The financial sector is made up of many different industries ranging from banks, investment houses, insurance companies, real estate brokers, consumer finance companies, mortgage lenders, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Organisations within this sector answer to specific regulatory bodies such as the Financial Reporting Council, the Financial Conduct Authority and many others in addition to the normal listing rules.
There are a number of company secretaries who have specialised in working for Banks or Financial services organisations which enables them to provide supreme service to the board and committees regarding those specific regulatory requirements.
These organisations are frequently structured with many legal entities so a strong entity management skillset can be preferred. Equally, these may be spread over multiple jurisdictions so some international experience or the ability to liaise with external providers can be necessary.
With the number of new “disruptive” businesses to the sector such as mobile-only banks, digital wealth platforms and fintech businesses, there are a number of standalone roles within this developing space alongside the more traditional roles offered by blue-chip and established players.
Alongside banks and other FS businesses, the insurance providers also have a great need for governance professionals and offer similarly competitive packages, equitable to those in the finance space.
Teams in the financial services space vary hugely and there is no definitive structure to prescribe. However, they are usually larger teams than one might find elsewhere due to the larger number of regulators and entities of the group, particularly banks. Teams within FS may also have more defined areas of responsibility such as UK entities, international governance or board and committee support.