Congratulations to teammate Lindsay Zentner, who became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder last month. Anyone in our industry who hears about someone achieving this feat usually responds with, “Wow - that’s a huge accomplishment!” For those outside of our industry, it’s important to understand why this is so meaningful to Lindsay and to our firm.
The CFA Institute is very clear about its mission: “To lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.” The CFA program requires candidates to pass three levels of exams, and to have four years of professional experience to become a charterholder. The famously rigorous and comprehensive exams are given over a specific timeframe, spaced a year apart. If a candidate fails an exam, she has to wait a full year to retake the exam. That delay between exams alone is enough to deter many CFA candidates, even if they are Type A, focused, and smart. Fewer than 1 in 5 candidates successfully complete all three levels of the CFA program. Lindsay passed each exam on the first try.
As a CFA charterholder, Lindsay is required to adhere to the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, which is a strict set of guidelines that positions clients first, believes in the value of portfolio management, and places confidence in the global financial markets. This is important work for all investors.
Lindsay chose on her own to embark on the journey to gain the CFA credential. There was no requirement in her position with our firm to dedicate the 1,000+ personal and professional hours that it demands. An undertaking this significant is nearly impossible without the support of family, friends, and work team members. Lindsay had both her own determination and a community of people to buoy her efforts along the way.
Our firm places a high value on professional designations. They demonstrate commitment to the craft, reinforce the standard of care that we provide to our clients, and give our team access to years of others’ real-world knowledge. We believe that one of the best things we can do for our clients is to help them make smart financial decisions, and to be confident in those decisions. We know that credentials like the CFA are not just a sign of three completed exams, but instead a demonstration of loyalty to our clients, transparency, and a constant pursuit of professional knowledge.
Please feel free to pass on a congrats email to Lindsay.