Online Job Descriptions for Front Office vs Back Office

When looking at job postings online, how can I tell if it is a front office job or a back office job? What specific words or phrases should I look for. I’ve listed some examples of job descriptions I found online. Are they correct in terms of B/O and F/O?


Capital Markets FInancial Analyst (Back Office?)

  • Assist in responding to Front Office queries and issues -effectively monitor, track, and complete tasks in a timely fashion
  • Pro-actively monitor all operational, valuation and risk management issues pertaining to the trading portfolios assigned

Associate (Front Office?)

  • Research, analyze and evaluate secondary and co-investment opportunities
  • Perform regular valuation analysis of private equity funds
  • Meet with fund managers and review past performance, strategy, outlook, industry issues, and other relevant topics as required

Sr Analyst (Back Office?)

  • Reviews daily/monthly/quarterly transactions and reporting
  • Assist Manager to develop and enhance the internal controls, monitoring procedures, reconcililations and reasonability checks; streamline, automate and enhance existing processes
  • Ability to identify and thoroughly investigate reporting discrepancies and determine appropriate course of action on a timely manner

Yup, 1 and 3 are back office and 2 is front office.

Basically anything that says “assist” and./ or “support” are back office or rarely very junior front office roles.

or admin

“Monitoring” and “Reporting” = Not front office

Hmmmm could be. I’ve seen some ER descriptions that say stuff like “monitoring companies in X sector”, “reporting to VP / MD”, “reporting on developments in X region” etc. I see where you’re going though, they can also definitely be used for a BO/MO description.

Front office = profit center. Back office = cost center. If you’re making a product (research) or service (I banking) that can be sold, that’s FO. If your work is not sold, that’s BO.



Basically if you are involved in actually making money for the firm= front office. Doing after the fact clerical/anything the company wishes it did not have to do but for regulatory legal reasons is back office. One exception to the assist may be an equity or fixed income research associate where you ASSIST the analyst in doing the money making, front office work. In Investment banking the junior role is the Analyst that works for the Associate banker and in buy side research the junior role is the research associate that works under the senior analyst. The former is sell-side the latter is buy-side. They make the money for each side for the most part. Don’t know of other areas of finance though.

^ You pretty much nailed it.