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What, exactly, is wrong with my CV (5)?

After 20+ years of full time employment (largely with rating agencies), the start-up agency I was working for was suddenly closed in Jan. 2008. Since then, I have gotten some contract work but offers are getting less frequent now. I believe some of the CV issues I have are 1) too much time worked at rating agencies (unfortunately not seen as having relevant commercial experience in many financial services sectors) and 2) too old/experienced. In the meantime, I am refreshing my skills as I am now studying for an IMC and FRM certificates. I am flexible about taking more junior roles, am open to relocation and change in career- even to the public sector if annual compensation is at least 65k. Let me know your thoughts!


-Experienced credit professional with over 20 years fundamental credit risk analysis, research and risk advisory experience; credit risk management and monitoring including processing loan waivers and loan approvals; development of risk methodologies and models for PFI, infrastructure and public sector transactions; investment grade and leveraged corporates, whole business securitizations, specialized property asset backed transactions (OpCo/Propcos). Several hundred transactions analyzed and monitored over my career, geographically diversified across the UK, Middle East, US, and Canada.

-Sector experience: Expert in healthcare (care homes, hospitals); PFI and infrastructure including schools, hospitals, roads, motorway service areas, power, waste, ports, and project counterparties (contractors, FM providers, government bodies, NHS Trusts); leisure (hotels, theme parks, pubs, bingo halls). Solid knowledge of consumer products, retail and media industries.

-Commercial knowledge of a wide range of bank products (debt, equity and derivatives) including structure, covenants, pricing and documentation.


· 2009: (in process) Financial Risk Manager (FRM) & Investment Management (IMC) Certificates.

· 2007-8: Courses in Leveraged Finance for Corp. & Private Equity Transactions; Techniques in Corporate Valuations; Credit Risk Models; Quantitative Techniques in Risk Management and Financial modeling.

MBA in Finance from Ivy League US graduate business school




Deep experience of fundamental credit analysis, research, credit risk modelling and valuation methodologies.

Knowledge of various bank internal rating models and Basel II

Prepare credit applications for approval involving presentation to funders and internal credit committees.

Perform due diligence on new transactions, monitor existing transactions, including deals in a deteriorating state that may require restructuring.

Assist in deal origination, including development of marketing pitches, building and maintaining client relationships, deal feasibility analysis; contribute to investment decisions and generation of structuring ideas.

Build new businesses and manage teams to successfully achieve business plans.

Modelling skills:

Undertake debt feasibility and scenario analysis to test default probabilities and loss quantification.

Build and run cash flow models stress testing and scenario analysis of single borrowers and loan portfolios.

Build or maintain internal databases and contract management.

Knowledge of RaRoc and VaR models for loan pricing, economic capital, and portfolio optimisation.

Experienced user of Excel with macros, Access database software and Powerpoint.


Nationality: USA. UK domicile (Permanent resident). Willing to relocate internationally.

Other interests: Investing; Biking; Blues/jazz music; Decorative Arts & Design.

Transaction and publications lists available on request.


Consulting Projects – London 2008-9

London Based Start-up Financial Advisory Firm: Dec. 2008-Feb. 2009

Prepared two bids for developing policies, procedures and tools for tendering, evaluating, structuring and monitoring PPPs in Swaziland and COMESA region of Africa.

European Infrastructure & Public Sector Bank: July-Nov. 2008:

Supported the credit team in preparation of credit applications; performed credit reviews, processed loan approvals and waivers. Transactions included UK PFI/PPP, Middle Eastern power, waste and asset finance.

Start-Up Ratings Agency Senior VP. May, 2006-Jan. 2008. London

Responsibilities and Accomplishments:

Developed European strategy for Structured Corporate & Infrastructure transactions in EMEA, identifying financing trends, rating opportunities and risk methodologies.

Prepared marketing pitches for intermediaries and investors increasing market awareness of the brand and differentiation from other rating agencies, including development of transaction specific models for investors.

Closed 1 transaction and performed ratings analysis on 5 others in 2007, including an infrastructure CLO for a bank. Achievements exceeded those of the company’s other Structured Finance units in Europe.

Business closed in January 2008 due to parent company decision to cease funding.

