate Finance Career Path: Top Jobs to Explore

      Management of corporate finance is a complicated subject best left to professionals. They are the right people for making complex financial decisions for the running and growth of an organization. Before we discuss the best corporate finance jobs, let us look at the job scope in this arena. 

      There are strong projections of a 7% growth in overall employment in financial and business occupations from 2021 to 2031. For a Financial Analyst, there is a projection of a 9% growth from 2021 to 2031 in overall employment. Prospects are even better if you have a CFA qualification. After completing your CFA course, several career options open up in corporate finance. 

      Here we’ll look at some of the most lucrative job roles in corporate finance.

      You can also check our blog: Some highest paying jobs in Finance & top skills required.

      Understanding Corporate Finance

      One of the essential things needed for running a business is adequate funds. Corporate finance is all about effectively managing these funds to reduce costs and maximise profits. 

      Job roles and titles vary in corporate finance depending on the industry the business caters to. 

      Some standard duties carried out by corporate finance professionals include long-term financial planning, advising company managers on project expenses and related costs, analysing business revenues, writing statements and financial reports, and so on. 

      What Are The Best Corporate Finance Jobs?

      The essential roles in corporate finance jobs deal with working capital management, capital structure and capital budgeting. Jobs in corporate finance are available at different levels. Let us take a look:

      1. Corporate Development (and Strategy)

      The corporate development team takes the lead in reviewing pitch books from bankers. Professionals in this job role work alongside investment bankers to identify acquisition targets and negotiate their purchase prices, and they often assist bankers in preparing to raise equity or debt as required. 

      Key goals include improving financial performance, reaching a greater organizational efficiency and creating opportunities to raise the company’s value and competitiveness in the market.

      Corporate development team works quite closely with banks in order to review the pitch books. The employees in this team have to coordinate with investment bankers to form an understanding of the equity and debt raising requirements, identifying acquisition goals and negotiating on the purchase prices. The key tasks of a Corporate Development professional includes

      2. Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

      New-age finance processes, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), and other areas need specialized professionals with the appropriate skills and expertise. A CFA certification will add to the career prospects of what a B.Com or BBA alone can achieve.  CFA programme curriculum imparts skills and concepts beneficial for candidates navigating job prospects in the finance industry. This applies to careers in Portfolio Management, Investment Banking, Hedge Funds, Equity Research, Venture Capitalist, and so on. 

      3. Treasury

      Maintaining and managing a company’s cash flow and forecasting the same is vital for its smooth operations. Treasury managers do just that. This management can be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The primary job role of the professional includes reducing the cash amount owed to the company. At the same time, the professional ensures maximizing the time for paying out for services and goods. All of this is done by adhering to regulatory and industry guidelines. 

      4. Investor Relations

      One of the best corporate finance jobs at the mid-level is that of a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Manager or Investor Relations. Such professionals look for opportunities of acquiring, merging or divesting opportunities from other companies/businesses. The main aim of a merger is to help a company grow. Mergers and Acquisitions Managers must have a strategic mindset, where they keep on calculating how a merger will benefit the company. Along with creating strategies, managers oversee paperwork and negotiations required in deal closing and settlement. They have a crucial role in the systems and operations integration of two merging businesses.

      Mid-Level Corporate Finance Jobs

      After gaining experience of a few years at the entry level, candidates can move to mid-level best Corporate Finance jobs. Here are some attractive job roles at this level:

      1. Senior Financial Analyst 

      The Senior Financial Analyst usually decides the investment strategy of the business. These professionals gather data and derive valuable insights for informed decision-making. Such analysts also take up the role of a supervisor in the finance department. 

      Senior Financial Analysts help prepare recommendations and suggestions for a project within a fixed budget. Their main aim is to minimise expenses and increase the business’s profit margin. 

      A Senior Financial Analyst’s average salary is between $86,689 and $104,379 per annum.  

      2. Cash Manager

      Maintaining and managing a company’s cash flow is vital for its smooth operations. Cash Managers do just that. This management can be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. 

      The primary job role of the professional includes reducing the cash amount owed to the company. At the same time, the professional ensures maximising the time for paying out for services and goods. All of this is done by adhering to regulatory and industry guidelines. 

      The average salary that a Cash Manager draws is in the range of $78,128 and $117,312 per annum. 

      3. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Manager

      One of the best corporate finance jobs at the mid-level is that of a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Manager. Such professionals look for opportunities of acquiring, merging or divesting opportunities from other companies/businesses. The main aim of a merger is to help a company grow. 

      Mergers and Acquisitions Managers must have a strategic mindset, where they keep on calculating how a merger will benefit the company. Along with creating strategies, managers oversee paperwork and negotiations required in deal closing and settlement. They have a crucial role in the systems and operations integration of two merging businesses.

      A Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Manager’s average salary is between $139,598 and $190,277 per annum. 

      Senior-Level Corporate Finance Jobs

      Corporate Finance jobs at the senior level require vast experience in this industry. Along with experience, the candidate must also have advanced Finance degrees. 

      Here are some job roles in this category:

      1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

      A CEO is the topmost executive in an organisation. The CEO manages a business organisation’s overall resources and operations and makes major and crucial corporate decisions. 

      The CEO of a company is mainly the public face of the brand. They act as a bridge for communication between corporate operations and the company’s board of directors. This job role is highly prestigious and comes with loads of responsibilities. 

