Transferrable skills for Credit Analysts and Investment Analysts
Choosing to embark on a mid-career switch has always been a dilemma to many. If you need experience to get a job, but a job to get experience, what can you do? For those further ahead in their career, it’s not always clear what experiences and attributes will help you stand out from the crowd when vying for a promotion.
It turns out your transferable skills are an important part of the key to solving both equations and this is prevalent even in niche roles within banking and finance. With the pandemic creating a monumental shift in industries and workplace, we are seeing a big trend of analysts moving between the investment space to the credit space, and vice versa.
If you are currently thinking of a move between the two fields, below are some transferrable skillsets that you can expect hiring managers to look out for.
1. Quantitative and analytical skills
Both roles will require the analyst to work with deadlines. As such your ability to possess unmatched quantitative and analytical skills to obtain the required data and make a risk level judgment can be transferrable for both roles.
A credit analyst is required to review different types of financial documents related to a client’s business. The client can be either an individual or a corporate borrower, and the analyst is required to analyse all the information contained in the financial documents. They should be able to identify key areas such as omissions, errors, and fraud that may affect the credibility of the lending process.
A quick review process is required to allow other parties to review the documentation and fast-track the funds’ disbursement to the client’s account. Such skills can also help the analyst make an informed decision that balances the need to lend to creditworthy individuals and protect the company from unwanted lending risks.
An investment analyst continuously collects and interprets data, such as company financial statements, price developments, currency adjustments, and yield fluctuations.
The information gathering also includes macro developments, such as following a country's political sea changes, climate change and the impact of natural disasters, and emerging industries and service sectors.
2. Proficiency in financial software
Both analysts can learn and perfect their skills by either enrolling in a short course or by incorporating the software in their work routine and learning on-the-job.
It is also perceived that both investment and credit analysts who are proficient in using financial software are those that have been in the field for a long time. This is what ensures that they carve a competitive edge in the field.
The work of a credit analyst requires incorporating statistical software in the evaluation process to obtain ratios and analyse large volumes of data within a short time. Many credit and financial analysts around the world use Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications.
Credit analysts use Microsoft Excel to analyse and sort large volumes of data, create graphs and charts, as well as generate financial models. Analysts also use Excel formulas to calculate ratios, formulate assumptions, and determine valuations of assets and client’s businesses. Learning how the software works can be a time-saver for a credit analyst, and recruiters will give preference to such candidates.
Although investment analyst is not known to possess require an IT background, some skillset will help investment analysts to generate reports and becoming efficient in working when there is work pressure. E.g., excel, VBA, SQL, etc.
Role entails the following (although no limited to):
- Execute SQL query to obtain historical recovery data for bid analysis and committee approval.
- Collaborate with Data Operations department to improve attrition data integrity of SQL query.
- Improve reporting inefficiencies by locating inaccurate SQL and excel formulas.
- Experience in modeling and simulation with statistical tools including SPSS, JMP, VBA, SQL, R and SAS.
Resilience is a soft skill that will be required of both analysts as the ability to work under high pressure is crucial for them to get the job done.
The work routine of a credit analyst involves dealing with multiple clients and urgent projects at the same time. Experienced credit analysts may experience a hard time dealing with multiple projects at the same time, and they may fail to meet the set deadlines. In such instances, they must learn how to prioritize urgent tasks first and schedule less urgent tasks. It will allow analysts to meet their clients’ demands and work towards achieving the individual and overall company’s targets.
Dealing with multiple projects with short deadlines can be a stressful event for most analysts, and they must find proper ways of managing work stress without stretching their limits or compromising the quality of work. A good credit analyst should, therefore, be able to handle stress and pressure and, at the same time, deliver quality work on all client projects.
Same with Credit analysts, the work routine of investment analysts also involves a lot of stakeholder and client relationship management on demand. Investment analyst are known to also work through wee hours to complete assignments i.e a pitch book, and going to meetings in between.
In such high-pressure situations where there are multiple competing deadlines, the ability to not just cope, but thrive under pressure, is extremely important.
If you are a Credit or Investment Analyst that is looking for a mid-career switch, but still possess doubts or concerns, please reach out to us via the form below indicating your queries. For more market insight and updates from us, follow us on LinkedIn.