Leading Global Ratings Agency, June 1987-May, 2006 London & New York


· Consistent track record of advancement as analyst, product and team manager;
· Transaction diversity, with focus on new debt products/structures;
· Based in 2 regions-Europe & North America;
· 3 practices- Corporate Finance, Structured Finance and International Public Finance

Responsibilities and Accomplishments:

Jan. 2002- May, 2006: Director, Int’l Public Finance Ratings

· Developed loss given default methodology for PFI secured bonds, and default risk methodologies for UK Foundation Trust hospitals, UK charities, social housing, universities, and European sovereign supported securitizations.
· Team Leader, responsible for International Public Finance rating activities in the UK and the Netherlands. Had managerial oversight of budget and team of 4 rating analysts.

Sept. 1998-Dec. 2001: Director, Corporate Ratings

· Lead analyst for Corporate Securitisations (WBS), involved in the development of credit risk methodologies and transaction ratings from market inception in the late 1990s. Responsible for analyzing credit risk of corporate loans in CDOs and evaluating bank internal rating models for CDO servicer due diligence.
· Worked with KPMG, building and benchmarking an internal rating model to the company’s rating scale and methodologies to become Basel II compliant.
Aug. 1997-Aug. 1998: Consultant

· Created first branded corporate credit training course.

June 1987–Aug. 1997: Director & Associate Director, Corp. Ratings

Global team co-ordinator for the media (1999) and consumer products sectors (1995-97). Primary ratings analyst for European consumer products, textile, apparel and leisure sectors. Back up analyst for UK retail credits.

If you want to get in touch with this candidate (or to hire him/her), please email them at <a href="mailto:riskreformer@live.co.uk."riskreformer@live.co.uk. And if you too want to submit your CV to be reviewed on the site, please email <a href="mailto:editor@efinancialcareers.com"editor@efinancialcareers.com.

Comments (34)

  1. First: Bachelor of Administration from US COLLEGE is crap and totally useless in Europe. Second your age also matters. The next problem I see is: How can you say you have knowledge of modeling VaR models? You dont even have a quants degree!

    Patrick Berger Reply
  2. Resume reads like you know a little bit of everything and it is too verbose, diluted and tedious to read. Mentioning Excel macros and PowerPoint is unnecessary as you are a senior person and there are interns and jr analysts to do those.
    Removing the job from 1987-1997 will help with the age issue plus it is so last century now.
    Lose the 20+ years, ‘seasoned’ is good enough.

  3. Why does everyone big up that they have 20+ years experience as if its a good thing? It means you’re old, past it, and should have retired years ago except you’re not good enough so have to still keep working.

  4. As said Sdimov, you focus too much in your CV on skills and experience that are relevant for juniors but not for senior people. You have been a director for 10 years+, how can you say that you “assist in deal origination”, originating deals and building client relationships should be at least 70% of your time (even if credit rating is more “technical” than other areas of finance).
    Put forward your commercial experience, otherwise people will feel you are too much expensive and too much experienced to just be someone doing the modelling.

  5. Easy tiger, I just think he want to mention he has an undergrad. No one really cares as it was 20 years ago or what it was in but you can’t not have it in there. And you can teach VaR to a undergrad in a day. It’s really not that complicated, not to diss this fellow more the industries obsession with Phds.

  6. Why would I hire anyone with such low ambition and confidence that they’d be happy to take a job paying 65k ??

  7. Patrick Berger – how is a BA (that is Bachelor of Arts) from a US college (that means university) useless in Europe? Surely a BA/BSc is a minimum requirement for any decent job?

  8. With your resume, you should concentrate on IMF, World Bank & ilk. How about an international credit agency with African emphasis? Try and capitalise on the European Bank experience

    Now the resume
    – verbose
    – “Business closed in January 2008 due to parent company decision to cease funding” , No one needs to know this, can be explained at the interview if asked.
    – Computer literate, would suffice, as would not be a junior employee
    – Information on the resume is cluttered and seems disjointed
    – Try to get your hands on someone else’s resume who is currently employed & see how they ply their trade

  9. This should be called What, exactly, is RIGHT with your CV?

  10. Dude, don’t listen to these comments. Most of them are arrogant, idiotic advise (except the point of you focusing too much on skills that should not be that relevant at your seniority level). Look, you have 20 years of solid credit assessment experience. I am sure you have seen deals go bad and understood why. You have rated credit through 3 or 4 recessions and preceding booms. If you have a good track record in getting your calls right and understanding why you got calls wrong, I think you should be highly employable. Especially since you are willing to work for 65k with that experience. Banks and credit investors will increasingly need people who can make a good, intellectually honest credit call. The credit people of the past whose primary job was to get whatever deal we originated approved don’t seem that relevant anymore. I would not focus too much on the CDO experience you have since everybody knows that the rating agencies had no idea what they were doing here (like the banks). But you also have +10 years of solid corporate credit work to show. Dont delete those 10 years! Very bad advise from sdimov13

