Wealth Management Managing Directors

Outlook

Employment Prospects

Employers

There are thousands of wealth management businesses in the United States alone. Many U.S.-based firms are headquartered in New York and other major cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Many large U.S. firms have offices in foreign countries.

In October 2020, Investopedia ranked the world's largest private banks by estimated assets under management. The top five were:

  1. UBS ($1.4 trillion)
  2. Morgan Stanley ($552 billion)
  3. Merrill Lynch (Bank of America Corporation) ($1.4 trillion)
  4. Wells Fargo ($1.6 trillion)
  5. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) ($503 billion)

Starting Out

The career of managing director is not entry-level, and it takes many years of experience in lower-level positions (analysts, associates, portfolio managers, vice presidents) to become qualified to enter this occupation. 

While in college, use the resources of your school’s career services office to locate jobs, improve your resume, and practice your interviewing skills. Many wealth management firms recruit on college campuses. Check with your career counselor or visit the Web sites of WM firms for recruiting schedules.

Participating in an internship at a WM firm is an excellent way to break into the field. Many of the largest firms have internship programs in place, which they use to identify promising candidates for full-time employment. For example, the well-known financial services firm Edward Jones offers several internship programs (https://careers.edwardjones.com/career-areas/students-and-recent-grads)—including a co-op program, accelerated leadership program, and internships at the firm’s headquarters. Each year, Vault.com ranks the best internship programs (including those offered by the financial services industry). Visit https://www.vault.com/best-internships-rankings-search/top-100-internships for the latest list.

Other job-search strategies include using social networking sites (such as LinkedIn), hiring recruiters for assistance in the job search, using job sites, and applying for jobs at the Web sites of potential employers. 

Advancement Prospects

Managing directors sit at the top of the management structure at WM firms, so there are not a lot of advancement opportunities. Directors who are not already partners at their firms can advance by becoming partners. Others may leave their firms to work in identical positions at companies with more assets under management or higher industry prestige. Some managing directors move on to work as chief financial officers, CEOs, and chief operating officers at corporations. 

Tips for Entry

Work in lower-level positions in the wealth management industry to obtain experience.

Visit the following Web sites for advice on landing an entry-level career in the WM industry:

  • JPMorgan Advice Center: https://careers.jpmorgan.com/us/en/advice
  • Raymond James: Career Advice Center: https://www.raymondjames.com/careers/students-and-recent-grads
  • Standard Life Aberdeen: https://www.standardlifeaberdeen.com/careers/early-careers

Participate in continuing education classes throughout your career and become certified to prepare yourself for work at the top levels of the WM industry.

Join the American Bankers Association Trust Network (https://www.aba.com/member-tools/discussion-groups/trust-network), an online discussion forum for wealth management professionals.