Investment fund manager

Provides financial advice and services to private and corporate clients about a range of investment matters including buying and selling unit/investment trusts and shares/bonds.

Job description

Investment fund managers make the investment decisions to try to increase the value of a fund: where a group of people (shareholders) pool their savings to invest in financial assets, typically securities or shares. They work in the financial sector managing equity funds, currency or property on behalf of clients looking for the best return on their investment.

They have considerable influence in the financial markets because of the weight of money behind them. If they decide to move funds out of a sector, or out of a company in a sector, their decision can affect the price of shares in a way that the decisions of private investors rarely do.

While there are some fund promoters and managers based in Ireland, the main focus of the Irish industry is the administration and servicing of funds.

Ireland serves many different types of funds. Hedge fund management is particularly prominent. Hedge funds are a type of fund with a performance fee payable to the fund managers attached. Hedge funds also have fewer restrictions on the types of investments they can make and fewer people are allowed to invest in them. There are also other types of funds such as property and private equity.

Work activities

  • May specialise in a particular geographical market, industry or asset class
  • Liaising with investment analysts and salespeople
  • Researching markets and applying findings from investment analysts
  • Using statistical methods to obtain, interpret and present information
  • Managing clients; meeting investors to discuss investment strategies
  • Assessing the financial value of goods, buildings or services.

Work conditions

Travel: opportunities for international travel, especially in business development, marketing or client relationship management.
Working hours: can be long and can include weekends especially in sectors directly affected by trading, but can be regular in other sectors, such as corporate finance.
Location: jobs rarely found outside major cities Opportunities for self-employment: unlikely.

Typical employers

Various financial institutions including: Specialist fund management companies Insurance companies Investment banks Stockbroking firms.

Career development

To become an investment fund manager you would generally need extensive financial management experience. Most investment managers start their career as an investment analyst or as a trainee fund manager, progressing to fund manager over a number of years.


The rewards and compensation available in the funds industry are very attractive. Salaries are offered in line with educational qualifications and experience and are generally reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they remain competitive.

As well as attractive salaries, most companies offer some or all of the following benefits: pension schemes, health cover, educational support, bonus, share option schemes, lunch facilities, club subscriptions, preferential personal loans, active sports and social committees.

Entry requirements

Open to graduates of all disciplines. Entry route is usually through a graduate training scheme. Although not essential, most people entering the industry will have a business or finance undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

Other relevant degree subjects

  • Accounting
  • Administration
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Financial services
  • Management

Postgraduate study

There are many specialised courses dedicated to the funds industry and the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) also runs professional courses for those employed in the industry.


Training is mainly on-the-job supplemented by short courses.

Tips for applications

Start your career as an investment analyst or a trainee fund manager, in order to work your way up.

Skills and qualities

  • Eager to learn with an understanding of world business and financial affairs and an awareness of trends and current activity in the financial market
  • Numerate, analytical and methodical; capable of evaluating complex financial information
  • Ability to thrive in pressured environments
  • Good judgement and decision-making skills
  • Ability to liaise effectively with clients and other organisations
  • Confident and positive image
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential for writing reports and negotiating with clients.
  • Team player
  • Organised and deadline-efficient
  • Computer literate.