Current market trends
Ireland, and more specifically Dublin is increasingly seen as the centre of excellence and expertise in the global funds industry and because of this, opportunities in this area are plentiful, with many of the world’s leading industry performers head quartered in the city. Over 12,000 professionals are currently employed in the servicing of investment funds in Ireland and this showed no signs of subsiding in 2014. The funds industry has in fact continued to improve well into 2015 with an increasing number of permanent positions released to the market. New regulatory requirements brought on by the financial crisis are necessitating additional hiring on both a permanent and temporary basis throughout the industry.
Desired experience and qualifications
Ideally, professionals with a background education in business, accounting and finance are preferable to employers for fund accounting positions but employers have often hired from a variety of other backgrounds such an engineering and maths, so a lot will depend on the nature of the candidate. A working knowledge of systems such as; Bloomberg, Reuters or InvestOne along with Advanced MS Excel skills are also extremely beneficial for candidates looking to work in this industry.
As a fund accountant it is pertinent that you are a highly organised person who has the ability to multi task and is well able to deal with pressure from hourly to daily, monthly, and quarterly deadlines. In this environment there are a lot changes by the hour so you have to be flexible, able to think on your feet whilst also being a team player and helping out staff members during tight deadline periods.
The right attitude is crucial, particularly at interview stage. Employers are seeking people with a flair for the funds industry and those who have a desire to progress within this area. Targeting companies that suit your background is very important, for example if you have experience in hedge funds then it is important that you target a fund administrator that works on hedge funds. It can be difficult to move between areas and employers have a preference for individuals who can come into a role and hit the ground running.
One of the major advantages of the funds industry is a clear and defined career path for fund accountants. Usually within 2 – 3 years, a fund accountant can progress to a senior administrator post and subsequently to a supervisor post before eventually moving into management.