If you’ve been crunching numbers for some time in a middle office role, the thought of crossing over to the front office may have crossed your mind. Here are some tips for middle office banking professionals who wish to cross over.
Learn the business strategy
The differentiating factor between a successful middle office professional who manages to cross over into a front office role – and those who don’t – is that they dare to speak up. A middle office professional stands a higher chance of moving to the front office if they take a strong interest in the strategies that the front office is running. Understand what the traders are doing and how it helps the business. Having a strong commercial awareness places you in good stead for a front office role because you understand what works.
Be a “people” person
Front office professionals need to be good salespeople in order to sell the wide variety of financial services products. Middle office professionals are usually identified by traders when a role in the front office opens up. The ones who dare to speak up go to talk to traders and bounce ideas off them – those who stand out have an inquiring mind and understand the strategies that traders are implementing. Your personality really counts – being outgoing and able to network will serve you well in getting to know the right people, such that you’re the first to know about possible transfers within the company. Having a strong commercial awareness places you in good stead for a front office role because you understand what works.
Have the right skill sets
As a middle office professional, you crunch numbers on a daily basis. Your employer is looking for someone who has good quantitative skill sets. Particularly for professionals who are over qualified for a role in the middle office, but had no choice but to take up a role in the middle office due to China's slowing economy – moving to the front office of an organisation may be an option whenever the market picks up, and if your employers feels that you have the required skills and experience for a promotion.
For more career advice, and information on how to switch careers, please contact:
Laura Yu, Manager, Banking & Financial Services
+86 (21) 5153 5877
Alternatively, search for the latest job vacancies at the Robert Walters search engine.