This area is involved in the buying and selling of financial products (eg stocks and bonds). There tends to be four distinct roles in the sales and trading area.

Sales

Sales is the term for the investment bank's sales force, who are most commonly known as brokers or dealers. Their primary job is to call on institutional and high-net-worth investors, pension funds and hedge funds to suggest trading ideas and take orders. Sales desks then communicate their clients' orders to the appropriate trading desks, which can price and execute trades, or structure new products that fit a specific need. They will also work with traders and the research team to devise trading strategies and raise capital for the bank by placing newly issued bonds and shares with investors. Their key challenge is to ‘build their book’ of client transactions. They’ll work the phones for the whole time the markets are open, and often for a few hours either side.

Trading

These are the people who actually do the buying and selling on the financial markets. They access the markets through an array of computer monitors each showing movements of stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, commodities and various other financial products. They’ll also have up-to-the minute news and research streamed live to them, so that at any moment they can press a button to buy or sell the product they’re tracking. They need to buy low and sell high, in order to make money.

Research

The research division reviews companies and writes reports about their prospects, often with "buy" or "sell" ratings. While the research division may or may not generate revenue (based on policies at different banks), its resources are used to assist traders in trading, the sales force in suggesting ideas to customers, and investment bankers by covering their clients. The research role varies according to each bank. Researchers will often sit and work directly with sales, presenting their take on how different markets will perform. Typically this covers analysis of a specific company or sector’s financial performance. At a more advanced level, they will also be involved in creating and pricing new financial products for the sales team to sell to clients.

Structuring

In many banks this is a fairly recent addition to the Sales and Trading division, as derivatives have come into play, but one you may find has a large intake of highly technical and numerate graduates. ‘Structurers’ work with the sales team to understand the needs of clients whose requirements are either very specific or highly complex. They then structure deals so they are tailored perfectly to client requirements, sometimes creating new financial products in the process. Structured products can include a whole variety of different securities including stocks, bonds, commodities, and derivatives – all neatly packaged up for the client. They work on creating complex structured products, which typically offer much greater margins and returns than underlying cash securities.

Within Sales & Trading, there tends to be a specialisation of the above functions by market. These are:

  • Equity
  • Debt
  • Derivatives
  • Money Markets
  • Foreign Exchange

Is it for you?

This area requires very early starts  - before the markets open and long hours. It’s a competitive and challenging career and you need to be thick skinned. It’s hectic on the trading floor so you need to be confident, quick to learn, enthusiastic, sociable and assertive. You don't necessarily need a business or economics degree, although savvy in this area is a must. You will need to have excellent mathematics skills and the right attitude.

More Information: FIRST YEAR WORK PLACEMENTS IN BANKING  

More information: SUMMER INTERNSHIPS IN BANKING  

More information: GRADUATE SCHEMES IN BANKING 

  • Amplify Trading. Their six-week Internship Training Programme is one of the country’s most prestigious programmes for interns, with financial giants including Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Pimco asking Amplify to recommend their most successful trainees at the end of each course, proving its worth in today’s market.  It will provide you with professional front office trading experience that will give you a real edge when applying for jobs in the financial sector  Graduates will now also receive a Level 5 Diploma in Trading & Financial Markets Analysis. This is in addition to the invaluable training and experience each class gains in financial market research, hedge fund trading, investment bank sales & trading and portfolio management. A programme where students undertake the exact same training that Amplify deliver to their global investment banking clients as part of their graduate training schemes. There is a cost to the programme: £1400 + VAT per stage and there are 2 stages.
  • Bank Of America Merrill Lynch: running for ten weeks between June and August, a summer internship provides a thorough introduction to the financial services industry. Full-time and internship programmes are available in the following areas: Compliance, Corporate Audit, Global Banking and Markets Wholesale Credit, Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Global Liquidity Risk Management - Corporate Treasury, Global Loan Products, Global Markets, Global Research, Global Transaction Services, Market Risk, Quantitative Management and Technology. Learn more about Bank of America's assessment process and online tests HERE.
  • Barclays: 8-10 week internships are available in Global Markets, Investment Banking, Technology and a broad range of other business functions such as Compliance, HR, IT, Global Events, Risk Management, Corporate Communications, Legal and Operations. Find out more about how to prepare for the job assessment process for Barclays here.. 
  • BNP Paribas: London, New York, Hong Kong or Singapore offices recruit summer interns for 10-12 weeks. 
  • Citi: opportunities across capital markets, corporate banking, sales & trading, private banking, HR, operations, transaction services, technology & risk. Learn more about Citi's assessment process and online tests HERE.
  • Commerzbank: internships available in most areas including fixed income sales & trading, market risk and IT. 8 weeks+ at any time of the year.
  • Credit Suisse: a range on internships available within investment banking, equities, fixed income, alternative investments, global markets solutions, operations & IT. Learn more about Credit Suisse assessment process and online tests HERE.
  • Deutsche Bank: internships available in asset management,corporate finance, markets, transaction banking, technology & operations, HR & risk. Learn more about Deutsche Bank assessment process and online tests HERE.
  • Goldman Sachs: 10 week programme. Find out more about how to prepare for the job assessment process of Goldman Sachs HERE.
  • HSBC: programmes include banking advisory, capital markets, leveraged finance, global markets, research, asset management, finance, technology, operations & private banking. Practice tailored psychometric tests similar to the ones used by HSBC HERE.
  • ICAP: 8 week structured programme. Practice tailored psychometric tests similar to the ones used by ICAP HERE.
  • Jefferies. they offer a 10 week programme in Investment Banking in Europe. You will receive division specific training as well as classroom training, seminars, social events and mentoring.
  • JP Morgan: intern positions are available within asset management, finance, HR, Risk, Investment banking, Operations, sales & trading, research, technology & treasury.
  • Lazard: their 10 week Analyst programme is based in their London office. There are also opportunities in Paris and other offices globally. Applications open in August. 
  • Macquarie Bank: opportunities exist within fixed income, commodities, funds group, capital, securities, risk and IT. 
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International: 10 week programme. Summer Internships. Opportunities exist within Global Markets, Investment Banking, Corporate Infrastructure and Technology. They take 10-12 interns each year. 
  • Morgan Stanley: 10 week internships available across the bank in institutional securities, investment management, wealth management, technology & operations, corporate. Find out more about how to prepare for the job assessment process of Morgan Stanley HERE.
  • Nomura: programmes available in sales, trading, research and structuring. Find out more about how to prepare for the job assessment process of Nomura HERE.. 
  • RBC Capital Markets: 8 week programme in investment banking
  • RBS Group: programmes available in markets & banking, retail & wealth and central areas such as business services, risk, finance, technology and operations. They also offer a 12 week winter internship starting in January. 
  • Standard Chartered Bank: programmes available only in Asia, Africa and The Middle East.
  • Societe Generale: 10-12 weeks in length in either Corporate or Investment Banking. 
  • UBS: positions available across sales, trading, research, corporate, global capital markets, finance, HR, IT, operations, risk and legal. Learn more about UBS assessment process and online tests HERE.
  • Unicredit: They offer an intrenational Internship Programme. The program, is sponsored by the Foundation UniCredit & Universities in cooperation with UniCredit and offers the opportunity for students in economics, finance, banking, management, engineering or law to do a 3-months summer internship. Jobs are available in different areas of the bank. Positions exist throughout Europe. 

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