In Conversation With…Chetan Shah, CFA

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Chetan Shah CFA is Senior Portfolio manager with Religare Invesco and has worked with the Religare group since its foray into portfolio management services a little over 10 years ago. Prior to this he worked as analyst with various sell side firms and publication house for nearly 10 years. Chetan has seen the complete bull & bear cycle of the market both as fund manager as well as analyst. Higher scrutiny from the clients and regular interaction with them has made him a disciplined fund manager.

What are your views on the fund management industry with regards to scope, growth and job prospects?  How can CFA candidates take advantage of it?

Capital market industry is highly cyclical in nature with hiring happening at the peak of the indices and firing happening at the bottom. It can be brutal from the career point of view. Hence only if you are sufficiently motivated should you consider choosing this field. The opportunities if you stay put can be immense. The financial literacy is low. The savings in financial assets are low. The concept of financial advisory services is just beginning to take shape. This is the only industry which tells you to save and invest for the future as against other industries which make you consume your current income & capital. The industry is well regulated and is far better than 2 decades ago. CFA charter holders can take on the roles of analysts, fund managers, wealth managers, investment bankers, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, treasurer, investor relations officers, strategists etc.

How did CFA help in enhancing your career objectives?

CFA qualification is the most relevant for kind of work I do. Additionally its alumni network is strong and spread globally. This helps in sharing knowledge and networking across the world. The field of investment like most other fields is evolving. CFA Institute’s conferences, continuing education programmes & credits help you stay in touch with newer concepts be it highly mathematical models in derivatives or simpler behavioural sciences.

How would you rate the CFA course with respect to content and structure, including pros and cons? Also include aspects which give CFA course an edge over other courses.

CFA curriculum is very well designed and refreshed to stay relevant. Starting from the basics in level 1, to tools & valuations of various assets in level 2 and portfolio & wealth management in level 3, it covers all the areas of investment and finance. Over these 3 years sections on ethics and professional standards remain as common thread and shows importance CFA Institute and members place on the same.

What guidance you would give to CFA aspirants?

CFA designation is very well respected globally in the various sub-segments of capital markets. One need not take mid-career break to pursue this course. Neither does one need to spend a bomb nor leave home town for acquiring this global degree. One will surely benefit from CFA Charter.

Points noted above are personal views and not made on behalf of the employer organisation or on behalf of IAIP.

A part of Newsletter – Dec 2014

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