In Conversation With…Rohit Rebello, CFA

Rohit Rebello

Rohit Rebello, CFA is Director & Head of Risk with Barclays Bank, Wealth and Investment Management (WIM) India Division. From 2003 to 2009, Rohit worked with Citibank with responsibility for credit risk management and at various times, covered SME’s, mid-market and large corporate companies. From 2001 to 2003, Rohit was part of the team that set up Global Trade Finance (GTF), an International JV focused on cross border trade finance. Rohit started his career with the Tata Group in 1998 as a management trainee in the Corporate Finance Division of Tata Finance Ltd. (TFL).

How do you view the Investment management industry with regards to scope, growth and job prospects? How can CFA charter holders take advantage of it?

The Indian investment industry and even the financial sector in general, is small by international standards, however the potential for growth is huge. India is a country of savers but with a historic penchant for hard assets, namely gold and real estate as a means of wealth preservation. I am of the belief that the financialisation of our economy is in its early stages and as the country develops, there will increasingly be a preference for various types of financial assets as a means to create and preserve wealth. On the other hand, India will continue to be a destination for knowledge right-shoring due to its abundant talent pool.   

The above shifts will provide fulfilling and high growth financial jobs in the country and the CFA program is one of the most well positioned to equip candidates with the right skills to capture the opportunity. Additionally, the CFA Charter has global acceptability which provides you with an additional ‘call option’ on your career should you want to work outside India.

How did CFA help in enhancing your career objectives?

After earning my Chartered Accountant (CA) designation, I worked at a finance company in Mumbai, and became intrigued by the complexity of capital markets. Curiosity developed into fascination but I soon realised there was a gap in my understanding of market concepts and its working. The CFA program ticked all the boxes to bridge this gap – it had great content, allowed flexibility for working and learning and was internationally renowned. While enrolled in the CFA program I found that I could directly apply understanding gained from the curriculum at my job on a daily basis, which was exciting and reinforced the overall learning experience. The knowledge that I gained helped me earn my first position in a multinational company.

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

The CFA curriculum strengthens your knowledge of the entire discipline of investment valuation and portfolio management and has a great combination of knowledge and preparation for real life work.  The practicality aspect of the program is unmatched; each learning outcome brings you a bit closer to the goal of being aware of all aspects of your investment environment. Because ethics is central to the CFA Institute service to the global investment community, CFA Institute members answer to a higher standard. The importance of this aspect of the program is often realised only in hindsight.    

The benefit of the CFA designation accrues over a career, rather than a day or even a year and passing exams is just a starting point. A CFA charterholder has access to rich Continuing Education (CE) content both from the Institute and the local Society, towards enhancing his or her expertise in a chosen specialisation.

What guidance you would give to CFA aspirants?

Successfully completing the three levels of examination is a formidable challenge. Recommended average study time in preparation for successful completion of each level of the exam is a minimum of 250 hours with substantially more depending on individual circumstances. The key to success is three P’s – Patience, Perseverance and Preparation!

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

A part of Newsletter – Mar 2015

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