Which is better between CFA or CAIA to pivot later in an investing role at a Private Bank / Family Office (possibly focused on alternatives) in Europe?
Brief background about me:
Fresh graduate (target) working for a quite well known LP in Germany doing primaries and co-investments (mainly VC, growth and buyout). Previously interned at an unknown PE shop and a family office.

I know that for an alts focused role the CAIA seems like a better pick, but I think that given my background the CFA could maybe make me look a bit more well-rounded.

Comments (9)

Sep 18, 2022 - 1:15pm
bluke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want to learn the theory behind alternative investing I supposed you can pick up a CAIA textbook and read. In terms of real life recognition, I dont think the buyside cares much about other certifications besides CFA. My personal opinion.

Sep 22, 2022 - 5:34pm
Fuwuyuan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I confirm I dont care about the CAIA. If you have your CFA you can basically just sit for the CAIA too. I respect the CFA as a signaling tool if you are in your 20s. Care less about it and more about your intelligence, merit and accomplishments if youre in your mid to late 30s and beyond. 

Sep 18, 2022 - 4:00pm
intern_forever_x, what's your opinion? Comment below:

CFA is arguably the best professional designation you can pursue - a simple google search has tons of proof 

Most Helpful
Sep 21, 2022 - 10:28am
rickle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you know you want to focus on Alts long term, the CAIA is quite helpful as it takes a fairly deep dive into all things Alts (far more than the CFA - CFAs get to skip to yr two of CAIA because much of yr one is covered in CFA training but yr two is far more in depth and can get quite granular. I would think that would actually be really helpful in doing the job when working with Alts (whether investor or client facing, especially with HNW / UHNW which tend to want to access more exotic investments).

However, the CFA will bring you more generic gravitas for the entire market outside of Alts. 

Many of the major fund families are developing their Alts platforms as fee compression is hurting their traditional stuff. Alts are like the wild west from a fee perspective.

  • Intern in ER
Sep 25, 2022 - 1:45am

U can skip L1 CAIA if u have the CFA. Imo it's worth it to just knuckle down on 4 levels in total lol

Oct 11, 2022 - 4:19pm
rickle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Quam alias repellendus molestias dolor quae libero. Tenetur omnis nam ipsam quia. Id saepe quia architecto reiciendis est. Id aut veritatis impedit aut. Rerum vel et ut sint. Tempore quisquam at molestias aut culpa natus est et.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲08) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners (+ +) 98.9%
  • Evercore (▽01) 98.5%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲01) 98.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • PJT Partners (= =) 99.6%
  • Evercore (▲02) 99.3%
  • Greenhill (▲06) 98.9%
  • Canaccord Genuity (▲15) 98.5%
  • William Blair (= =) 98.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • PwC Corporate Finance (▲14) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.3%
  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 98.9%
  • William Blair (▽02) 98.5%
  • Evercore (▽01) 98.2%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (219) $256
  • 2nd Year Analyst (139) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (19) $160
  • 1st Year Analyst (463) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (88) $151
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (336) $92