Career Options For CFA Candidates / Charter holders

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

Let’s be honest. We do gain a lot of knowledge from the CFA program, but we also expect a higher salary, a promotion or a better job in return for the time and effort that goes into clearing all the three levels of the CFA program.

A lot of candidates have queries regarding what career options do they have while pursuing or after completing the CFA program. Even if CFA aspirants know about the career options, they do not know what’s best for them unless they get information on the roles and responsibilities of each profession.

Our aim in this article is to provide CFA aspirants with the following information:
· Career options
· Roles & responsibilities at entry level
· Select companies in India under each segment
· Salary range 

If we observe the topics in all three levels of the CFA program, weightage of portfolio management increases significantly from the first to the third level. This shift indicates that the course is designed for a career in portfolio management. Though CFA Charter holders work in almost all disciplines under the financial domain, maximum value from the certification is derived through a career in portfolio management.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio managers work in the following segments:

· Mutual Funds

· Pension funds

· Endowment Funds

· Sovereign Wealth Funds

· Family Offices

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Portfolio Management / Investment:

In order to become a Portfolio Manager or Chief Investment Officer, a candidate starts as an analyst where major responsibilities include conducting research and evaluating securities / markets suitable for a portfolio. The securities spectrum may include equities, fixed income, derivatives, or alternative investments.

Analysts are expected to be proficient in MS PowerPoint for creating internal and external presentations. Presentations may include creating marketing material for the fund or presenting active portfolio returns to investors and senior managers. Proficiency in MS Excel is also required for conducting investment analysis of various securities. Funds may expect candidates to know basics of valuation for some of the aforementioned securities; the practical intricacies of such skills are obviously learnt on the job.

Select Companies in India in Each Segment:

List Of Companies That Offer Mutual Funds In India:

1. Axis Asset Management

2. Aditya Birla Sunlife AMC

3. BNP Paribas Asset Management

4. Canara Robeco Asset Management

5. DSP Investment Managers

6. Edelweiss Asset Management

7. Franklin Templeton Asset Management

8. HDFC Asset Management

9. ICICI Prudential Asset Management

10. IDBI Asset Management

11. IDFC Asset Management

12. IIFL Asset Management

List Of Companies That Offer Pension Plans In India:

1. Life Insurance Corporation of India

2. HDFC Life

3. SBI Life

4. Reliance Smart Pension Plan

5. ICICI Prudential

6. Bajaj Allianz

7. Birla Sunlife

8. Max Life


10. Kotak Life

List Of Endowment Funds In India:

1. IIT- Delhi

2. Indian School of Business

List Of Family Offices in India:

1. Aarin Capital

2. Ajay Piramal SFO

3. Artha India Ventures

4. Burman Family Office

5. Catamaran Ventures

6. Sharrp Ventures

7. JSW Venture Fund


9. Premji Invest

10. RNT Associates

11. Soma Capital

12. Unilazer Ventures

List Of Major Sovereign Wealth Funds In The World:

1. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

2. The Government Pension Fund Global – Norway

3. GIC – Singapore

4. Public Investment Fund – Saudi Arabia

5. Kuwait Investment Authority

6. Qatar Investment Authority

Salary Range for Analyst in Portfolio Management:

Average starting salary of an analyst in India in Portfolio Management is between INR 600,000 – 900,000 p.a. Some firms such as Goldman Sachs pay up to INR 2 mn p.a. for deserving candidates.


Private Equity

A PE fund invests in unlisted companies with a typical investment horizon of 6-7 years. The managers of the funds are known as general partners while the investors in the fund are called limited partners.

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Private Equity:

A beginner in a PE fund works as an analyst. Main responsibilities include conducting business valuations through various methods, industry research, evaluate business models, ,conduct due diligence, thorough analysis of companies and calculate investment returns for regular reporting to the investors.

There are times when analysts are expected to specialize in particular industries in order to evolve as sector experts. Use of MS PowerPoint & MS Excel is a prerequisite for all analysts in almost every industry.

List Of Select PE / VC Funds Operating in India:

1. Aavishkaar Venture Capital

2. Accel Partners

3. Ankur Capital

4. Anthill Ventures

5. Blume Ventures

6. Carpedium Advisors

7. Eight Roads Capital India

8. Endiya Partners

9. Evolvence India Fund

10. Fireside Ventures

11. Fulcrum Ventures

12. Helion Venture Partners

13. India Nivesh Fund

14. Innoven Capital India

15. Inventus Capital Partners

16. IvyCap Ventures

17. Kae Capital

18. Kalaari Capital

19. Kedaara Capital

20. Lightbox Ventures

21. Lightspeed Venture Partners

22. Lumis Partners

23. Matrix Partners

24. SAIF Partners

Salary Range for Analyst in Private Equity:

An analyst from a top institute with 2-3 years experience earn between INR 3 mn – 5 mn p.a.. Generally, the top PE funds prefer candidates from Ivy League institutes. Some VC funds hire from outside of Ivy leagues and can pay a starting salary of between INR 600,000 – 1 mn p.a.


Equity Research

Brokerage houses issue equity research reports on listed companies for their clients. Basis such reports, the clients then trade through these brokers, generating brokerage fees for them.

