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Voice of CFA charterholders
The CFA Program: expand one’s knowledge and people network
SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
NBA Research/Regional Financial Institution and Corporate Business Promotion
Bunka Kono, CFA
Earned the CFA charter in 2018
The motivations behind earning the CFA® charter

Before becoming a CFA® charterholder, I was a charter member of the Securities Analysts Association of Japan. Later I discovered that the CFA charter was among the world’s top certifications in the field, so I decided to enter the program.

Changes after earning the CFA charter —a more advanced portfolio analysis for regional financial institutions

I currently work with SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. My division focuses on portfolio analysis using the Nikko Bond Analysis (NBA) system, mainly targeted toward regional financial institutions and industrial corporations. As revenue management and risk management require an advanced level of financial knowledge, the insights I gained through my study for the CFA charter have significantly helped me in my work. Especially knowledge I acquired during the program, such as portfolio management, risk management, fixed income, accounting, and statistics are essential, and I feel that my portfolio analytical skills on regional financial institutions have gotten a lot better ever since. As a CFA charterholder, I would like to become a model for younger people who are interested in taking on the challenge of earning the CFA charter.

Participating in CFA Society Japan’s activities prior to becoming a charterholder

I attended some of the seminars organized by CFA Society Japan, in addition to helping to run events such as the Japan Investment Conference (JIC) or the year-end party. Before I became a charterholder, the society would organize a study group kickoff meeting for aspiring candidates every year in January, after which I would join a weekly group every Sunday to study for the June exam. While every group member was working in the finance industry, the group spanned a range of specialized fields from banking to portfolio management firms. The scope of knowledge covered in the CFA® Program curriculum is extremely vast, so it was valuable to have the added specialized insights from each member. To this day, I continue to exchange information and insights with these members, giving me an opportunity to broaden my perspectives and strengthen my motivation, which provides an overall very stimulating result. In the future, I plan to actively participate in the CFA Institute Research Challenge competition aimed at university students.

The benefits of the CFA Program

While I believe there are opportunities to be gained in career development, I think the CFA Program’s greatest benefits reside in expanding one’s knowledge and people network. It requires quite a tremendous effort to pass the CFA charter while working, but I believe that its benefits are worth the challenge.

● What is the Japan Investment Conference (JIC)?

Planning and management of the full day conference program etc.

● What is the Examinee Support Seminar?

Supporting examinees by holding seminars on each exam subject. They also provide advice to examinees through telling their own success stories as the kick-off event etc.

INTERVIEW LIST
PIMCO Japan Ltd
Senior Vice President, Account Manager,
and Product Manager
Earned the CFA charter in 2017
PIFA Partners, Inc
Director
Earned the CFA charter in 2003
SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
NBA Research/Regional Financial Institution and Corporate Business Promotion
Earned the CFA charter in 2018
Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory LLC
Vice President
Earned the CFA charter in 2012
IHS Markit Japan GK
Assistant Vice President, Portfolio Valuation
Earned the CFA charter in 2016
Global Asset Management Firm
Equity Research Associate
Earned the CFA charter in 2017
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