I was hoping for some career advice regarding what my options are at this stage of my career and areas I could explore given my experience to date. Some headhunters have contacted me in the past regarding roles in ALM and Treasury but my mind, at that time, was fixated on typical CFA type roles such as investment analysts and assistant portfolio/fund managers. Each time I look at the latter roles, relevant experience becomes increasingly a necessary requirement and I have been told my experience is lacking compared with other candidates. So I am considering other options to further my career. Honest answer is, I don't quite know Associate/AVP roles I can explore given with what I have. Some will no doubt be more likely than others and it would be of great help if I can better understand what is out there. In the end, a varied role that pays well for what you do (given the hours) with potential to move up and further options down the line would be ideal to get started.
My career to date is a little unusual. I am a first class Mathematics graduate from a top 10 but did not seriously think about my career until afterwards. Recession hit and I managed to secure an analyst position at a mortgage lender. This was not in the City. I pursued the CFA qualification at the same time as I started due to my interest in finance and investments. My goal then was to get qualified so I stayed at my firm because the experience was relevant. I got qualified last year and the only path left for me is to go from Senior to Manager in Pricing (loan and mortgage products).
Experience wise (6 years in total), as a junior, I primarily analysed and reported the performance of the firm's asset portfolios to clients as well as building tools to make the process more efficient. A year later, as Quantiative Analyst, I was active in the cash flow valuation of mortgage portfolios where clients requested my firm's portfolio valuation services so that they can bid for such portfolios under auction. Additionally, my firm was also active in the securitisation space where I developed and managed the reporting and analysis of several securitised portfolios. The business environment changed and the only option for me was in a Pricing role. Here, I pretty much built the firm's pricing cash flow models (IRR, NPV, DCF, EIR) to evaluate loan products and owned the pricing MI reporting process. And now as senior (nearly 3 years), as well as supervising juniors, I think more commercial on the impacts of pricing changes and strategies and provide input to management. Occasionally, I build financial models to evaluate investment opportunities (portfolio acquisition opportunities) using investment appraisal methods such as NPV, IRR, RoE etc.
This, to me, is entirely different from the typical research analyst or portfolio manager position that CFA Charterholders tend to be concentrated in. The more I think about this, the more difficult it is looking. I feel that I am not utilising the CFA materials much at all in my current role and my firm is unlikely to open a new position that allows that. I don't feel as motivated or challenged as I was and this is starting to affect my motivation.
The above is my honest account. Can anyone relate to this? Love to hear your thoughts.