CFA at Emerging Markets

Hey friends, its already known that CFA alone in developed countries doesnt help to break into IB and PE, but what about in Brazilian mkt and another EMs? I know our M&A and IPO mkt are tiny. However we have Just 500 chartholders. So CFA can be a edge?

The lack of Charterholders cuts both ways. Sure, you’ll be unique. But you’ll be much less likely to find a Charterholder to hire you.

or you only have 500 folks to beg for a job :wink:

I was in Brazil and tried to see if my CFA would help down there. I’ve lived there, know the culture, speak the language. The response I got is that the CFA helps, but not enough people really know about it for it to make a huge difference.

They told me there are fewer traditional fundamental funds as a proportion when compared to the US, which are the sorts that value the CFA the most. There are proportionately more macro type funds,which is probably the legacy of unstable currency exchange rates from the 1980s affecting the mindset of how to manage money. There are also more quant type funds, which is a reflection of Brazil’s pro-science and technology culture. Neither of these approaches really benefit greatly from the CFA anyway.

When fundamental analysis does come into play, it seems to me it is more about the types of knowledge that comes from personal connections - the sorts of things that might count as insider trading here in the states, but which are either not illegal or almost impossible to enforce in Brazil.

Even more than in they US, it seems that the key to getting into financial services in Brazil (other than in pure sales roles) is to have family connections to someone already in the industry, or perhaps school networks (to a more limited extent). As you probably know, that’s kind of the way everything works in Brazil anyway, where families are much more cohesive and important social units.

The guys I talked to did say that the value of the CFA charter is growing over time, but it’s not as recognized as it is in the developed world.

Crazyman here at AF is Brazilian, I believe, works there, and might have a different perspective.

I mostly agree with Bchad.

My perspective differs only in which I think CFA is getting much more recognition in the past few years. In 2010, Brazil had about 300 charterholders. Last year alone it got 90 something new ones.

At least in Sao Paulo, it seems that the charter is highly valued by anybody that works in AM, PWM or even candidates for any certification. I’ve seen experienced professionals look intimidated just from seeing my books. People with top local master’s often see CFA as a next, better step. Take my opinions with a grain of salt though. This is all highly anedoctal evidence. I haven’t looked for job in a few years and I didn’t even finish the procedures to get the actual charter.

As Bchad pointed out, we don’t have many fundamental funds here. However, I believe a a charterholder gets some edge to get into other types of funds. It shows you’re disciplined and have a decent amount of finance knowledge, like in the US. And, unlike in the US, here aren’t many CFAs yet. Currently, I think the charter is stronger here than in the US, but networking may be even more important than there as well.

I just noticed OP is looking specifically for IB and PE. Check out my next message.

This is also also highly anedoctal. From what I’ve seen, in Brazil you don’t usually need IB if you want to work in AM later on - you can often go straight to AM. I don’t see that same US/WSO tradition of 2+2 and only then you can finally do what you really want to do.

I think CFA will be more helpful than in the US, but it won’t be a big factor. I’m not sure if that’s the case for PE as well.

CFA can be an edge, but maybe not a crucial one. It earns more respect for junior professionals and sometimes even for more experienced ones.

If you’re starting to study for the CFA, I highly recommend you join a prep course. Not because they help that much, but because you’ll start building a good network. If possible, take saturday classes, so you’ll have lunch with your fellow candidates - you’ll know them better that way. You’ll help each other through your studies and, hopefully, through your careers as well.

I searched and found a bunch of CFA’s of Brazil on LinkedIn, most, (~20%) are doing fine at IB’s

Thanks for great responses

I read that in Thailand in many companies/roles CFA is a requirement for employment.

^ If they say CFA required, it’s a lazy way to filter out candidates.