What Is a Client Services Associate?

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A client services associate works in the financial or wealth management industry. Client services associates function as sales associates and are referred to as brokerage clerks, depending on the employer. These associates provide administrative and client support to financial advisers. Common tasks include providing clients with quotes, recording investment trades, building and tracking portfolios, computing charges and providing general customer assistance.

General Duties

Client services associates work with financial securities, including stocks, bonds and commodities, supporting the investments of the hiring firm's customers. A client services associate prepares orders relating to buying and selling stocks and calculates the associated brokerage fees, transfer taxes and commissions. Other duties include preparing receipts and other forms, along with general administrative tasks such as filing and copying.

Registered Client Services Associates

Client services associates work for investment advisers but they don't provide investment advice. Since there's a fine line between accepting client orders for securities transactions and providing investment advice, investment firms have strict rules to protect their clients and ensure compliance with federal security exchange commission regulations. As one example, UBS Financial Services Inc. requires that client services associates register with the appropriate administrative bodies in the states in which they operate before accepting any client orders.

Skills and Abilities

Client services associates assist financial advisers and clients in solving problems, setting up new accounts and answering questions about services or the status of orders. To successfully accomplish these duties, associates must have strong written and verbal communication skills. Client services associates should recognize the importance of speaking clearly and politely at all times when representing the firm. Skills in social perception help to keep each client satisfied with the work of the firm's investment team. Client services associates also should have strong math, time management and critical thinking skills.

Education and Outlook

Client services associates might get a foot in the door without a full bachelor's degree, but some college courses in business and economics are typically required. According to O*Net, client services associates or brokerage clerks earned a median salary of $45,450 in 2012. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth through 2022 at only 3 to 7 percent, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.