Photo: The Daily News
Diamond Oak Capital’s Sara Grillo’s prized possession is her CFA, not her MBA.Financial professionals frequently question which degree or qualification will end up being a more valuable asset or which they should get first, their CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) of their MBA.
A profile of Grillo, who has both, in Bloomberg, has a clear-cut answer: the CFA. The hedge funder is near-obsessed with her charter.
“I wanted those letters after my name so badly.”
“If it took me 80 years, it was going to say, ‘Sara Grillo, CFA’ on my tombstone.”
And now that she’s got it, Grillo wants you to get one too – but only if you’re a girl. The hedge funder is determined to boost the percentage of women who are CFA charterholders from 19% (where it currently stands) to 50%.
“I’m a CFA charterholder and I always look women right in the face and tell them that if I did it, they can do it as well.”
CFA tests are curved, so only a set number of candidates pass each year (or half year, depending on the level I-III). If Sara succeeds on her mission, to bring the percentage of women CFAs up to 50% from the current level, 19%, the number of American men who pass the CFA will drop as the male CFAs are replaced by women.
Here’s how Sara plans to boot 30% of the male CFAs out, in 3 steps:
Find women to mentor, teach them about stocks, help them pass the CFA tests.
Grillo found one of her ment-ees through an internship program at her firm.
Some of her plans sound innocent enough, but she’s really going to extremes to boost the number of women charterholders, even scooping up random women off the street. After she finds them, she makes them her ment-ees and pushes them to become a CFA.
One time, she found a ment-ee in a subway. She told Bloomberg about it:
“One of the women I met on the subway in Queens.”
“She was having a really tough time with a guy giving her trouble and I looked at her and I said, ‘look, you don’t need this guy. You can do so much better than this. Now let me teach you about stocks.'”
The bottom line for men: try to pass the test now, before Grillo’s team starts competing with you.
The CFA institute had no comment for Bloomberg.