If you’re a CFA charterholder with ambitions to work for Goldman Sachs, it’s worth applying to its London office. Over 35% of the US investment banks’ charterholder employees work in the UK, the largest proportion of any of its global offices. Elsewhere, CFAs are more likely to find work on Wall Street.
Asia may be providing the fastest growth rate in new candidates signing up for notoriously difficult CFA exams, but the US is still by far the largest centre for charterholders. This year alone, 3,185 charters were awarded in the US, followed by Canada (831) and the UK (829).
We’ve analysed the profiles of the 120,000 charterholders on its new member directory, to find out where the large investment banks employ the most CFAs. The table below includes the countries where most CFA charterholders are to be found. Predictably, the US comes out on top, but there also appears to be an element of home bias among the different banks.
Both Barclays and HSBC, for example, employ 24.4% and 24.6% of their CFAs in the UK – a higher proportion than most other non-UK banks – while UBS and Credit Suisse have 22.8% and 18% of their CFAs in Switzerland respectively. ]Deutsche Bank may just have 5.7% of its CFA charterholders in Germany, but this is the largest proportion of any bank.
Then there are the US investment banks which, aside from Goldman, employ the vast majority of their CFAs at home. Bank of America has 81.2% of its charterholders in the US, while Morgan Stanley has 73.1%. At JPMorgan and Citigroup this figure is 58.8% and 57.6% respectively.
The CFA institute has pointed out on various occasions that Asia is the fastest growing region for those taking the exam globally. However, despite the proliferation of candidates, the large banks don’t employ many people in Asian markets, suggesting that those embarking on the qualification have yet to pass (or find employment in a bulge bracket bank), or that those who earn their stripes in Asia find a job elsewhere in the world.