Start Your Career In London Financial Markets Via FinTech or Vendor Companies

When targeting employment in London Financial Markets graduates tend to think about large and well-known investment banks and fund management firms.They are unaware that such well-known companies do not employ the bulk of the workforce in the ‘City’. At least as many people are employed by smaller financial institutions and the Financial Technology and ‘Vendor’ sector. Let’s look at the latter. Bloomberg employs 15,000 employees.Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk Business employs 20,000. These are global numbers but both, and most, FinTech and Vendor firms have an extremely significant London presence.Beyond these two huge Vendors sit layers and layers of companies all servicing the London investment community.

FinTech: Of course relates to Financial Technology companies. Organisations that provide trading, risk management, portfolio management, liquidity management, trade order management, and execution management systems to all the traders and portfolio managers sitting in all the different financial organisations.TECHNOLOGY HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT!   Micro second differences can make the difference between a profit a loss on a trade. A Bank might spend USD 8 Million on just one of these systems and all the above has to be rolled out across Equities, Fixed Income , Foreign Exchange, Commodities and more.Its an exciting business.    

Vendors: What does Vendor mean ? – literally a person or company offering something for sale. In this case it means companies selling to the banks and asset managers.What are they selling ? – generally financial data and information whether that be price feeds, bond terms and conditions, loan pricng information, investor holdings information, financial desktops, compliance solutions and so much more. A constantly developing environment requiring delivery of ever-changing products and solutions to all financial institutions in the market.

What sort of roles are there? Are they just technology roles?As an absolute minimum such firms need:     

sales/ research/ analyst/ human resources/ IT developer/ IT support/ project management/ business management/ finance/ marketing.

There are at least 300 different FinTech and Vendor firms servicing the financial community and they are a  great way into the City. FinTech and Vendor companies will generally not be visiting your University via the ‘Milkround’ yet all these firms have multiple vacancies due to organic growth, individuals getting promoted or leaving for elsewhere.

Most of these companies will not have large formal advertised Graduate Programmes so although it is, of course, a competitive situation to get employed there, the odds of employment won’t be the 135-1 against of getting hired in the investment banking sector (odds according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters).

If you want to talk about how best to approach these companies or if you want specific company names and links drop me a line. 

As ever if you like this blog please share it.

About Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the founder of Opening City Doors and is a Financial Market Specialist having worked for several leading Investment Banks and financial technology institutions additionally.He therefore provides a unique insight, and unusually broad perspective, into the opportunities available in London Financial Markets and related sectors and how to launch your career in the ‘City’.