Working in the financial industry often requires certain prerequisites, ranging from bachelors degrees through to top end financial qualifications.
Since working alongside international financial institutions, we have seen which qualifications are more prevalent within the working environment; two that regularly pop up are the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
After researching each, there are similarities between them and it seems that people with real ambition within the sector will have one or the other.
To understand which would suit you, it is important to fully appreciate what each has to offer.
CISI Chartered Wealth Manager
The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) are the “largest and most widely respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK”.
The Chartered Wealth Manager qualification is a level 7 qualification (equivalent to a Masters degree) which gives successful candidates knowledge on a breadth of investment issues.
Previously known as the CISI Masters in Wealth Management, the course is generally completed between 18-24 months and is written and developed by practitioners for practitioners.
Having this qualification is the mark of an up to date, experienced and qualified financial industry professional. It shows that candidates are willing to work to the highest standards in wealth management and are committed to the levels of professionalism that are expected within the industry.
The CFA Program is again a level 7 qualification that leads onto becoming fully CFA chartered. CFA charter is considered as the “gold standard” among the financial services by both The Economist and The Financial Times.
This graduate program offers a curriculum focussing specifically on investment knowledge and, similarly to the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager, was created and is regularly adjusted by current CFA charterholders.
The course can be completed between 2-5 years, although on the shorter course lengths there is a high drop out rate showing the difficulties completing it within a reduced time frame. It consists of three units each with 300 hours of expected study.
The curriculum covers advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. The qualification is highly regarded and professionals recognise the difficulties associated with achieving this highly coveted status.
But which is better?
Similarities are clear between both the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager and the CFA Program; both show commitment, professionalism and an ability to excel within the financial sector.
Whether one eclipses the other is a hard thing to say, through extensive work in finance we have met people with both, and both have the upmost respect for the other qualification.
It seems the deciding factor is in fact the role that you would be doing, or want to do in the future. Some companies do have a clear preference between the two, so if you have your mind set on one particular company, it is worth checking what they prefer.
If wealth management is where you feel your future lies, then we believe the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager qualification will give you the better experience and chance of achieving your dream role. If however, investment is your calling card, then the CFA Program will stand you in great stead.
Overall, having either of the qualifications shows a passion for finance and a real drive and motivation to achieve in the industry. If you are serious about developing your career then financial qualifications can really help put you a cut above the rest.
Make sure you do thorough research and if you have any questions, or would be interested in carving a successful career in finance, then get in touch with a member of our team.