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What does a business analyst do in a large investment bank

Senior business analysts are in demand in the banking and financial services jobs market. But what exactly does the role involve? What skills and experience do you need, and what are the benefits of contracting over taking a permanent role? We speak to a seasoned contractor to find out more about the role.

What does your current job involve? 

I am currently finishing a contract as a senior business analyst at a large international investment bank. This involves analysing internal and external data sources and pulling together the findings to enable business leaders to make strategic decisions.

Strong communication skills are also important as you have to build relationships and liaise with key stakeholders across the finance division.

What skills do you need?

You need to have a thorough understanding of the financial processes used within an investment bank – that goes without saying. It’s also important to have full life cycle business analysis skills in change projects in investment banking, experience of working within data referencing and with finance reference data and of data modelling. 

Strong communication skills are also important as you have to build relationships and liaise with key stakeholders across the finance division.

What contracting experience have you had?

I have been contracting for over twenty years across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, nuclear, aerospace and now banking. I started as a technical writer and this naturally evolved into analysis-type roles, which then led to project/programme management and team leadership jobs.

What are the benefits of contracting?

The main benefit of contracting is that it gives you the flexibility to be in charge of your own career. I don’t think there is much of a difference between permanent and contract work in terms of job security – so this is no longer a disadvantage.

In banking, you also often get to see the bottom line in terms of how much you have made or saved the bank. This is always very satisfying.

What advice would you give to aspiring contractors?

You need to take responsibility for updating your own skill set. So investing in training courses is crucial to keeping yourself employable. Always remember that the cost will be offset by future earnings.

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