Mutual Fund Financial Managers


Exploring this Job

There are many ways to learn more about careers in financial management and the mutual fund industry. First, talk to financial managers about their careers. Ask them what classes they took in high school, what they majored in during college, and what steps they took to break into the field (e.g., internship, working first as an accountant at a Fortune 500 company, etc.). Use LinkedIn to locate mutual fund finance professionals who might be interested in participating in information interviews about their careers. Join finance clubs in high school and college, and volunteer to manage their finances. Finally, check out the following resources to learn more:

  • The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com
  • Start Here, Go Places: https://www.startheregoplaces.com
  • Mutual Funds For Dummies (For Dummies, 2019)
  • Investment Companies: Audit and Accounting Guide (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2018) 

The Job

The financial management team of a large mutual fund company typically consists of a chief financial officer (CFO), a financial controller, a treasurer, and one or more accountants and auditors. The CFO is accountable for the accuracy of his or her organization’s financial reporting; manages controllers, fund administrators, accountants, and auditors; and helps his or her company establish and meet its financial goals and objectives. Controllers assist the CFO by preparing financial reports (or overseeing staff that do so) for fund shareholders, the company’s management, and government regulators. Treasurers oversee their organization’s budget in order to meet financial goals. A small mutual fund company may employ just one financial manager—a CFO—who is responsible for all non-investment, financial duties. Typical responsibilities of financial managers include:

  • handling all financial management tasks, such as budgeting, capital expenditure planning, tracking cash flow, tax, reconciling bank accounts, etc.
  • establishing and maintaining financial records systems in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and accounting principles
  • analyzing financial data and providing strategic advice to fund managers
  • working with risk managers to assess and address areas of financial risk
  • working with compliance professionals to identify and manage compliance and regulatory issues
  • monitoring, evaluating, and improving their employer’s internal accounting controls
  • preparing financial reports for shareholders, members of the board of directors or trustees (these reports can be both written and oral), or for financial regulators
  • overseeing the firm’s annual financial budgeting, forecasting, and review process
  • developing and implementing financial control processes (in order to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness, reliable financial reporting, and compliance with laws and regulations)
  • overseeing employee benefits programs (including health insurance and retirement fund plans)
  • assuming responsibility for a variety of other areas at the firm, including human resources, information technology, operations, marketing, and sales or business development 
  • developing short- and long-term financial plans for their organizations
  • assisting in the annual auditing process