FRM Value

Hi guys,

I’m looking for some advice on whether the FRM designation would be a worthwhile endeavour for me. I have an accounting background (CA/CPA in Canada) and am hoping to pass the L3 CFA exam next June. I’m still early in my career - my goal for the next five years is to continue learning as much as possible, after which time my focus will shift to finding a job that fits best with long term goals.

In your opinion, does the FRM program provide a foundation of knowledge that would be useful for any CFO to understand and employ in managing a business, or is it very specific and unlikely to be useful outside of a select few industries/roles?

Thanks in advance, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.


The FRM is a great complement to the CFA because it dives deeper in areas of financial risk management than the CFA. However, it might be harder for you given your CPA background than the CFA because FRA is a HUGE part of the CFA curriculum but non-existent for the FRM. That said, if your goal is to “continue learning as much as possible”, then the FRM is a great opportunity to learn concentrated practical material in an accelerated way.

I think the FRM is more applicable to someone that manages the day-to-day operations of the firm, such as the COO (or CRO, obviously). However, there may be more suitable and easier accreditations than the FRM, such as the PRM or CAIA, depending on what your business trajectory is. Note that the PRM offers exam exemptions for CFA chartholders, so you’d only have to take 2/4 exams to get that accreditation.

Thanks for your comments. I’m not overly concerned with difficulty of the program, just want to make sure if I invest a few hundred hours in doing it that the knowledge is broad enough to be useable outside of a purely risk management officer type role.

The answer is yes. The skills you learn for the FRM are useful outside risk management because every decision you make is a risk adjusted one. It is useful to know the potential for loss and gain in the decisions you make, the different risks you face how that affects the big picture.

I think FRM is a value addition to any finance role however CPA and CFA is enough to rule CFO position. CFO needs risk management advice in many areas hence he becoming specialized in that will not result in high significance!

I think you have enough to rule the position of CFO so cheers!!!

I would add that it depends what industry you plan to work in long term. In financial services, the FRM overlaps a ton, whereas a manufacturing business (and potentially many others), not so much.