Front Office Operations - FI404

Course Objectives

To familiarise students with the inner workings of a front office in an investment bank.
We shall be analysing both the organisation and the products, in particular equity products,
determining their nature, value and commercialisation. The aim is that students gain a practical
and technical understanding of the skill base required to become a successful professional
within an Investment Bank.
The course will provide students with some of the necessary knowledge base required prior
to undertaking the professional stock exchange exams

Course Content

Part 1: The Inner Workings of a Front Office in an Investment Bank
What products are traded?
Fixed Income
Money Market instruments
Define Equities and their derivative products
Equity capital market activities
How is a Front Office organized?
Who does what?
What is the relationship between different departments and product categories in an Investment Bank?
Is there an optimum structure/organisation?
What is the skill base required to be successful?
What support is required by the Front Office?
What are the key trends in the industry

Part 2: The Front Office Customer Base and the Issuers of Equities
Who are the clients?
What are their needs?
Private versus institutional money
The meteoric rise of mutual funds
Hedge funds the changing landscape
Are corporates also clients?
How do corporates issue equity?
Primary market activity
The role of advisors
The issuing process
The responsibilities of corporations
What is the role of governments?
What is the global versus local debate? And how does it impact the structure of a Front Office?

Part 3: How do the Clients and the Front Office meet?
An in-depth evaluation of the daily interaction between an Investment Bank and its Clients
The secondary equity markets a global perspective
How do markets work?
Order driven systems
Quote driven systems
Market indices and how they are calculated
The role of market makers
The role of traders
The role of salesman
The role of analysts
How are transactions executed?
Types of orders
The research function and the daily output
Other types of research
Market psychology
Who takes responsibility for stock recommendations?
How does the client decide what to buy or sell?
What are the major investment styles

Recommended Text:
An Introduction to Equity Markets by David Dasey
(Published by the Securities Institute, London)