Corporate Finance Career Path

Two key functions within this

Below are career paths that MSF students typically pursue in the MSF program.


1. Trading and Principal Investments
Sales and trading are the investment bank's distribution arm. This group is responsible for selling all of the financial products (stocks, bonds and their derivatives) developed by the investment banking area. As such, they serve as the vital link between the sellers (corporations, government entities) and the buyers (investors). Although frequently lumped together, salespeople and traders perform different functions. Sales professionals have a list of institutional clients whom they serve by making them aware of new offerings, advising them on how to manage their portfolios and selling them financial products. The sales department can be divided by account size, security type (debt or equity), geography, or product line. Areas within sales and trading include:

  • Investment Research
  • Proprietary Trading
  • Private Equity/Merchant Banking

Recent MSF Student Placements:

  • Dayton Power & Light—Trading Control Analyst
  • Equity Management Associates—Investment Associate
  • Merrill Lynch—Credit Derivatives
  • Morgan Keegan—Research Associate
  • Piedmont Investment Advisors—Equity Analyst

2. Risk Management
Risk Analysts weigh the probability of profits and losses and make recommendations to senior management on acceptable strategies. Entry-level job titles for these positions include derivatives risk analyst, market risk analyst, and portfolio risk analyst. Duties include developing and managing risk management methodologies; providing financial reporting and risk analytics; and evaluating and testing pricing models.

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange—Risk Management Specialist
  • The Hartford Insurance Company—Actuarial Analyst


1. Corporate/Industry Finance
Corporate finance includes two key functions: accounting and finance. Accounting concerns itself with day-to-day operations—bookkeeping. Accountants balance the books, track expenses and revenue, execute payroll, and pay the bills. They also compile all the financial data needed to issue a company's financial statements in accordance with government regulations. Finance professionals analyze revenue and expenses to ensure effective use of capital. They also advise businesses about project costs, make capital investments and structure deals to help companies grow. In spite of their different roles, finance and accounting are joined at the hip: The higher levels of accounting (budgeting and analysis) blend in with financial functions (analysis and projections). Thus, finance and accounting are often treated as one, with different divisions undertaking particular tasks such as cash management or taxes.

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