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Occupational Profile

Investment Underwriter

Investment underwriters help governments and corporations raise capital by providing financial advice and underwriting or distributing new securities.

  • Avg. Salary $131,212.00
  • Avg. Wage $64.07
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 11,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Banker, Investment Analyst, Underwriter

NOC & Interest Codes
The Investment Underwriter is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Underwriters
NOC code: 1114.4
METHODICAL

Interest in obtaining information and documentation related to the underwriting of new issues of stocks, bonds and securities

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing regulations, terms and conditions to underwrite new issues of stocks and bonds and develop information brochures

DIRECTIVE

Interest in negotiating with corporations and governments to determine the types and terms of new securities issued

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 16, 2016

When governments need to raise new capital, they may borrow funds by issuing bonds. The money owed to bond holders is then repaid from taxes and other revenues collected over a number of years. Corporations requiring funds can obtain financing by issuing bonds, debentures or shares. Investment firms that offer underwriting services may buy securities at a fixed price in anticipation of being able to sell them to others, or act as agents.

The underwriting department, sometimes called the corporate finance department or the investment banking department, generates revenue by:

  • obtaining funds on terms that are suitable for the client and competitive with other issues
  • ensuring that any new security is attractive to investors and well timed so the firm will be able to distribute the entire offering.

To achieve these goals, investment underwriters must be able to help their clients with financial planning for the future by:

  • recommending what they consider to be the best solution to a financing problem in a given circumstance
  • advising clients on which markets (Canadian, U.S., European) would be the most advantageous for raising the necessary funds.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, corporate underwriters:

  • investigate the issuing company's financial status, future outlook, earning capacity and management
  • analyze the value of assets that would secure the new issue
  • review the condition of securities markets and other factors
  • may assist the issuer in completing a prospectus (a description of the business of the company and the securities being sold) which must be filed with provincial securities commissions before a new issue can be brought to the market
  • decide whether to place the issue using only the firm's own sales force or to bring in additional companies (which reduces the risk to one company and distributes the issue to a broader clientele)
  • advise clients regarding matters such as debt load, balancing investment portfolios, mergers, acquisitions, asset sales and corporate reorganization.

In general, public finance underwriters assist federal, provincial and municipal governments to:

  • determine their future financial requirements
  • create bond or debenture issues that will offset the financial requirements identified.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Underwriting is a highly specialized occupation that involves working long hours in an office environment, and working under the pressure of constant deadlines. Underwriting staff work apart from the rest of the firm, usually in head offices.

Depending on the firm, a considerable amount of national and international travel may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Investment underwriters need the following characteristics:

  • energetic and able to learn quickly
  • good analytical abilities
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • perseverance
  • the ability to handle many projects at one time
  • leadership skills
  • a degree of aggressiveness
  • the ability to maintain confidentiality.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to gathering information, analyzing information and finding innovative solutions to problems, and negotiating with and directing the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Securities firms hire investment underwriters who have related work experience and at least one of the following qualifications: a master's degree in business administration or management, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designation, accounting designation or Law (LLB) degree.

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) offers the CBV designation to applicants who:

  •  have successfully completed four core courses and two electives
  •  have 1,500 hours of business and securities valuation experience
  •  pass an entrance exam.

In addition, most firms require their investment underwriters to have completed the Canadian Securities Course (for more information, see the Investment Advisor occupational profile).

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Many investment firms prefer to train their own underwriting staff rather than hire someone trained elsewhere. Competition for underwriting positions often is keen. On-the-job training may include working for about a year under the supervision of senior underwriting staff, preparing analyses and attending meetings with clients. An apprenticeship period as a junior underwriter follows.

Competition also is keen for opportunities to advance to senior management positions.

Investment underwriters are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1114: Other financial officers which also includes financial planners, financial examiners and inspectors, financial investigators, trust officers and mortgage brokers. In Alberta, 87% of people employed in this classification work in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 11,200 Albertans are employed in the Other financial officers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 123 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As investment underwriters form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for investment underwriters.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Investment underwriters' incomes are highly variable. Most underwriters are paid base salaries plus bonuses.

Investment underwriters are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1114: Other financial planners.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other financial officers occupational group earned on average a starting wage of $47.19 an hour. The overall average wage was $64.07 an hour. For more information, see the Other financial officers wage profile. 

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Enterprise and Innovation
    • Financial Management
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Canadian Institute to Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) website: www.cicbv.ca

Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) website: www.csi.ca

Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) website: www.iiac.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jan 17, 2013. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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