Financial services encompass many different kinds of businesses. Finance, of course, defines a broad array of businesses. Services means that the focus of these companies remains on clients and customers. Now, more than ever, serving customers counts. Whether your interests include building a financial practice or growing your existing one, taking care of your customers' interests before your own requires attention, energy, education, and relationship building skills.
Banks, insurance companies, and broker-dealers are stand-out providers of financial products and services to individuals, families, and businesses. Other companies, such as asset managers, mutual funds, custodian banks, trust companies, and credit unions are also financial services companies.
Alternative investment firms--such as real estate funds, strategic investors, hedge funds, and private equity--are financial services companies. Even if individual investors don't see them at work, private equity firms inject much-needed capital into fledgling and small businesses. Large alternative investors occasionally sell exchange-traded shares so that individuals can obtain a slice of upside opportunity.
This is a short list of companies beloved by employees and clients alike:
- Camden Property Trust operates and develops luxury and middle income apartment developments in 12 states. As a real estate investment trust (REIT), the company's portfolio includes exclusive and syndicate-owned properties. Twenty-five percent of Camden's properties are in Texas (headquarters). The company's hummingbird logo flits into many top housing markets: Houston, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, and South Florida. Camden suffered some job losses last year, though insiders say the company looks forward to a stronger 2011.
- Edward Jones, the investment advisor firm, has almost 13,000 offices in the U.S. Advisors tightened their belts a bit over the past two years. However, the firm's profit sharing plan continued to reward the firm's lifeblood: the financial advisors, usually established in individual offices throughout the country.
- Johnson Financial Group with offices in Wisconsin and Arizona enjoys a family-like atmosphere. The company manages money for wealthy individuals and institutional clients. The company is also affiliated with several international banks, such as Banque Franck and Galland & Cie. The company is growing.
- Umpqua Bank on the West Coast has grown to USD 9 billion in assets while maintaining friendly storefronts in their markets. Clients enjoy banking and evaluating investment products offered there.
- Goldman Sachs Group in Manhattan trains associates and provides them with a firm mentor. One of the most prestigious names in global finance, the private client group manages some of the world's wealthiest individuals and families.
- ScottTrade is growing. The firm has opened many new offices in the last two years. The firm subsidizes gym memberships for those who don't work in the home office (St. Louis, Missouri).
All four of the Big Four public accounting firms receive good press from employees and clients:
- Ernst & Young caters to the hearts of financial professionals by offering a pension plan and a 401K.
- Pricewaterhouse Coopers has done some downsizing in recent years. However, the company gave existing employees extra paid holidays. The firm appears to be in growth mode for 2011.
- KPMG gives an average of 24 paid holidays to employees a year.
- Deloitte 's opening of a 100+ acre campus in Texas speaks volumes to employees and clients. Deloitte University provides continuous training to financial professionals of the firm.
Financial services rewards those who plan for success.