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CMA vs CFA for a banker?

I'm a European banker working in Bahrain in a wholesale bank branch (older off-shore license). In a nutshell, in my 11 years experience, I worked for top-tier banks with 3 years financial analyst (rating with a comprehensive financial analysis report for assessing the commercial customers' loan line and creditworthiness), 4 years in internal audit commission auditing and investigating facilities in all branches and subsidiaries of the bank, and 4 years up to now in foreign branch. Currently, among only 4 staff, I'm acting as commercial and syndicated loan operator, treasury back office operator, operations manager, financial controller, accompanying quarterly external audit facilities, compliance officer (with ongoing cert prog. International Diploma in Compliance -ICA), Money Laundering Reporting Officer with the title of assistant manager..I have a confidence regarding my banking background and now planning to shift my career into Islamic Banking (investment or commercial banking) and expecting such a role in mid-senior management. I got the certifications related to the Islamic Finance field. As you might know, the core banking actiivities and functions are the same with the conventional banking like corporate and commercial banking, asset-liabilities management etc. In the Middle East, there seems to be an anglo-saxon style and the way I see is that in business environment a professional implicitly has to show his/her background//experience with a world-wide recognized certificate. I'm on the way of taking a decision to hold CFA or CMA as a husband and father with a limited dedicated time regarding my background and expectations. I'm in favor of CMA thinking of my experience and the fact that the Islamic Banking is more interested in corporate and commercial finance and it sounds me more relevant in management in a bank as well; on the other hand, I'm in favor of CFA due to it's prestige and curriculum size but it's core areas in portfolio management and research analysis are not addressing my experience. I'm confused and need a professional help. I kindly request you to advise on what to prefer, regarding the expectations as a senior manager in banking industry. Your opinions are valuable and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Answers

Anonymous
(MLRO) |

Could anyone please share opinions? Thanks.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I would say that it is NOT about what is "best or better" but WHICH PATH you want to take. You already know or have an idea where (types of companies or industries) a CMA or a CFA will more or less lead you to. The CFA (and I am generalizing/stereotyping here) will lead you to Private Equity, Investment Banking, Venture Capital types of realm and the CMA will lead you to more of where (banking/private companies) you are right now.

If I was making the decision, I would make an accounting of my current skills/experience/expertise and choose the program that ADDS more skills and expertise to my toolbox. I would not even look at the immediate ROI as I know (from experience) that the ROI "will come" as long as I can offer more value to whoever wants to hire me. But even more important than this..... will I be happy doing the jobs a CMA or a CFA will lead me to. But that is just me.

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