Responsibilities of an Associate in Equity Research:

A research / business associate, which is an entry-level job in equity research is expected to support senior analysts in valuation of listed firms. The valuation models are extensive and also include sensitivity / scenario analysis. Research associates work in a particular sector such as healthcare, telecom, airlines, autos, etc. and evolve to become sector experts.

Apart from valuation, research associates also contribute in preparation of research reports by providing key inputs such as industry data points, subject company and competitor analysis, risk analysis among other parameters. Written communication is a key skill that associates are expected to develop over time as they start providing sector / company insights for the reports.

List Of Key Brokerage Houses In India:

1. Angel Broking Pvt. Ltd.

2. Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd.

3. HDFC securities Ltd.

4. Karvy Stock Broking Ltd.

5. Kotak Securities Ltd.

6. Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.

7. Sharekhan Ltd.

8. Zerodha

Salary Range for Associate in Equity Research:

Avg. salary of an equity research associate in India is between INR 500,000 – 700,000 p.a.


Investment Banking

Investment banks engage in issue of debt and equity securities of companies through private placements and initial public offerings (IPO). In addition, investment banks provide advisory services on mergers & acquisitions.

Some large investment banks have a trading desk that specializes in a security type or market segment. These trading desks use electronic trading systems and other sources to find the best price for their client trade.

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Investment Banking:

An analyst in an investment bank provides transaction support to senior members of the team. Some of the responsibilities include business research, deal documentation, such as creating investor presentation and compiling red herring prospectus, conducting business valuation, coordinating investor meetings at the time of fund raise and coordinating with operations and accounts teams at the time of deal closure. Analysts are also expected to create, maintain and update pitch books (marketing presentations) for the clients.

Analysts in an investment bank are expected to work long hours and many times even on weekends when the deal pressure is high. Teams are compensated with above average bonuses at the end of the year in case transactions are closed successfully.

List Of Select Investment Banks In India:

1. SBI Capital Markets

2. IFCI Financial Services

3. ICICI Securities

4. Axis Bank

5. Bajaj Capital

6. Tata Capital Markets

7. Kotak Mahindra Capital Company

8. Goldman Sachs (India) Securities

9. Morgan Stanley (India)

10. Citigroup Global Markets India

Salary Range for Analyst in Investment Banking:

A boutique or mid tier investment bank pays between INR 500,000 – 700,000 p.a. to an analyst. However bulge bracket investment bank salaries for fresh graduates from top institutes can start from INR 1.5 mn p.a. and go up to INR 3 mn p.a.


Wealth Management

A wealth management company provides investment advisory services to affluent individuals. Apart from providing investment and financial advice, a wealth management company also provides legal / estate planning, accounting, tax and retirement planning services.

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Wealth Management:

A entry level analyst in this business will support a wealth manager in researching and evaluating various securities and asset classes. An individual also learns how to create an investment policy statement considering the clients current & future needs, risk appetite / tolerance and availability of funds.

A candidate needs to be good at relationship management, communication, presentation and sales skills apart from the financial knowledge of various securities.

List of Wealth Management Companies in India:

1. Kotak Wealth Management

2. IIFL Wealth & Asset Management

3. ICICI Private Bank

4. Standard Chartered Private Bank

5. Edelweiss Wealth Management

6. BNP Paribas Wealth Management

7. Julius Baer

8. Citi Private Bank

9. HDFC Private Bank

10. Barclays Wealth

Salary Range for Analyst in Wealth Management:

Entry-level salaries in wealth management range from INR 400,000 – INR 600,000 p.a


Corporate Finance

The Corporate Finance department of a firm evaluates capital projects for investments. The department also takes a decision of how financing is to be done for shortlisted projects, through debt, equity or mix of both.

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Corporate Finance:

An entry level corporate finance analyst assists project managers in conducting cash flow analysis of capital projects by providing key data points. An analyst is expected to prepare reports for management, banks and potential investors of the project. These reports include findings of the financial analysis; key takeaways from feasibility studies of the project, risks involved and returns calculations such as NPV, IRR and payback period.

Large Indian Corporates With CF Departments:

1. Adani Group

2. Aditya Birla Group

3. Bharti Enterprises

4. Escorts Group

5. ITC Limited

6. L&T Group

7. Reliance Industries

8. Tata Group

9. Murugappa Group

10. Godrej Group

Salary Range for Analyst in Corporate Finance:

A financial analyst in a corporate finance department with 1 year of experience can expect to earn between INR 400,000 – 600,000 p.a.


Credit Rating

Credit Rating agencies evaluate businesses, counties / municipalities and governments in order to provide a credit rating score. This score is used by lenders / investors in debt of such entities to decide the appropriate return for the risk of investment.

Responsibilities of an Analyst in Credit Rating Agencies:

A credit rating analyst is expected to interact with the client for collection of documents and information. Manage the data entry process into the rating / workflow system and ensure highest levels of quality. Assist in preparing rating notes that include rating recommendations and present the same to the rating committee.

List of Credit Rating Agencies in India:

1. CRISIL Limited

2. India Ratings and Research Pvt. Ltd.

3. ICRA Limited

4. Credit Analysis & Research Ltd.

5. Brickwork Ratings India Ltd.

6. SMERA Ratings Ltd.

Salary Range for Analyst in Credit Rating:

The salary for a beginner varies between INR 350,000 – INR 500,000 p.a.

776 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All