CHP Designation - Certified Hedge Fund Professional (Part 2) ~ market folly

Friday, February 6, 2009

CHP Designation - Certified Hedge Fund Professional (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of our conversation with Richard Wilson about the CHP Designation - Certified Hedge Fund Professional. The CHP is a designation similar to the CFA and CAIA, but specifically geared towards hedge funds. We are also pleased to announce a MarketFolly exclusive $50 discount off of registration (more details on that below). Since many of our readers are in the industry or desire to be in the industry, we figured this could be very useful. (Note: sign-up fast, because spots are very limited).

We asked him a ton of questions about the program and he gave us a great overview. We already presented Part 1 of the interview on Wednesday. Now, here's the rest:

7. Do you think credibility or prestige will be an issue being a new designation?

While media outlets such as the Financial Times, Alpha Magazine, and Institutional Investor have covered us a few times, many hedge fund managers and professionals are still learning about who we are and what we are trying to do. Some businesses and certification programs come and go so it will take 2-3 years to gain the trust and credibility that we will need to take our program from 300-400 participants a year which we are at now to 1,000+ participants a year. We are open to media interviews, input from hedge fund managers, and we constantly seek feedback from participants to help us continually improve the program itself and our image within the industry.

8. How many applicants are you expecting each year and how many do you think will pass?

In 2009 we predict having 400 total participants and we believe that roughly 250-300 of these will pass the exam to hold the Level 1 charter. A 70-75% pass rate is what we expect for 2009. We believe in making the exam very challenging but failing 50% of those who take the exam as some designations do sounded extreme to our team, especially when participants are forced to pay full registration fees for each exam they sit for.

9. Do you think its a bad time to launch such a designation given the consolidation and somewhat chaotic nature of the industry right now?

We believe it is needed more than ever. There has never been a more competitive time to be seeking new hedge fund clients, partners, or jobs. We believe the CHP Designation can act as a tool for those professionals who need to break new grounds in one of these three areas. I'm sure if we had started the designation several years ago we would be of a much larger size by now but we are fortunate to have the team and advisory board we have now and we are here to stay. Our program is well capitalized and there is no risk of discontinuation in the forseeable future.

10. What about those trying to break into the industry? Will it be beneficial to them and are they allowed to take it?

The CHP Designation program was initially aimed at those who were not yet in the industry or those who were in their first 2 years of entering the hedge fund world. What we found, however, was that many highly experienced professionals were enrolling for our program because of its well rounded learning objectives and focus on hedge fund strategies and due diligence. For example one trader who started a hedge fund in 2006 just enrolled into our CHP Level 1 program because while he is an expert at trading and runs his own hedge fund he wanted to learn more about fund of hedge funds and how to evaluate hedge fund performance. Around 80% Of the professionals who complete the program already work within the industry.

11. The CHP offers networking and mentoring opportunities, which can be a great resource. Was it one of the goals to also build a community around the designation? Also, what are some of the other benefits?

The community really came first and helped seed the idea of starting the CHP Designation. The Hedge Fund Group (HFG) is the 17,000 person networking association which launched the CHP Designation. This group has members from every major city around the world, with over 4,000 hedge funds being represented by participants who have joined the group. The HFG holds networking events several times a year within the US and will soon begin offering these outside of the US as well.

12. There have been many different charters created over the years... Why will yours succeed and what gives it staying power?

The staying power of our certification program is partnered with the staying powers of the hedge fund industry itself. Our program is well rounded and applicable to almost any professional who works with hedge funds. At the same time, hedge funds may invest an almost anything and while struggling now as an industry, their diversity and sheer force in numbers should allow them to be first in line once the market turns again. Regardless of additional regulations, I believe hedge funds globally will come back to full strength over the next 3 years and our program hopes to grow with them over this same time period.


Make sure you also check out Part 1 of the interview. Thanks again to Richard for answering our questions. It sounds like the CHP is ideal for both professionals already in the industry looking to advance their career, as well as those looking to break into the industry. (Note: sign-up fast, because spots are very limited). Also, a special thanks to him for helping to arrange the $50 discount exclusively for MarketFolly readers. Please note: The only way to be able to receive the MarketFolly $50 discount is by using the form below.

Submit your contact details to learn more about the CHP Designation program:

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