FSRM associate passes the FRM Level 1 Exam

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FSRM associate Kim Charmaine Cortez passed the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Level 1 Exam last November 2013, making it to the top 25% of global examinees.

Offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals since 1997, the FRM program requires the successful completion of a rigorous two-part, practice-oriented examination, two years’ related work experience and voluntary continuing education. The Level 1 Exam is four hours long, consisting of 100 multiple choice questions. It covers the tools used to assess financial risk: quantitative analysis, fundamental risk management concepts, financial markets and products as well as valuation and risk models.

Kim dealt with many of these topics and saw how they are applied since joining FSRM two years ago. The scope of her work includes various market and credit risk as well as valuation of derivatives and structured products for clients in industries such as telecommunications, commerce and banking or financial services. She has also conducted an actuarial audit engagement for an Indonesian insurance company, in which she reviewed and tested the appropriateness of the actuarial assumptions, actuarial reserves and the Liability Adequacy Test.

In addition to all that relevant experience, she read a chapter or two after work and took a few weeks of leave before the exam in order to focus. “You have to make sure that you really want it because it’s not easy, especially with the busyness in SGV,” she advises. “You just need to set a definite study schedule and then have the discipline to follow it.” She also encourages fellow aspiring FRMs to keep taking many sample exams until they can get a perfect score in all of them.

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Applied Mathematics, major in Mathematical Finance and minor in Economics, from the Ateneo de Manila University, Kim is one of the many non-CPAs and non-lawyers in SGV’s client-serving staff. Her projects in college included modelling market data using statistical tools like GARCH and PCA. She graduated as a scholar with honorable mention and received the Social Relevance Effort of the Year award for heading Mathsaya, a three-day mathematics seminar for public high school students in Metro Manila. As a volunteer for Pathways to Higher Education, she mentored high school students in Math and led other volunteers in house visits to identify deserving but financially underprivileged families.

Congratulations, Kim!