Congratulations to our CFA Level 2 exam passers!

Senior associates Danielle Christopher de Jesus, Ferdinand Magnayon, Victor Lorenz Ng and Emilfredo Ong from the Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM) group recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 2 exam.

From left: Victor Lorenz Ng, Ferdinand Magnayon, Danielle Christopher de Jesus, and Emilfredo Ong

Offered by the CFA Institute, the CFA program is a globally recognized self-study program for investment professionals. Passing the three-level CFA exam series on 10 subject areas, as well as meeting professional and ethical requirements, will earn candidates the designation of CFA charterholder. The Level 2 exam emphasizes more complex analysis, along with a focus on valuing assets. At least six months of preparation for each exam level is recommended and successful candidates take an average of four years to complete the program.

Since successfully completing the Level 1 exam in December 2013, the passers have been promoted and therefore given more responsibility in the Firm. Their increasing workload may have taken up more of their time, but that did not stop them from continuing in the program. Instead, they applied a different strategy in preparing for the exam while working. “Work always took priority, although the experience did help me prepare,” DJ admits. “If anything, I focused on items like ethics, equity, economics and financial reporting analysis, and less on topics that we always encountered at work. By focusing on these big items, I was able to pass.”

While work in FSRM exposes candidates to many of the topics covered in the exam, Victor realized that his learnings in the CFA program are also suited for engagements involving Transaction Advisory Services (TAS). He explains, “There had been multiple instances where a collaboration of TAS and FSRM is needed to fulfill the needs of an engagement. In this regard, I’m able to combine what I’ve learned in the CFA curriculum and my FSRM experience to have a more holistic view of these specific engagements.” He also recommends the Financial Risk Manager program offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals for his colleagues in FSRM.

The passers advise those aiming for the same certification to prepare early. In fact, Ferdinand encourages them to go beyond that. “Preparation is key. Be over-prepared, if possible,” he says. To maximize the preparation time, Emil has three steps: “Start early, create a study plan and form a study group.” He also emphasizes the need to constantly communicate with their managers or counselor in order to balance work and study time. Most importantly, as the CFA program would require candidates to invest a lot of their time and even finances, the passers assert that they must be sure that it is the right program for them and that it is aligned with their future goals.

Well done! We wish you all the best on the remainder of your CFA journey.