CFA Society sees investment in alternatives deepening the capital market

“The process (of investment in alternatives) will be rather gradual, but will lead to expansion of the industry and deepening of Chilean capital markets.”

This is the view of CFA Society Chile on the new investment regulations for pension-fund investment in alternative assets.

Pamela Auszenker, member and volunteer of CFA Society Chile who currently heads equity research and strategy at Bci Corredora de Bolsa, said the financial market should, over time, and, particularly at local level, deepen even more. “Clearly the new regulations opening the way for AFPs (which continue to be the dominant players in the local market, considering that they manage more than USD 191 billion in assets, equivalent to 66% of Chile’s GDP) to invest more widely in alternative assets will help deepen this market, since pension funds are able to have portfolios more like the optimal ones in theoretical and financial terms, being able to diversify risks by incorporating other types of instruments,” she told Fund Pro Latin America.

In this context of diversification of investment possibilities, the executive emphasized the specialization that portfolio managers are achieving in Chile and the growing interest in CFA accreditation.

“In Chile, CFA certification is becoming more important, even though it is in the early stages. In 2000, two people became CFA charterholders for the first time in Chile. It took 10 years for that number to reach 25 and five more years to achieve the minimum of 50 charterholders needed to create a CFA Society Chile. The society now has 136 active members, and more than 350 candidates at different levels, which shows an exponential growth in interest in the certificate in recent years,” she said.

CFA Society Chile is one of the newest in the region, so the percentage of accredited executives is only just beginning, although growth in recent years has been rapid.

On the type of institutions most interested in having executives who are CFA charterholders, Auszenker said in general the interest in attracting them or encouraging the certificate among existing employees has been very much right across the industry, especially banks, AGF, AFPs and stockbrokers. “What we have seen is that more and more employers in the industry are giving incentives to join the CFA Program, creating study or financial programs for interested participants, understanding the importance and differentiation created by having people with the CFA certificate.

The executive said the 20 leading employers of members of CFA Society Chile represent 60% of the total, principally Scotiabank, Principal, BTG and BCI (five executives each), Habitat, Metlife, Santander and Security (4), LarrainVial, Banco de Chile, Sura, Moneda, BICE, State of Chile (3), Compass, Vision, Credicorp, Evalueserve, EY and Deloitte (2).

These firms are to some extent repeated in the ranking of CFA candidates, where there is a notable gender imbalance: 14.2% women and 85.2% men.