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Financial analyst

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses, organizations, and individuals managing financial transactions, investments, loans, and similar activities. In the green building sector, the scale of investment decisions can range from one product or building to an entire portfolio of properties or community initiatives.

Source O*Net OnLine
Quick facts: Financial analyst
2019 Median Pay $81,590 per year; $39.22 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs, 2019 487,800
Job Outlook, 2019-29 5% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 26,800

ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, is the term businesses use to describe a broad category of so-called “material, non-financial information.” This information is understood to be relevant to business performance but not reflected in conventional accounting. Financial analysts may be asked to produce or, more likely, interpret ESG data as part of a transaction or the evaluation of an investment opportunity.

Financial analysts involved with green building largely work in the commercial real estate industry, and may work within financial institutions (e.g., banks, investment companies), within property and infrastructure companies (e.g., global real estate, asset management), within technical consultancies (e.g., firms whose line of business is focused on sustainability), and data companies (e.g., credit rating agencies).

Financial analysts may be asked to interpret ESG data with respect to regulations, policies, political situations, and economic trends. These circumstances and conditions change frequently and often vary from country-to-country. Consequently, financial analysts stay abreast of economic trends, investment strategies, and the expectations of government, advocates, and other market participants.

Increasingly, climate risk will be part of the risk and return assessments of many financial analysts. For example, with the newly enacted Local Law 97 in New York City, financial analysts will need to adjust their calculation of financial performance of any (green) building in the city. In another example, pension funds and other large institutional investors will increasingly require their analysts to consider the new wave of data assessing flood risk and other climate events in their assessments.

Role on a LEED project

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

How to become a financial analyst

Most financial analysts need a bachelor’s degree, often in business. Courses in accounting, economics, statistics, finance, mathematics, and business administration are usually advantageous. Important skills include quantitative analysis, investment strategy, data management, and written communication. Work experience usually is gained through internships and in-house training at financial institutions.

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