  11. In fact, if I was running a credit department at a bank (am out of banking and on the investor side these days) I would definitely give you an interview. Now, if you can’t pitch and sell the story which I think you have (in line with my previous comment), that would be a problem. But the thought can’t escape me that I may be able to employ you at the cost of a 3rd year analyst and you may actually add some value given that credit departments will now be asked to really make sure that the banks’ capital is protected. The credit analysts I dealt with in the past, even up to director level, would normally have less than 10 years experience and would, hence, not have seen a bad recession in their career. Usually never took me more than a few minutes to convince them that whatever cyclical consumer driven company I was doing a deal for would continue to grow EBITDA at 5% p.a. uninterrupted for the next 10 years. Most had good top uni educations and were ambitious, but they had no critical sense and zero experience of what really happens to businesses in a bad macro recession. “Sure, semi-conductors is not a super cyclical, commodity priced business – can easily support 8x leverage :-)”

  12. Great entertainment as always. Loved the comment “How can you say you have knowledge of modeling VaR models? You dont even have a quants degree!”

    You don’t exactly need a quants degree to understand or model VaR. Unless of course you are a complete idiot who needs three years of phd work to grasp it. It is really not complicated. You could teach this to anybody with basic high school stats knowledge in a day.

  13. Nothing really, except that it is spectacularly mediocre. Good luck finding a job. The fact that you do not seem to realise that it is more the market preventing you from securing a job in finance than your CV is a bit of a concern.

  14. Why would it take a day to teach someone to calculate a percentile ? Invert the cdf – ok maybe an hour, if you throw in some numerical methods. It might take a little longer to teach them why it is a totally crap way to assess risk.

  15. Patrick Berger – you are a complete idiot
    i have never heard of a US university degree being “useless in europe”!

  16. giles.percy
    here we go again
    idiots teaching quant stuff based on a C at A Level Math
    “Just invert the CDF” – yes as that’s so so easy all the time!

  17. In all cultures and countries, financial success isn’t acheived for most of the wealthy until after the 40th year! Only office-job-applicants are paranoid about age along with those doing the interviewing with their age-predjudice.

    Looking at the Times Rich List or Forbes’ list isn’t the only proof of where most of the wealth is.

    I salute the many wealthy ‘has-beens’ and those who are ‘past it’ who continue to make headlines for being among the wealthiest around.

  18. @Patrick Berger! I thought all the idiots like you had been made redundant.

  19. I think that the most obvious thing missing from your CV are success indicators. You tell us a lot of what you have done, but not how those experiences have helped the companies you were working for. For instance, you tell us that you “build new business”, but not how much profit that meant to the company, or what new opportunities that meant to the company. I think you should concentrate on telling the reader what hiring you will mean to the company, and less on listing out job requirements.

    As to changing industries or careers in this kind of environment: companies will receive 10 resumes from people who have exactly the right qualifications or experience. They don’t need to take a chance on training someone who doesn’t have time in their sector.

    And lastly, director level jobs are often filled internally through succession planning or hiring up. Finding an external job at this level is a challenge that can only be met by effective networking. Unfortunately it’s often about who you know, not what you have done.

    Good luck on your search.

  20. Well pointisrotton my boy,

    Finding the root of an equation ie inverting the cdf is hardly cutting edge numerical analysis. Those in academia like to create fancy methods for doing this like converting to an ODE. But really it is all smoke and mirrors since the precision that the method delivers is no indication of the accuracy of the approximation to risk.

  21. a comment about bachelors degree from US is so untrue! there are so many second tier US bus school graduates working in the city, i sometimes dont get it why banks are more likely to employ them than locals from LBS, Insead, LSE?? Guezeta, Vanderbilt, Babson – are you crazy?! what’s so special about second tiers?!

  22. Go to a professional CV writing service and get genuine advice from people who know what they are talking about.

  23. “How can you say you have knowledge of modeling VaR models? You dont even have a quants degree!”

    Patrick Berger — this is fatuous. ALL the maths required in VaR (along with a fair bit more) is covered in the first year’s compulsory subjects of an average Australian business degree, and it’s quite possible his American uni did the same. Only an imbecile or the uneducated believes VaR is complicated.

