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Page Executive as a keynote speaker at the CFA conference
CFA profiles make up around 15-20% of my daily business as an executive consultant and this percentage may rise even more as there is enormous potential for career advancement if you are a CFA today. The push toward a CFA profile comes from two shifts, the shift in the banking landscape, and the shift in the skill sets that a CFA can offer.
Career opportunities are on the rise for CFA's
The banking landscape has significantly professionalized. Private Banking has transitioned from offshore to onshore banking. Banking secrecy has been exchanged for a more transparent structure and regulators in relevant countries are much stricter with compliance and risk restrictions.
Banks need to know where they can hunt, in which territories they can acquire business. They need to better understand their client needs in advance, which is encouraging more CFA candidates to move into sales, business development, and relationship management roles.
A winning CFA profile
CFA profiles have the qualification these Banks or Asset Manager are looking for. They understand the client’s portfolio better, and have the capacity to proactively approach the client and analyse or anticipate potential needs. This unique insight into what the client might need translates into defining the products that the bank should invest in.
The solutions and holistic understanding about the portfolio of a client is not something that can be understood with standard study, rather, it requires a skill set that is mainly found with a CFA education.
But having the required education is not the only factor to ensure a candidate’s successful placement. What I have noticed with many candidates, although they are very valid options is that they undersell themselves.
The landscape has becomes more competitive and your CV really is important. Do not be afraid to show the best of your experience – include data on your track record. If you are a portfolio manager, give indication of the benchmark, or as a Relationship Manager on the asset raised, be as specific as you can.
Your online presence
An ideal CFA candidate is a well-rounded professional. That means not only in your professional life but also in your social media. I had a recent case of a candidate that was in the final round of a job opportunity but was too open-minded to share weekend stories on the social media platform. Needless to say, that person missed out on that opportunity and was rejected.
Employers take into consideration your behavior in social media platforms so be careful how you communicate through LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Transparency is good but comes with its own risks in today’s climate.
You can improve your profile’s visibility compared to other candidates if you show that you have leadership capabilities through extra-curricular activities. Employers like interesting people with clear hobbies. If you are a president of a tennis club or are a private banker but also in a polo club, it gives an extra information that is valuable for clients.
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