Discover your career on the corporate side

“Corporates” refers to either public and private companies that are often clients of investment banks. Unlike other areas of the finance industry, corporate jobs are not divided into sell-side and buy-side positions. Corporate professionals bring a wide range of experience, skills, and backgrounds. Because of the diversity of roles found at major corporations, financial professionals interested in starting a corporate career can find a myriad of job opportunities available to them.

Typical Job Duties on the Corporate Side

Due to the vast assortment of jobs on the corporate side, we’ve broken down corporates into three main groups: FP&A, Transactions and Financing, and Risk Management.


Short for Financial Planning & Analysis, FP&A handles the corporation’s budget, financial forecasts, KPI management, and related needs. This team supports the decision-making abilities of the CEO, CFO, and other executives by providing important data about the company’s financial assets and cash flow. Within FP&A, departments are typically broken down into:

  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Business intelligence
  • Project evaluation

Professionals with solid decision-making skills and adaptability to ever-changing markets and economies can expect to thrive in a career in FP&A. Moreover, an aptitude for understanding and interpreting different financial statements is critical.

Transactions and Financing

Transactions and Financing refers to the movement of corporate cash as well as the method of funding that a company uses to expand its operations. The Transactions and Financing sector can branch out further into three main areas:

  • Treasury
  • Investor relations
  • Corporate development

To succeed in Transactions and Financing, individuals must rely on a blend of both quantitative and soft skills. Data analysis and financial modeling strengths are crucial in this industry, as is the ability to utilize data persuasively. Individuals who are strong communicators with a confident demeanor are well-suited to a career in Transactions and Financing.

Risk Management

Risk management is the practice of protecting the economic value of a company through different financial mechanisms that reduce risk exposure. Those in risk management work to ensure the corporation remains profitable and stays on track for future growth. Risk management can be broken down into three sections:

  • Market risk
  • Credit risk
  • Operational risk

A successful career in risk management demands that professionals are analytical thinkers, incisive decision-makers, and can effectively solve unique problems and challenges.

Job Qualifications and Compensation Factors

Those interested in a corporate finance career are often hired right out of college, or laterally from other sectors like professional services or sell side. Compensation and career mobility within corporates are specific to company policy and culture. Similarly to professional services, corporate roles typically pay less than sell side or buy side. However, they usually have a healthier work-life balance.

Recommended Financial Courses for a Career in Corporates

CFI provides a wide range of online courses for those interested in a corporate career. From our FP&A courses to Accounting Fundamentals and our Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification Program, we offer the tools you need to succeed in a career on the corporate side.

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