The back office is the section of a firm responsible for functions related to the running of the company such as:

  • Settlements
  • Compliance
  • Accounting
  • IT & Other Technology

The back office is an essential part of any firm and the job title is often classed under 'Operations'. At investment banks, the back office will also be in charge of completing the administrative tasks associated with trades such as settlements, regulatory compliance and position clearing.

Many back office positions are not located in the main buildings of a company. This is due to costs. If your IT support staff can do their job just as well in the suburbs or a different city, then there is absolutely no reason to house them in the prime urban headquarters and the space can then be used for revenue-generating functions. Back office functions are also often outsourced to external companies and / or in different countries.

Due to the nature of the work and lack of exposure to finance and markets, it is often extremely hard to move between the back and front office in financial industries. However, some roles lend themselves better to transferring than others and with the right contacts and work ethic it is definitely possible.

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