The motivations behind acquiring the CFA® charter
I started working for a global investment bank in 2005. At the time, many of my colleagues had earned the CFA charter, which I perceived as a globally recognized certification. As a Ph.D. graduate in Economics from New York University, I had in mind the importance of a global certification such as the CFA charter. However, it was only after entering my current company that I was finally convinced to enter the CFA® Program. My company values CFA® charterholders for career promotions, and working as a mentor for younger employees, I felt it was my duty to pass the CFA exams to be able to better support them, which is how I became a CFA charterholder in 2017.
The advantages of earning the CFA charter
I had already started to see many advantages as I was studying for the exam. The process of passing the CFA program allowed me to acquire a more in-depth understanding of some of the financial products I was regularly working with. Furthermore, I gained more recognition within my company upon having earned the CFA charter, which expanded my field of work. For example, in addition to my sales activities, I also started to work as a bond product specialist, for which I believe my CFA charter played a great role.
Connecting companies to CFA Society Japan via "Ambassador activities"
Although the CFA charter had started to become a sine qua non condition for career promotions, my company didn’t hold many close ties with CFA Society Japan. I started working as an ambassador in order to become a bridge between the two organizations, also working on securing PIMCO Japan’s position as a corporate sponsor for CFA Society Japan. It also became a sponsor for the CFA Institute Research Challenge, an analysis, valuation, and reporting competition targeted toward university students. In addition to supporting the society’s activities, as a sponsor company it is also an opportunity to discover new potential talent to recruit, successfully creating a "win-win" environment.
The benefits of volunteer work, from a boost in personal motivation to changes in the company’s system
Besides my activities as an ambassador, I also volunteered in the research challenge as a grader. This allowed me to build a new network as I further strengthened my ties with CFA Society Japan. It was also stimulating to see other people’s activities in the process, and to see them step up along the way. This also directly affected my work, where I am now able to more easily explain the financial products I am in charge of and manage to acquire a broader perspective. Additionally, as I looked into increasing awareness around the CFA charter within my company, we are now organizing internal study meetings, which are also attended by company officers. We also managed to open an internal space of study for the exam in the Japan office, where people can also exchange information, a benefit which was so far only available in our company’s foreign offices.
The CFA charter: a "door opener"
The CFA charter is important in order to work worldwide. It also opens your hidden potential, acting as a door opener towards new opportunities, truly achieving the role of a universal key.
● What is the CFA Institute Research Challenge?
A financial analysis competition for university undergraduate and postgraduate students that comprises of Japan and Asia Pacific regional qualifying competitions before a final global competition.
Taking place completely in English, 2018’s Japan qualifying competition was contested by 19 teams from leading universities. The winners were the team from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. It’s a large event which involves many volunteers.