  24. I am a headhunter …cut, cut, cut, and ‘never explain, never complain’ are my CV mottoes. Recruiters only want to know the dates (say for the last 15 years), the positions you held and the institutions – the rest you can tell them in the interview. If you have expertise in so many different sectors, that is equivalent to not having one – decide on the two which you know best and leave it at that. You need to give your qualifications but not in detail. Cut the profile and skills – they can work that out from what you have done. Start with the positions, leave education, personal etc till the end. Put no more than 3-4 one-line bullet points under each position with the macro stuff and cut anything which is a detail. Try to get it down to two pages max.
    Nobody has time or patience to read more and nobody will choose you based on the small detail you included at the bottom of page 20.

  25. “Finding the root of an equation ie inverting the cdf is hardly cutting edge numerical analysis. Those in academia like to create fancy methods for doing this like converting to an ODE. But really it is all smoke and mirrors since the precision that the method delivers is no indication of the accuracy of the approximation to risk”

    Just crystallizing your buffoonery there old man.

    Often there is no closed form for the CDF – i.e. no “equation to find the root of”.

    converting to an ODE? huh? You are throwing all you know at me,thinking that you sound technical and not making much sense. You know nothing.

  26. I’m a recruiter. My opinion is that you have too much information in the first part of the CV. I scrolled right past all of that and went straight to your work experience, because that’s what really matters. Good luck!

  27. Really ?

    For normal distributions, go and look up the probit function on wikipedia (yup it really is that basic). They actually give you the ODE there. That’s ordinary differential equation.

    You don’t need closed form expressions for the CDF to invert it – you can use asymptotics for the tails. That’s enough free education – if you want more, I do consultancy work on this stuff – PM me.

  28. I always knew ratings advisory or credit or risk is a useless job and only gets one pigeonholed
    This story proves it
    I feel very sorry for you mate but unfortunately your career has been terminated
    take care

  29. It might be an idea to revamp your cv into something that might be applicable for a high level position in education… not because I’d suggest you become an educator, but because it would give you focus on what skills you have which are applicable to other industries. None of the financial jargon means anything outside the City. If you cut out the jargon, there’s like 6 words max left???!!

    Also, think things through from a employer’s point of view – what makes YOU special? Why is my business going to be so much better if I hire you? Remember that the three things people pay for are: a way to save money, a way to increase revenue or a way to make their lives easier. And, quantify – as previously mentioned – focus on success criteria. “You saved 5 zillion pounds by doing x.”

    Another thing is to do is create a SIMPLE narrative on an A5 sheet of paper which explains what choices you’ve made and why – and then summarise that into 2 or 3 bullet points of one line each to make up your profile.

    Finally, think out of the box. Don’t do things that 1m people are doing, cuz you’re one amongst many. And remember, to some degree, getting a job now is a numbers game – send out lots o

  30. Well, we all european know that the US educations system is full of flaws and too expensive. That’s not worth talking about here anyway. But the problem I see is an outdated, vintage and useless degree in art. I give you an advice, do a masters degree quickly. Do a masters degree in a SCIENCE related thing and not again in arts. Because that business and finance degrees are crap! Why don’t you study a numerical degree? Your bachelor of arts degree in business is like a humbug to me. Everybody has a business degree in arts today. They are throwing degrees after you today.

    Patrick Berger Reply
  31. “You don’t need closed form expressions for the CDF to invert it ” – i never said this was not the case – just you implied before that most of the time it’s the root of an equation (“”Finding the root of an equation ie inverting the cdf”)

    Your post is just admitting your first ones are junk after you googled abit.

  32. My posts demonstrate a good understanding of the issues – yours demonstrate nothing.

  33. Patrick Berger I think you are seriously slow. In many US Ivy Leagues economics is a BA. And everyone knows ALL Oxbridge degrees are BAs even math and physics. BA does not mean an art degree – you are seriously misguided.

  34. I agree with the (constructive) remarks about placing experience upfront, highlighting achievements (I liked the comment about identifying good calls and having learned from bad ones). As for jobs – I hear anecdotally that many larger investors are setting up infrastructure/project finance departments to diversify/stabilise their portfolios. I know one contact in particular in The Netherlands. You won’t get the top job (they appointed the head laterally from within the organisation as often happens and which someone else pointed out). If you are willing to relocate, you might try contacting some larger continential European asset managers and see what they are offering. I know the salaries on offer are higher than your expectations and bonuses (not all that shabby as a matter of fact) are on offer. Plus benefits and job security are vastly superior to London-based jobs. Let’s face it, you can really coin it in London, but if you are looking for a reasonably good income and some job stability (probably desirable after your last rating agency experience), you could consider this approach. Good luck and happy hunting.

    Sympathetic and heopfully constructive Reply

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