Have a go please. I know this is a tough crowd and your views will have elements of the harsh truth. I will respect that.
I just returned to Toronto only this time with a level 2 pass and some experience in Transaction Advisory Services. Previously while in Toronto my experience consisted of mainly back office related work.
Applying to back office with this resume gets me no where (since I’m willing to do anything in the meantime). The CFA journey and direction has been brought in to spotlight many times during interviews, [i.e. Investor Relations position interview at CITCO recently. Yes, I have the related experience but I got dropped because the manager/ directors thought I’m headed in another direction].
Applying to Treasury/ Front Office/ Research/ Investment Analyst etc etc does not even grant me any acknowledgement. I rightfully respect that and expected that with the way Toronto market is and the nature of the competition etc etc.
The next niche I tried with was the likes of DBRS, Moody’s, S&P global market intelligence, TMX group etc. Nothing from DBRS and Moody’s but a call each from the latter two. S&P regarding Business Development (for their products) and TMX - Issuer services (which later got cancelled; the position).
BMO-Private Banking interview me for a Portfolio Manager Assistant role as well. Which is basically a bitch boy (doing account openings and documentations for HNW clients). Position got awarded to internal candidate.
As you can see my dilemma;
back office experience but with the words CFA L3 Candidate --> hard to get back in to back office.
CFA route but no major relevant experience (except for the Transaction Advisory role in Saudi) --> hard to get into CFA related finance roles.
I’m not saying I am die-hard desperately trying to get in to the most demanding roles such as IB, research etc. But what about the other finance roles? What about being a credit analyst at ratings agencies? etc
Ultimately, I have the option of going back to Pakistan where getting in IB and eq research is much easier. How does that help? I personally know a guy who did just that for several years in Pakistan and then went to Saudi Arabia to become the Head of Portfolio Strategy for one of the largest Investment Management firms in Saudi. Easily raking in $20000 a mth tax free.
I also have the option of going to Dubai (next year). If anyone’s out there in Dubai that would also like to chime in, please do so.