      A company CEO’s average salary ranges between $612,073 and $1,043,357 per annum. 

      2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

      Attaining the position of Chief Financial Officer in an organisation is not a cakewalk. You must invest many years of your career in the finance industry and get professional certifications like CFA, FRM and the like.

      A CFO is responsible for the minutest of financial operations of the company. This includes financial planning, accounting, taxation, cash flow tracking, financial reporting and so on. A CFO manages the accounting and the financial division. 

      A CFO earns between $320,492 and $538,679 per annum. 

      How to Get Corporate Finance Jobs

      Getting a corporate finance job requires a combination of education, skills, networking, and job search strategies. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pursue a career in corporate finance:

      1. Gain Relevant Education and Qualifications:

      • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field. Some employers may prefer candidates with advanced degrees such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Finance (MFin).
      • Consider pursuing professional certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation or the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification to enhance your credentials and marketability.

      2. Develop Relevant Skills and Experience:

      • Gain relevant work experience through internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions in finance-related roles such as financial analyst, accounting assistant, or investment banking analyst.
      • Develop key skills such as financial analysis, financial modeling, budgeting, forecasting, valuation, and proficiency in financial software and tools.

      3. Network and Build Relationships:

      • Attend networking events, industry conferences, and professional association meetings to connect with professionals in the corporate finance field.
      • Utilize online networking platforms such as LinkedIn to build your professional network, engage with industry professionals, and seek informational interviews or mentorship opportunities.
      • Join finance-related clubs or student organizations during your academic studies to connect with peers and professionals and gain exposure to industry trends and practices.

      4. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter:

      • Customize your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant education, skills, and experience related to corporate finance.
      • Quantify your achievements and accomplishments, such as financial analysis projects, internship experiences, or academic achievements, to demonstrate your qualifications and contributions.

      5. Apply for Jobs:

      • Search for corporate finance job opportunities on online job boards, company websites, professional association websites, and networking platforms.
      • Tailor your job applications to each position by aligning your qualifications with the job requirements and emphasizing your fit for the role.
      • Consider leveraging your network and reaching out to connections within companies of interest to inquire about potential job openings or referrals.

      Paths to Corporate Development

      Corporate development involves activities such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), strategic partnerships, investments, and divestitures to drive growth and enhance the value of a company. Here are several paths you can take to enter the field of corporate development:

      Finance or Investment Banking Background:

      Many professionals in corporate development come from finance or investment banking backgrounds. Positions such as investment banking analysts, associates, or vice presidents often provide valuable experience in financial analysis, valuation, deal structuring, and due diligence – skills highly relevant to corporate development.

      Strategy Consulting:

      Strategy consultants develop expertise in analyzing market trends, competitive landscapes, and strategic opportunities for companies across various industries. Transitioning from strategy consulting to corporate development allows professionals to leverage their strategic thinking skills and industry knowledge to identify and execute growth opportunities for their own company.

      Business Development:

      Professionals in business development roles focus on identifying new business opportunities, partnerships, and revenue streams for their company. Transitioning from business development to corporate development allows individuals to apply their skills in identifying and evaluating potential acquisitions, strategic alliances, or investment opportunities to drive growth.

      Corporate Finance or FP&A:

      Roles in corporate finance or financial planning and analysis (FP&A) involve financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning for the company. Transitioning from corporate finance or FP&A to corporate development provides a natural progression, as professionals already possess a strong understanding of the company’s financial performance and strategic objectives.

      Conclusion

      The demand for corporate finance professionals will rise in the coming years. 

      Though at the entry levels, a graduate degree in finance suffices, as you go up the ladder, you will need a master’s degree along with other certifications like CFA, Financial Modelling and FRM to be successful in corporate finance. 

      Do not forget to check our blog – CFA vs FRM: Which is Better? Salary and Difficulty Level & How is CFA related to Financial Modelling

      To make a career in corporate finance as a Financial Analyst, you must check out the CFA course at Zell Education. You can also take courses in FRM and Financial Modelling to bag jobs in corporate finance. 

      Zell Education prepares students with its advanced learning management system. Ready assistance is available from student coordinators, and the courses offered are from industry expert faculty. Enroll in the course of your choice today. Visit Zell Education for more information.

      FAQ

      What is the highest position in corporate finance?
      Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the highest position one can get after acing all the levels of corporate finance.

      What is the highest salary in corporate finance?
      The highest salary in corporate finance of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) island the average salary of the same goes up to ₹53.7 Lakhs.

      What is the best degree to get into corporate finance?
      CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst Is the best degree to have in order to get into corporate finance.

      What are the exit opportunities for corporate finance?
      Moving to new departments or firms within the same industry where corporate finance knowledge is a big plus is one of the exit opportunities for corporate finance professionals.

      How do I start a career in corporate finance?
      To begin a corporate finance career, you must keep certain things in mind. -Look for job roles in this industry -Understand the skills needed for the job roles and the qualities that financial recruiters seek in a candidate -Try getting some experience in this industry -Look for a certification like CFA or related courses in finance

       

      Anant Bengani, brings expertise as a Chartered Accountant and a leading figure in finance and accounting education. He’s dedicated to empowering learners with the finest financial knowledge and skills.

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