Today's economies depend on activity and growth in the business sector and hence on people, plans and capital. Companies get most of the capital they need from investors. In an open, decentralised and free economy, the financial market (or "capital market") is the place where companies seeking financing meet people and organisations with surplus funds
The financial market is the link between large-scale economic projects and the investment community. Nowadays, everything takes place on a global scale. Companies obtain the wherewithal to finance their plans, while professional and individual investors find uses for their money.
The financial market is the engine that drives the entire economic system: it is where the system draws its strength and where its key players find the most appropriate solutions for their needs.
A modern, globalised and decentralised economy needs specialists to organise transactions in its capital markets and to manage the interplay of supply and demand. These specialists know all the ins and out of the financial system.
The role of financial professionals is to stimulate activity in the financial market by:
Financial professional are at the heart of the supply-and-demand system that defines a financial market. In short, they are responsible for the smooth operation of modern economies.
Finance-related professions are numerous, varied and constantly changing - just like the needs of economic agents. But the aim is always the same: to make financial markets as efficient as possible in channelling surplus capital and measuring the value of companies.
To achieve that aim, financial professionals muster a broad array of services, resources and advanced tools that enable them to properly fulfil their role as intermediaries. This is for market users because the professionals cater specifically to their needs and constantly keep pace with any changes that may occur.
Companies come to the market either to raise finance by issuing shares and debt or to expand through mergers, acquisitions and disposals. For this, they need advice, expertise and tools in order to develop their plans, work out their positioning strategies, and so on.
Investors can find a vast range of products on financial markets at all times. They can get guidance and advice on buying and selling, and they can carry out a whole range of transactions that respond to their varied needs.
Experts, analysts, traders and other top-flight professionals play a crucial role in organising the encounter between supply and demand that epitomises a financial market. A broad range of skills are needed to grasp the complex rules governing that encounter and to master the sophisticated tools used to control it.
Computer and maths skills are necessary to design and operate the intricate computational systems used to cope with the uncertainties inherent in financial markets. These systems allow professionals to anticipate events and risks with accuracy.
A sound understanding of how an economy works, both generally and in detail, is needed to identify, assess, manage and deal with financial market risk.
A talent for dialogue, negotiation and business relationships is vital in order to foster a client-focused business culture.
Well-organised and dynamic financial markets are key to the health and vitality of a country's economy. The professionals who work in those markets must have hands-on knowledge of what companies and investors require so that they can provide a swift, efficient service.
What do market users expect from professionals?
In short, professionals must deliver perceptive advice, clear-sighted analysis and needs-responsive service, relying on a relationship of mutual trust. And because market users and intermediaries work in close collaboration, enduring relationships are easier to forge.