Voice of Volunteers Katsura Nakayama

Voice of CFA Charterholders

The CFA charter for an "enriched life"
PIFA Partners, Inc
Katsura Nakayama, CFA
Earned the CFA charter in 2003
Broader knowledge requirements leading to the CFA® charter

During my previous career at a foreign investment bank, I moved to a division where we engaged in the business of purchasing nonperforming assets Japanese financial institutions held overseas. The experience in handling various assets such as real estate located in the US, real estate investment trust (REIT), bank loans, LP and other funds incentivized me to acquire more comprehensive financial knowledge. I was already a charter member of the Securities Analysts Association of Japan, but those new requirements motivated me in becoming a CFA® charterholder, as well as an AICPA member.

Discovering the benefits of a globally recognized certification

When I became a CFA charterholder, I was involved in managing credit-linked notes for the bank I was working with at the time. We had conducted many meetings with the issuer and sell-side analysts, but I clearly felt they had a different attitude toward me once I earned the CFA charter. I felt the value a worldwide certification carried, to the point where I felt my whole company’s recognition as an investor had grown. While my current role mostly involves translation of finance related content, the CFA® designation greatly helps me to verify that I am a competent translator not only with my English skills, but also with my financial expertise.

Kickstarting the CFA Society Japan’s translation group

I have been a member of Translation Group since its launch. Currently the Group’s translation activities include regular translation of the topics such as asset management, pensions, governance, or blockchain from English to Japanese and then posting them on the CFA Society Japan website blog. Other activities involve ad hoc translation and proofreading of the reports mainly featured in CFA Institute Magazine.

Increasing "financial literacy" - the value behind volunteer translation work

Most of the translation requests we receive are for some of the most recent topics, which we get to read about ahead of anyone, allowing us to learn a lot from outside our fields of expertise. Communicating the abstruse financial subjects containing technical words in plain Japanese is critical to enhance Japanese financial literacy. Through the translation activities as a member of Translation Group, I realize the CFA charterholders should play a significant role in improving Japanese financial knowledge. Furthermore, the activities provide me good opportunities to interact with professionals, which enriches my personal life outside of ordinary business.

The CFA charter for an "enriched life"

Due to its level of awareness, I believe the CFA charter’s biggest benefit is the ability to garner a high level of trust from various people in the industry, both in Japan and overseas. The ability to be involved with the society’s seminars and CFA Institute Research Challenge, and interacting with specialists and members of younger generations, is also beneficial for personal development. Finally, engaging with highly skilled professionals through volunteer activities provides yet another pleasure in addition to work, with the potential of making for a more enriched life.

● What is the Translation Group?

Translating the CFA Institute’s English language blog and timely event information that is posted in English. These translations are shared by e-mail and in a triannual newsletter.

● 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.

To know more about CFA charter
A global certification in the finance industry
A certification for investment professionals
The certification with the largest number of applicants
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