In order to become a financier, a person must either have or have control over a very large sum of money, which he manages and invests in some fashion. A financier may invest and manage their own money or the funds provided by a network of investors. He or she will often have an educational background in banking, business, or finance, but this is not a requirement, and many of the world’s most famous financiers lack formal training. Experience in the financial sector is also helpful, though not necessary, for someone seeking to become a financier. Family background, connections, and inherited wealth are also useful but not absolutely essential for aspiring financiers.
The term financier simply refers to someone who is active at the upper levels of the world of finance. The relatively vague nature of the term means that a financier can be a hedge fund manager, an investment banker, or simply a very wealthy private investor. The only unifying characteristic among all financiers is the fact that they handle very large investments. Gaining access to such large amounts of money is crucial to becoming a financier.
Certain sorts of education can prove helpful to an individual who wants to become a financier. A degree from a prestigious school with a reputation for training people in business or finance can provide useful technical training in the functioning of markets. A top-echelon school can also provide social capital, in the form of connections to people in the fields of banking and finance, which can be as useful as the actual education. Jobs at the pinnacle of the financial sector are rare, and having personal connections can be extremely helpful in securing a position as the manager of a large mutual fund or similar vast financial enterprise.
Independent experience in finance can also prove useful for someone seeking to become a financier. Warren Buffet, famously, began his career at the very bottom rung of a brokerage house and made use of this position to learn about the functioning of the financial world. Some successful financiers work their way up from within the corporate system, while others take knowledge acquired on the job and then secure other sources of capital to pursue their own ventures.
Family connections and personal background are also important tools for would-be financiers. It is easier to become a financier when one can draw upon family connections or family wealth. The heir to a great fortune can become a financier simply by inheriting, and family ties can provide the same sort of useful inside connections that the right sort of educational background offers.