In conversation with Marshall Bailey, CFA and OBE. Member board of directors CFA Society UK

Wednesday 19 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:


“A visible differentiator in this competitive world”

Marshall Bailey, CFA, OBE, has substantial experience of leading complex international committees and boards. He is currently an independent non-executive board director involved with several leading financial institutions. His background spans a range of sectors, including banking and capital markets, regulation, and public policy. He received his CFA designation in 1994.

1. How has the experience of getting your CFA helped in your career?

Preparing for CFA exams requires a strong discipline and the ability to balance demands on your time. Employers and market practitioners all know this, so having passed the exams is a confirmation of your possession of these desirable attributes. The old adage remains true: If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?


2. What are the main challenges that you face in your role?

In modern financial markets, being able to demonstrate a professional competence is a subtle requirement at all times. With so much change in conditions over the past decade or more, staying on top of the latest practices requires a balance of absorbing the right amount of a lot of information.

3. What have been your key successes since becoming CFA Charterholder?

As one who took my CFA exams early on in my career (in my mid-20s) I have no doubt that the material and skills I learned as a candidate and as a Charter-holder have contributed to whatever successes I have had, both professionally and personally. Having a strong ethical base (and a detailed understanding of the practical application of ethics in financial markets) has been a strong contributor.

4. What has surprised you most about working as a CFA?

Substantially all of the people I have worked with are intelligent, dedicated, conscientious and gifted in some ways, so the CFA is a simple but visible differentiator in this competitive world. While the exams are difficult, they are not beyond the reach of anyone with these attributes, so why shouldn’t everyone strive to receive the CFA Charter? If you aren’t disciplined enough to manage that, perhaps there are other issues that get in the way of your success.

5. How did you get involved with CFA UK? / How has CFA UK helped you?  

All active people have choices about how to spend time and money, and the CFA Society of the UK offers a great variety of choices to members. I know of nobody who has had a successful career who didn’t care deep about the people involved in their industry, whether it is clients or competitors or regulators. CFA UK offers a chance to meet them all, and often in a sociable location.