A job in structured finance is essentially a career in financial services. Investment bankers, attorneys and corporate executives are all involved in the structured finance process. Traders of sophisticated financial instruments also comprise a segment of structured finance jobs, and their compensation can be quite lucrative when their strategies are successful. Money managers might similarly become involved in structured finance, and industry jobs can subsequently be found at asset management firms.
Financial traders can design and trade securities on behalf of clients or employers. These financial instruments are highly sophisticated, and individuals fulfilling structured finance jobs in trading are often the most successful trading professionals who have excelled in careers and whose skills are coveted among rival firms. The types of securities that are traded include derivatives, which derive a value based on other financial instruments and might be backed by mortgages or other assets. Trading professionals might be hired by an investment bank or a hedge fund, for instance, and in addition to base salaries might earn year-end bonuses tied to performance.
An asset manager might be involved in structured finance in various ways. Professionals in these structured finance jobs are often involved with providing creative solutions for the needs of institutional clients, such as insurance firms. An asset manager might be involved with assessing whether a client's exposure to structured products in an investment portfolio continues to support a risk-and-reward profile, and if not, he or she could be involved in the process of valuing and selling the securities. The role of asset managers in structured finance is also to provide advice to clients on transactions as well as the financial securities and infrastructure that might be used in a deal.
Investment banking is a common arena in which structured finance jobs might be found. Bankers are involved with providing the equity for structured finance deals. Industry professionals must be able to determine the amount of risk associated with a structured finance deal in relation to the anticipated profits in order to determine how much money is needed and is appropriate to lend.
There is often a complex regulatory framework that must be followed in structured finance. As a result, a career as an attorney is one of the legal structured finance jobs. In fact, law firms have entire legal departments dedicated to structured finance. Lawyers can represent any one of the parties involved with structured finance and are able to contribute a legal perspective on securities transactions.