Contributed by: Kunal Sabnis, CFA and Rajni Dhameja, CFA
CFA Institute and Indian Association of Investment Professionals (IAIP) held its Career Day and Networking event on 23 August 2016 in Mumbai. The event saw record participation from CFA charterholders and new Level III pass-outs or charter pendings (CPs).
Paul Smith, CFA, President & CEO, CFA Institute; Nick Pollard, MD, CFA Institute, APAC; Sunil Singhania, CFA, Member of the Board of Governors, CFA Institute; Jayesh Gandhi, CFA, President, IAIP and Vidhu Shekhar, CFA, Country Head, CFA Institute India unveiled the India Career Guide which features 26 charterholders. Every CFA charterholder has his or her own story to tell; no two is alike. The guide outlines their career path and their message to future investment industry professionals.
In what was an insightful and impactful evening, four panel discussions were also held; one each on investment banking, wealth management, brokerages / sell-side, and asset management. The moderators and panelists covered the hiring trends in each of these sectors, key skills and attributes required in candidates, industry challenges, and the path going forward.
Excerpts from the panel discussions…
Investment Banking and Alternate Investments
Nalin Moniz, CFA, Founder, Forefront Capital Management Pvt. Ltd.
Valued skills – Intelligence quotient, emotional quotient and passion for investing
Nalin believes that the ability to network is very important and CFA Institute events offer the best opportunity to so. He said that networking is a great way to generate business but one should only talk to potential investors after he/she knows the other person well.
Bhavesh Shah, CFA, Managing Director, JM Financial Ltd.
Valued skills – People and networking skills, ability to ideate
In investment banking and M&A, people skills are very important since at times deals have to be after understanding company or business group needs. Ideating the deal and networking ability are the most important traits. Investment banking involves a lot of grunt work at the start of the career which is the foundations for future success. Bhavesh prefers to hire MBAs from top business schools who have the CFA charter as a second qualification or are pursing CFA.
Bhadra Kanaiya, CFA, Executive Director, Euromax Capital
Valued Skills – People skills
Bhadra rates people skills as the most important one to be successful in investment banking. He believes that through better people skills, successful and long lasting relationships can be built enabling consistent flow of information. Since there are many moving parts to a deal, right information gives an edge.
Gajendra Kothari, CFA, Managing Director & CEO, Etica Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd.
Valued Skills – Understanding the investor and long term horizon
Financial illiteracy is high in the retail segment and there is a need to empower investor. Initially, hand holding is required to make the investor understand and comfortable about the investment process. Business targets given by firms to their employees create conflict of interest, which is why he does not give business targets but rates his employees on the number of happy investors they have nurtured.
Rohit Rebello, CFA, India Risk Manager, Wealth & Investment Management Barclays Bank Plc.
Rohit believes that the perception of wealth management has undergone a drastic change. Earlier, seen as product sellers, wealth management professionals have are now taking a more holistic approach.
Hansi Mehrotra, CFA, Editor, Money Management India
Valued Skills – Empathy
Describing her career journey, Hansi gave a sense of various profiles in the wealth management industry. Professionals who are good at people skills will be extremely successful in a people-facing roles while others have wide array of choices from research to operations.
Rajendra Kalur, CFA, Director & CEO, TrustPlutus Wealth Managers (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Valued Skills – Long term horizon, trust, and empathy
Wealth management professionals should build personal relationships with each of their investors. Rajendra targets those who are successful but don’t have time to invest their money. Today, wealth management has evolved and investors have started taking advice on trans-generational planning. Rajendra is keen to hire CFA charterholders as he believes that it improves compliance and reduces training costs.
Brokerage / Sell-side
Saurabh Mukherjea, CFA, CEO – Institutional Equities, Ambit Capital Pvt. Ltd.
Valued Skills – Intelligence, integrity, hard work and element of pro-activity
An analyst has to cultivate an ability to view information in the global context. Squeeze on black money has reduced the investment in gold and real estate and is benefitting the wealth management industry. A good company and good investment opportunity may not co-exist each time and an analyst should always understand the difference.
Amit Khurana, CFA, Head of Equities and Head of Research, Dolat Capital
Valued Skills – Analytical skills, inquisitiveness, integrity
Amit explained the evolution of the sell side industry. In the 90s, the entire industry was very raw and evolving. Then came the massive rally from 2004 to 2008 followed by the global financial crisis. The current phase is more evolved and robust in the industry life cycle. The CFA Program curriculum gives great depth of knowledge and analytical ability to a candidate wanting to make a career in this industry.
Gaurav Jaitly, CFA, Head of Equities, Goldman Sachs India
Valued Skills – Domain knowledge, sales and communication skills, and market understanding
Sell side analysts generally focus on a single sector and can be at times myopic in their thinking. A successful analyst should be able to analyse different moving parts and should be able to estimate the impact on the sectors and securities tracked.
Nilanjan Das, CFA, Director, Asset & Wealth Management, Deutsche CIB Centre Pvt Ltd
Valued Skills – Quantitative ability, good communication, integrity, and passion for markets
In today’s world, information flow is quite immense and an analyst should be able to connect the dots. An analyst should have a broad mind set and one way to achieve the same is through the CFA charter.
Asset management / Buy side
Ravi Gautham, CFA, Senior Vice President, The Northern Trust Company
Valued Skills – Understanding clients needs
Similar to wealth management, buy-side role requires understanding clients needs. CFA charter lends credibility to the candidate during the hiring process as well as in the career.
Navneet Munot, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, SBI Mutual Fund
Valued Skills – Long term view
An analyst or fund manager needs to have his/her own perspective and this perspective has to be built by ground work. CFA Program is a vast body of knowledge and continuing education is very essential. It greatly benefits a young professional to have a mentor in the industry.
Sampath Reddy, CFA,Sampath Reddy, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Ltd.
Valued Skills – Research and analytical ability
Similar to the sell side, a buy-side analyst needs to articulate well. Company and sector understanding, ratio analysis and valuation skills are most important while hiring.
Sunil Singhania, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Reliance Mutual Fund
Valued Skills – Numerical ability, and originality
Networking is very important in buy-side industry and favourites are made in the first three to four interactions. Hence it is necessary for a professional to put his/her best foot forward and build a good impression. What you want to do and what you read shapes the kind of professional you become.
-KS & RD