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What Does a Senior Financial Analyst Do?

Analysts at investment firms are often contracted to advise companies that are involved in discussions pertaining to acquisitions or mergers.
Preparing financial reports is part of a financial analyst's duties.
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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
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Financial analysts assist companies with investment decisions and business acquisitions by preparing financial reports and conducting risk assessments. A senior financial analyst handles complex commercial transactions. Financial reports are often prepared by a team of analysts, in which case a senior analyst presides over the team and usually has the task of relaying the team's findings to clients.

A financial analyst must generally have a college degree in business, finance, mathematics, or a related field, although some firms hire graduates with degrees in other subjects. Most analysts work for insurance firms, banks, or investment companies. New recruits must attend training sessions, at which they are taught about risk management, securities transactions, and the basic legalities of different kinds of financial transactions. Junior analysts are often partnered with established analysts and have to complete a certain number of hours of work before they are able to work alone. Many firms will only consider analysts with several years of experience for a senior analyst position.

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Analysts at investment firms are often contracted to advise companies that are involved in discussions pertaining to acquisitions or mergers. The analysts review the accounts of the companies that the client firm has an interest in acquiring. A senior financial analyst assigns tasks to each team member, such as preparing a review of the company's past financial performance or creating projections of the firm's future growth. When each aspect of the report has been completed, the senior financial analyst creates a master report and a copy is given to the client as well as a recommendation as to whether the firm should pursue the deal or find another company to acquire.

Aside from helping firms involved in mergers, a senior financial analyst has a role in deciding how an insurance or investment firm should invest its own assets. Analysts do not typically have securities licenses so cannot broker securities transactions, but the analysts can conduct research on firms, review the books of governments issuing bonds, and study economic trends. A senior financial analyst may meet regularly with senior company management and share information related to recent findings that could influence the firm's investment strategy.

Governments sometimes consult senior financial analysts during recessions or other periods of economic upheaval. In some countries, government ministers create committees that are composed of senior analysts, and these ministers seek the opinions of the analysts before making major policy decisions. News outlets often pay senior analysts to work as consultants on news shows or in newspapers.

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discographer
Post 3

Financial analysis is actually a great career. When the economy is bad, many industries and many jobs are affected. But I think that this is one type of job that will always be available because people always need financial analysts to help make the right decisions.

I'm sure that there is plenty of competition too and I have no doubt that it can be a stressful and demanding job, but it seems very promising career-wise. I think senior financial analysts have good income too.

serenesurface
Post 2

@turquoise-- The major difference is that the senior financial analyst oversees the work of other analysts. Although both engage in the same set of duties, the duties may also be allocated with the more important ones going to the senior financial analyst.

I'm not exactly an expert on this topic but I think that for the most part, the senior financial analyst analyzes the date collected by the other analysts and gives advice to share holders based on them. Other analysts do some of this as well but the senior analyst may be given the job of communicating the findings and advice to shareholders personally. And if there is a complex situation that requires more expertise, the senior analyst will step in.

Eventually, regular financial analysts will be qualified to be a senior financial analyst.

turquoise
Post 1

Can anyone tell me a little about the differences in duties of a financial analyst and a senior financial analyst? Don't they mostly do the same thing, with the later just being more experienced?

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