CFA in Wealth Management/Private Banking

Anyone on here currently working in these fields? I would be interested in hearing from people around why they chose to pursue becoming a charterholder, how they believe it will (or has) assisted them in serving clients and how they believe it will (or has) assisted them in their career progression.

Would be interested in hearing from people in the Private Banking business as well.!! thx

Is the CFP an important credential here compared to the CFA?

i would be very upset if i had to ever do the CFP. some of my colleagues are writing it and i saw it and got very turned off.

stern, I think it depends on the firm. I’ve seen some companies that put the bios of all their managers on there, and one had 15 guys all with the CFP (I guess it was required). But that seemed to be kind of an exception.

From my personal perspective, CFP type people do not like CFA people, they think CFA is somewhat quant and technica (personal exp).

My friend who is in wealth management has his CFP and is currently doing the CFA. If you ask him what’s more relevant to his job, his answer is the CFP. The CFA is just that glamourous paper on the wall that gives him that extra edge and credibility to those who know nothing.

I work in private wealth for an RIA. We do “wealth management” for HNW clients, so we do the financial planning and investment management. My boss, the owner of the firm, is a CFP, CIMA, AIFA. I just passed L3 and will be the only CFA in the firm. My boss definitely does not dislike that I’ll be a CFA. Its a big marketing feature for the firm too. I handle most, if not all, of the investment decisions. Our portfolios are mostly passive which means the majority of the work is determining risk tol, asset allocation, asset location, managing the model, etc. Also do the due diligence on the alternatives we use. The CFA obviously helps a ton here. Our service model is to handle each client as a team. Being the young guy, I end up doing most of the work including a lot of the financial planning. So I am still required to know that side of the business. For example, in a client meeting last week I went from explaining the 3-factor model to explaining why it makes sense for the client to do a DB plan for his $750K in 1099 income. I’ll sit for the CFP either next March or June. As far as career progression, I’ve really cemented myself as the go-to investment guy for as long as I stay. I may end up going completely to the investment management side as my days are getting busier and busier. If I go somewhere else, I think the CFA carries a lot of weight in the wealth management business.

I have worked in wealth management as a PM for the private bank of one of the major banks. Levels 1&2 do not help much in performing the job itself. I found level 3 to be very useful for this job. Obtaining the CFA charter is valued much more than CFP from what I have personally witnessed. I often find that the people in this field that go CFP are often those that could not get passed L1 of the CFA. I don’t think it hurts to do CFP too though. A lot of people do both, and that’s what I plan to do. It is univerally considered far easier. To sum it up, I would consider the CFA a necessity for a young person seeking to advance in the particular field you have named. You can then sit for the CFP and be a double threat. To answer your other question, passing L2 definetely helped my career progression. My previous firm put it on par with an MBA. They had specific criteria for each PM pay level, and CFA level of completion was a component. I think you’ll find a bias in whatever certification program people have personally chosen. Thus, if the senior managers in your firm are CFP guys, that’s what they will value. The same is true for the CFA.

I know places like BMO Harris and RBC Private Banking are really pushing for the CFA crowd. And if you have something like a MBA, CFA or a CFP, CFA you will probably do even better. Willy

What area of the country are you at Unit?

Walleye, I’m in Michigan.

I’m in Toronto, Canada. Willy

i think i’ll start applying to these places…

Good stuff. They money is pretty decent or I should say the quality of life ratio is pretty good. Willy

Quality of life ratio is great. I work 8 - 5 or 5:30. On Fridays, I’m out of here no later than 2. No weekends. Travel once in awhile but its always schmoozing clients or having people schmooz you. The money is decent; probably not as much as I can get elsewhere but overall I can’t complain.

No I would agree. My good buddy works for BMO Harris and believe me, he’s no Rhodes Scholar. He earned his CFA but aside from the Charter and his undergrad in Commerce, he’s just a regular guy…who earns $100,000 basically managing clients. Willy

At your larger Banks, many want the relationship managers, or whatever they call the client schmoozers, to have the CFP. Portfolio managers need the CFA. Being a private bank relatinoship manager is great - if you like hanging out with (sucking up to) rich people and you are good at relationship selling. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a nice gig for folks that have the right skills.

Willy, how is everything going anyways? i’m trying for the APm at TDW PIC, but i’ll have to see how that goes. What do you think.

Here’s my 2cents on Wealth Management. I’ve pretty much worked with HNW clients for the past 6 years now at Buyside firms, and I’ve interviewed for a few of these positions and I’ve noticed that many of these large Banks, Trust companies and boutique shops are valuing the CFP more so than the CFA, especially over the past couple of years. I recently passed L3 and a couple of the interviews I’ve been on asked me why I chose the CFA over the CFP. My response is typically that I committed the CFA program a few years ago (about 4 years ago) and that at the time the CFP was not emphasized in the industry as it is now. Also, my passion has always been with investments. With that said, I feel that the main reason which pretty much only pertains to the Private Wealth Management world is that many of these shops want their reps to be well versed in other aspects of financial planning such as estate planning, taxation, trusts, insurance etc. and not only investments. Further, these Banks and Trust companies want you to be able cross sell other products and services other than managing investments to HNW clients. Its a highly competitive environment and firms with a higher level of service and product offerings will have competitive advantage. Also, I feel that with only 1 exam as opposed to 3 for CFA the costs are much more minimal to firms and that CFP encompasses much more in addition to investments. My conclusion from my experience is that the industry is moving to this model for PWM and HNW clients. My goal is to take the CFP in March and try to get a leg up in this portion of the Investment world. I think a CFA, CFP combo will be just as valuable as CFA, MBA combo. Am I saying the CFA is obsolete? No way, the PM portion of the exam esp on L3 provides alot of value in terms of real world knowledge in PWM. The CFA in my opinion will always be the definitive designation for Investment analysis over the mba and other designations including the CFP. Like everyone on this board, i’ve shed alot of blood, sweat and tears for the CFA. My desire is to be known primarily as an investment expert who is able to work as a financial planner. Hopefully, in a year from now, I’ll have CFA, CFP designation behind my name (CFA being first). Hope this helps.