Corporate finance is the area that focuses on the financial decisions that corporations make and the various tools and analysis that are used to make these significant decisions. The objective of corporate finance is to maximize a firm's value, while at the same time reducing its financial risks.

Corporate finance professionals are key to a firm's decision-making process regarding; how the corporation should raise and manage its capital; what investments the firm should make; what portion of profits should be returned to shareholders; and whether it makes sense to merge with or acquire another firm.

The term Corporate Finance is also related to investment banking. Investment banks help companies raise money by issuing and selling securities in the capital markets (equity and debt), as well as providing advice on financial transactions like mergers and acquisitions. Many investment banks also offer financial advisory services. 

Senior Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are responsible for determining a firm's financing needs, analyzing capital budgeting projects, conducting long-range financial planning, analyzing possible acquisitions and asset sales, visiting credit agencies to explain a firm's position, working on budgets, analyzing competitors, implementing financial plans, monitoring the market price of your firm's securities, analyzing lease agreements, and determining needs and methods of dealing with derivatives. Often, the financial analyst will be assigned to a specific area such as revenue, planning, capital budgeting or project finance. This challenging job requires good analytical skills, computer skills and a broad understanding of finance.

Financial Manager

Provide strategic decision support to current and new business initiatives. Analyze business metrics and financial results to evaluate performance versus expectations in order to guide future business decisions. Identify and recommend business process improvements aimed at enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Provide financial leadership and assistance for strategic business development and investment decisions.

Financial managers oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. Managers also develop strategies and implement the long-term goals of their organization.

Investment Banking Associate

Responsibilities generally include:

  • Detailed financial analysis
  • Valuation and M&A modeling
  • Preparation of new business marketing (pitch) materials
  • Execution of client assignments including daily transaction execution, identifying buyers and targets, accounting, business and legal due diligence, drafting/preparation of information memoranda and management presentations
  • Interacting with senior bankers daily in support of the firm’s activities

An I-Banking Associate has significant interaction with clients and senior bankers and will immediately assume a great deal of responsibility. Associates work in deal teams and are involved in every aspect of each transaction, including financial analysis, due diligence, writing information memorandums, developing management presentations and participating in client meetings. 

Business Development Associate

The Business Development Associate provides business development support for various business segments. This position also works closely with the business staff to support a wide range of business development activities, including mergers and acquisitions, licensing and alliances. Support the business by performing market analysis, target research and supporting due diligence efforts.

Financial Analyst

This position provides analytical support to the overall planning process and assists in developing annual and long-term financial goals for the organization. In addition, analysts typically provide analytical support to the overall forecast process. Analysts also apply analytical techniques, i.e. modeling, situation analysis, etc. to improve the necessary decision making within the company. 

Treasurer

Responsible for the supervision of the treasury department, which is involved in financial planning, raising funds, cash management and acquiring and disposing of assets. This is an upper management job, which requires both analytical skill and the ability to manage and motivate people. 

Controller

The controller is responsible for financial planning, accounting, financial reporting and cost analysis. The controller will also get involved in property, revenue, benefits, derivatives, lease and joint interest accounting, and may need to develop forecasting models to project revenues and costs. The controller may be required to implement or work with a complex costing system, efforts at financial reengineering, transfer pricing issues or interface with auditors. This job requires extensive accounting experience.