Associate, Mutual Fund Research - Req. 1901183
Under limited supervision, the Mutual Fund Research Associate utilizes knowledge of finance and investment concepts obtained through education and work experience in order to provide clients with a platform of mutual fund investment opportunities. Primary functions include conducting quantitative and qualitative due diligence, investment analysis (e.g., financial modeling, risk analysis, validating investment merits, etc.), and making recommendations on domestic, international, and global investment strategies. This will encompass authoring product approval memorandums directed at senior management; making presentations to financial advisors and other constituents; maintaining frequent contact with current as well as prospective fund managers; and supporting financial advisors with requests related to mutual funds. The Mutual Fund Research Associate retains significant latitude for un-reviewed decision making and as a participant with respect to fund manager interactions in addition to being a key participant in product recommendations. Additional job functions include authoring whitepapers and research reports that address timely and relevant topics for the mutual fund industry, training newer associates as needed, providing thought leadership with respect to asset classes under coverage, and assuming a leadership role in various departmental projects.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Demonstrating a commitment to creating an environment that aligns with the firm’s core values, putting clients’ interests first.
• Analyzing the investment merits and risks of traditional investments, including but not limited to equity strategies (e.g., domestic, international, global, and sector equity mutual funds), and fixed income strategies (e.g., government, municipal, corporate, and international fixed income mutual funds.)
• Performing quantitative and qualitative due diligence as well as investment analysis (e.g., financial modeling, benchmarking, risk analysis, etc.) on existing and prospective mutual fund offerings.
• Holding and leading frequent conversations and meetings with mutual fund managers, analysts, and other fund contacts with an aim of better understanding the strategy and process of a given product.
• Composing and disseminating due diligence and investment updates for those mutual funds on the “Highly Recommended” list for financial advisor use.
• Playing a pivotal role in decisions relating to the presentation of a mutual fund for inclusion/removal from the “Highly Recommended” list.
• Preparing detailed product approval memos on products considered for addition to the firm’s list of “Highly Recommended” mutual funds.
• Presenting potential mutual fund additions for the “Highly Recommended” funds list to the Mutual Fund Research Investment Committee, comprised of senior management.
• Maintaining broad knowledge of the various mutual fund offerings available at the firm and continuously researching new funds to be considered for potential inclusion to the firm’s list of recommended mutual funds.
• Conducting due diligence for existing and prospective investment products outside of those funds included in the firm’s recommended list.
• Assisting financial advisors with various requests related to mutual funds including, but not limited to: providing information on the funds on the “Highly Recommended” list; assisting advisors in manager research for funds outside of the “Highly Recommended” list; and providing assistance with questions related to fund availability on the Raymond James platform.
• Transferring product knowledge and expertise by communicating with and educating other departments within the Private Client Investment Products Group, as well as by working directly with financial advisors
• Keeping apprised of developments within the mutual fund industry and educating other team members or departments on topics relevant to the Associate’s coverage universe.
• Authoring whitepapers and research reports that address timely and relevant topics for the mutual fund industry.
• Representing the firm and the department in recruiting “Home Office Visits” and client “By Invitation Only” visits
• Contributing timely investment ideas through the firm’s Investment Strategy Committee efforts or other firm initiatives, as necessary
• Serving on various committees, working groups, or advisor panels to represent Mutual Fund Research and the firm’s and advisors’ interests related to mutual funds.
• Assuming a leadership role in various department and firm-wide projects
• Attending firm and industry conferences and, if necessary, presenting on topics relevant to mutual funds and the Associate’s respective coverage universe
• Maintaining an open dialogue with other research areas of the firm, collaborating in research efforts, and fostering good working relationships between various departments.
• Providing leadership and feedback focused on improving processes and procedures already in place or recommending new solutions to existing issues.
• Assisting in the training and development of newer team members
• Performing other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Quantitative and qualitative understanding of the investment management business and performance measurement.
• Macro and micro economics and their impact on investment strategies.
• Financial markets, products, financial advisory function and investment process
• Advanced investment concepts, practices, and procedures used in the securities industry
• MS Office applications
• Morningstar Direct
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Detail orientation sufficient to thoroughly complete assignments, and ensure quality standards are met without impairing workflow.
• Presentation skills
• Microsoft Office Suite with particular strength in Excel and Power Point
• Handle multiple priorities
• Write in a well-organized, concise yet complete format and use verbal and written communication skills to effectively and professionally communicate with all levels of the organization, including financial advisors.
• Serve as a role model to less experienced associates
• Meet multiple critical deadlines
• Work independently as well as collaboratively within a team environment
• Address advisor inquiries in a timely and effective manner
• Maintain composure in stressful situations
• Represent the company in a highly professional manner
• Prepare and deliver clear, effective, and professional presentations
• Partner with other functional areas to accomplish objectives
• Use sound judgement and decision making
Educational/Previous Experience Requirements:
Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) in Finance, Business or Economics with a minimum of three (3) years’ experience.
An equivalent combination of education, experience and/or training as approved by Human Resources.
• SIE required provided that an exemption or grandfathering cannot be applied.
• Series 7 or the willingness to obtain within 6 months of employment.
• Clear progress toward the completion of the CFA exam.