Many employers are having trouble finding strong candidates for jobs vacated by retiring baby boomers. The jobs require, on average, more than seven years of experience, and some employers can’t fathom replacing an employee who may have 20-plus years of experience in the field with someone who has only five. If your financial-career goals include a big paycheck and the prestige of working for a high-profile Wall Street firm, then you’ll need to learn how to meet employers’ expectations.
The positions that some financial recruiters have identified as the hardest and most competitive to fill include controllers (including hedge fund controllers), tax managers, fund and senior-level accountants and valuation analysts. Let’s explore the responsibilities of each of these positions as well as what employers are looking for in potential candidates for these roles.
Controllers keep the company’s financial planning, debt financing and budget management organized. They set financial rules, including choosing accounting methods and making sure that generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are followed. Controllers work for banks, corporations and governments. They motivate their teams from time to time and make sure they produce quality work within set time periods.
A controller’s education requires a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in finance or accounting. It also requires a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Further, most employers like controller job candidates to have five to 10 years of experience in senior-level finance or accounting positions.
One specialized type of controller is the hedge fund controller. This position is difficult to attain, according to some recruiters, because it requires eight to 10 years of experience working with larger funds. Additionally, the job seeker must have exposure working in distressed debt.
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