CFA Affiliation and Chal..
BSM-Pompeu Fabra University through its MSc in Finance and Banking is one of the few Spanish university institutions to be affiliated with the CFA institute, the premier global association for investment management professionals.
In order for a university to be affiliated with the CFA Institute, its program must embed a significant portion of the CFA program candidate body of knowledge including the code of ethics and standards of professional conducts. This means that students joining our MSc in Finance and Banking will be exposed to a curriculum closely tied to the practice of investment management, which in turns is suited to prepare them to take the CFA exams.
We spoke about this feature with Professor Albert Banal-Estañol, Academic Director of the program, and Professor Luz Parrondo, local coordinator of the CFA initiative.
Both agreed that being affiliated with the CFA institute is a very strong signal to the financial market because the CFA qualification is very sought after by financial institutions. Therefore, students joining our MSc in Finance and Banking program will signal to the market not only that they have been trained by a prestigious institution, but also that they have acquired the skills needed to successfully perform in the investment management world.
In fact, the affiliation to the CFA program allows the partner university to allocate a certain number of scholarships to those students who want to take the CFA exam. Just to give you some numbers, any student from any university can decide to take the CFA exam. The exam fee goes from $650 till $1380 for late applicants. Students attending a partner CFA program can register for the exam under special conditions. Indeed, the exam registration fee for a student having a partner institution scholarship is reduced to a standard $350.
Besides that, Professor Parrondo is organizing for the next academic year the so-called CFA challenge. We are planning to have two competing teams composed of 3 to 5 people which will be challenged to perform a sell-side company valuation. They will be able to prepare theirselves for the challenge from September till February because in March they will participate to a local competition which last year was held in Madrid. If either team wins the local challenge, it will have the chance to compete at the European level during the month of April. Last year the European challenge was held in Zurich. Finally, if the team makes it through the European stage, it will have the opportunity to take part to a final global challenge taking place in New York City.
To use Professor Parrondo words, “the CFA challenge represents a great opportunity for us to provide our students with very specific skills to succeed in the investment management world. They will not only be able to apply such skills, but they will also be able to defend their choices in front of potential investors and other people in the field”.