Future of BFSI Careers

I have a few questions to all my friends who are training to become highly paid managers in BFSI sector.  Which are the hot BFSI jobs today?  Which of them would continue to be in vogue, and well-paid, in 20 years from now?  In which geographies would you find such jobs then?

Prospects differ by size of the banking/financial institution – Large, Mid-size, boutique (Investment banking, Loan syndication).  But the question is more about the banking function and geography.  If we review careers that are high paying, and therefore favorite of fresh managers, we find that jobs in FX trading and investment banking top the list currently.  Foreign financial institutions are employing talent from India giving them high salaries and international exposure.  These managers are rotated and trained in different aspects of their businesses, including in different emerging and developed countries, eventually becoming leaders in different geographies.

Where should you look to build a career in finance if you want to ensure your enduring employability? Clearly not in rates and FX trading, where revenues are down 70% in five years.  Possibly not in M&A, where people are becoming frustrated about their inability to get promoted.  So, how about asset management, which Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman says is due to keep growing for years to come?  He wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently that, “asset management will become the single-largest segment of financial services, as users of capital become providers of capital in newly developed economies and an aging global demographic creates an inevitable shift from consumers to savers.” Growth in the middle class will create, “an enormous pool of savings in search of investment, for which they will seek professional advice and execution,” added Gorman.  The new ‘investor class’ will not be happy to do their investing electronically – they will “value human relationships with financial advisors.”

Gorman’s enthusiasm for asset management is shared by Michael Faissola, the head of the asset and wealth management arm at Deutsche Bank. “Our ambition is for wealth and asset management to be a growth engine”.  Financial News reported that Deutsche plans to hire 500 people for its asset and wealth management business in London over the next five years.  Credit Suisse Group AG in Asia too recently hinted about its plans to scale back the investment bank in favor of managing money for the wealthy.

Related skill to the wealth management is that of Relationship Management.  As banks’ branch networks are seen shrinking in future, some argue that the only reason why a branch would be required is to have a personal contact between a customer and the bank professional for wealth management discussions.  Professionals who can hear customer needs patiently and provide tailor-made, personalized, and rewarding wealth management advice would be a commodity high in demand.

James Wolfensohn, former President of World Bank mentioned in a talk recently that China & India would constitute 50% of global GDP by 2050.  He saw Developed countries changing from USA/Europe to China/India.  There lie the new opportunities.   By 2030, 2/3rd of middle class will be in Asia.   He believes that these are not trivial changes.  Earlier generations never had to consider them.  The new generation cannot ignore them.  He questions – do students go to the west for education?  110,000 Chinese and 100,000 Indian students have been studying in the USA when only about 2,000 Americans are studying in China and India each.  He observes that manufacturing moved to Asia from western countries first.  Then was the move of services.  Third to move was technology.  Wolfensohn considers these as far reaching changes and sees Asian countries becoming dominant in future world economy.

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