Congratulations to our CFA, FRM and SOA passers!

Twelve SGVeans recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam, Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Level 1 and 2 exams, and Society of Actuaries (SOA) P/1 and P/2 exams.

Associates Patricia Louise Barretto, Krystel Shayne Castro, Elaine Isabelle Franco, Kenneth Limosnero, Odessa Shayne Rosario, Hector Genesis Salatan, Larisa Jane Salaysay, Mary Joyce Anne Sierra and Irsyad Kautzar Stamboel passed the CFA Level 1 exam, while Kenneth Limosnero and Senior Associates Vince Aguilar and Emilfredo Ong passed the FRM Level 1 and 2 exams, respectively. Associate Wayne James Fuentes passed the SOA P/1 exam, while Associate Vincent Paulo Ty passed the SOA P/2 exam.

The passers believe that aside from furthering their personal and career development, taking such exams will have a significant impact on their contributions to the Firm. For Mary Joyce and Patricia Louise, sharing the knowledge with others will benefit both the Firm and its people. “I would also be able to pass down knowledge and experience to others and together we could deliver excellent outputs and results,” says Patricia. For Elaine, the experience was inspiring. “This achievement made me more motivated to accept more challenging engagements because it gave me further appreciation and understanding for the work being done in the firm,” she shares.

The passers each had their own strategies in preparing for the exam while juggling work, and they were allowed to take time off a few weeks before the exam to focus on studying. “I started preparing months before the exam which allowed me to manage my study time,” Odessa recalls. Hector notes, “I study smart, instead of studying hard. I follow the Pareto principle of efficiency which helps me in identifying the more important topics to focus on. This saves me a lot of energy and time so I can do other things.” Finally, to be able to balance work with preparing for the exams, help is needed from those who have been in the same situation. Emilfredo mentioned that constant communication with his managers and counselor helped him maintain a balance between working and studying, while Vincent specifically sought the advice of his senior manager on what to do to prepare for the exam.

The passers credit their educational backgrounds, as well as their work in Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM), with giving them an advantage. “My work in FSRM helped me to understand the basic concepts and terms in my curriculum. Therefore, I had a lighter load to study,” Irsyad observed. A new hire during the preparation period, Wayne shared how his teammates’ understanding of what he was going through helped and supported him.

Given how long it usually takes to pass all the CFA, FRM and SOA levels, aspirants may be hesitant to even start. Vince advises, “Always be faithful and never be afraid. Faith is trusting in the good; fear is putting your trust in the bad.” Candidates are also advised to savor the journey. “Strive hard, study smart, and enjoy the learning throughout the journey,” Larisa adds. Lastly, remember that hard work is always rewarded. Kenneth avers, “Taking and passing the exam is not an indication of intelligence but a result of hard work.”

The continuing relevance of certifications and special studies will be discussed during the 10th FSRM Academy scheduled in July 2017 as part of the group’s immersion and deepening modules. FSRM Leader Ian Lauron (CGL) shared that FSRM’s strategic redirection is ongoing, starting with the integration of risk, finance and quantitative disciplines to the incorporation of computational and data sciences across sectors. “We will continue to ‘scan the market’ for applicable certifications, propose changes to university curricula, if needed, and make sure that what we are doing are useful for our clients and meaningful for our people,” CGL said.

Good job, everyone! We wish you all the best on the remainder of your CFA, FRM and SOA journey.