The world of finance offers a plethora of opportunities for a career, including prime brokerage jobs. Financial professionals who choose to pursue a career in prime brokerage are essentially taking on a role in the hedge fund industry. Whether preparing to be a prime broker who becomes responsible for lending money and clearing the very complex trades executed by hedge funds or taking on a role in the back office where accounting and administration tasks take place, it can all be within the the prime brokerage industry. Also, as transparency becomes increasingly important in the financial markets, hedge funds continue to engage more than one prime brokerage firm, which only increases the number of opportunities available.
The variety of possibilities for prime brokerage jobs is great. Not only are there different individual roles that can be applied, there also are different places in which a prime brokerage professional can seek employment. For instance, many of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, have prime brokerage arms. Employees can be part of something quite large while still being somewhat separate in a division dedicated to servicing hedge funds. There also are independent prime brokerages that provide the same services as the larger banks but are in more of a niche role.
Among the many prime brokerage jobs is that of a relationship manager. This professional might be a key person on the management team. This role is largely about the depth of relationships, including developing, maintaining and enhancing relationships with hedge funds and even investors. There must be a degree of earned trust between the hedge fund and the broker, because the exchange of money, investment strategies and client lists will occur, making a relationship manager one of the most high-profile prime brokerage jobs.
Another one of the prime brokerage jobs is that of a risk manager, who also is a key member of the team. Hedge funds often execute sophisticated and risky financial transactions. The broker is responsible for clearing the trade, so the risk manager must evaluate the trades based on the structure of the hedge fund and must clearly communicate the risks involved.
A hedge fund might be entering into a trade that will tie up money for months at a time, and if the firm needs to access that money, it is the risk manager's job to clearly communicate those possibilities. Also, a hedge fund usually is assigned trading limits based on criteria such as the value of assets under management and the trading strategy and history of the firm. The risk manager must ensure that the hedge fund continues to make trades within the confines of those limits.