Designations and certifications help get your profile noticed by the high-rewards alternative asset management industry. Hedge funds and private equity firms control almost USD 2 trillion in assets under management in 2010.
Job seekers often ask how they can attract favorable attention from these employers. Some managing partners still accept (brief) calls from enthusiastic professionals with a commitment to growing a career in this sector. Earning a designation gains the positive attention of principals and human resources partners at these maverick firms:
1. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)designation remains the favorite in analyst and regulatory credentials with hedge funds and private equity firms. In addition, the designations recapped here garner positive attention for candidates seeking an entry or better opportunity in alternative assets.
2. Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA) designation program offers more flexibility to students. Exams may be scheduled any Thomson-Prometric location. Lower costs and opportunity to petition the board to challenge the Level III examination (thereby eliminating Levels I and II) makes this an attractive program.
3. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) distinguishes an individual specialty in alternative investments. Continued expansion in the alternative investment universe, including hedge funds, private equity firms, real estate investment companies and venture capital firms, helps to differentiate the certificate holder from the wide swath of candidates. Because investments and trading principles vary in the alternative investment arena, employers appreciate the distinction. The certification offers holders access to alternative investor networks.
4. Certified Hedge Fund Professional (CHP), a newer credential, provides marketing, sales and investor relations professionals, analysts, attorneys, hedge fund managers, due diligence professionals and accountants with greater access to jobs. The advisory board for the CHP includes hedge funds, hedge fund of funds and hedge fund consultants.
5. Financial Risk Manager (FRM®). The ability to manage global financial risk requires specific and highly valued skills. The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) offers the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) certification. The test challenges many professionals (the published pass rate remains less than 2:1).