In conversation with Jason Baran, CFA, Defaqto Investment Consultant and CFA UK member

Thursday 6 September 2018

We asked some of our members to share insights into their experience, what’s driving their career and how they got to where they are now. Passion, thirst for knowledge, networking and a proactive approach to professional development can go a long way. Take a look at our programme for opportunities to invest in your career. 

Jason Baran, CFA

“Credibility led to growth”

Jason Baran, CFA uses his position as ‘investment expert’ in his firm to maximise his influence whilst using CFA Society UK resources to back up his thirst for professional knowledge. 

CFA Society UK has been very useful for keeping me up-to-date with investment industry developments and maintaining my investment knowledge. Working outside of London in a small team, I’m seen as being the investment ‘expert’ within the firm, and part of my role is to educate my colleagues and our clients. By keeping up to date with CFA Society UK conferences, webinars, and using the online library, it’s easy to find interesting and useful resources despite a busy schedule.

Facing challenges 
Where I work at Defaqto, we rate and analyse all manner of multi-asset funds with varying strategies for the majority of financial advisers in the UK. Part of the company’s culture is to be open and transparent, and hence we make our rating analysis freely available to the funds we rate and our adviser clients. This openness means the methodology used in our ratings can be challenged very strongly by fund managers, and hence a key challenge is to ensure we are being fair, accurate and knowledgeable with our ratings.

Career credibility 
I’ve been at Defaqto for over four years now, in that time the number of funds that we rate, the number of advisers using our system, and the number of fund providers licensing their rating for use in their marketing has grown massively. This is in part a result of the credibility we have created from our investment team’s work.

The most pleasant surprise of being a member of CFA Society UK is the quality of the events on offer. I find the conferences always have decent speakers and the quality of the discussion very good. CFA Society UK has taken on feedback to create more volunteering opportunities this year. Currently, I’m involved in a working group analysing barriers to entry across the financial industry. Again, this is a great way to meet other knowledgeable professionals and stay on top of industry development.

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Career path

Current position

  • Defaqto Investment Consultant, UK

Previous positions

  • CFA Charter 2014
  • Eastspring Japan Equity Analyst, Singapore
  • Prudential Asia Regional Investment Coordinator, Hong Kong
  • M&G Graduate Analyst, London


  • Graduated MPhil Statistics, University of Cambridge
  • Graduated 1st Class Maths, Royal Holloway, University of London