What's new

A few questions about the FRM , risk management and a lil career help.


New Member
I'm new to this community and also to risk management.I'm located in India and I am a student ( soon to graduate). I read about risk management in a few forums and i have a few questions:

1. Can a student who has no engg., fin.engg or BSc ( stats,maths, phy) deg. take the FRM exam and pass it?? I'm doing a business degree( lots of accounting -less math), so what are my odds of passing?

2. Does the FRM exam help or is useful to those working for a ratings agency or those interested in credit risk management at insurance companies?? ( Associate Actuaries from the institute of actuaries India).

3. After i graduate and pass the SOA/CAS exam 2/ financial math exam , i've been thinking to join the CRISIL CCAP programme (http://www.crisil.com/ccap/ccap-design.html). the reason i want to pass a actuary exam is to prove my quant skills. To Those who have been working in risk management , does working at a rating agency fulfill the FRM requirements to use the credentials??.What do you guys out here feel about the CCAP programme?

4. Compared to the PRM, the FRM is much tougher, is widely recognised , but costlier than PRM. Also the PRM quant section is easier . Should i go for PRM and then FRM credentials??

5. Since i don't have a good statistics/math background , does passing the FRM automatically mean i'm good at math? or does the PRM exam -II help in my situation? or neither.

7. What advantages and disadvantages i have if i do the MSc in Financial risk management? from ICMA?

David Harper CFA FRM

David Harper CFA FRM
Staff member
Hi Sklar,

Welcome, I'll just take the few i think i might take a stab at.

1. Absolutely. But a big factor is your current comfort zone with quantitative methods. If you are new/stale/uncomfortable with quant, it takes more time. Those who are comfortable with math can move more quicky through the FRM.

2. I like not to generalize about the FRM's current career enhancing prospects mainly because: it is just now coming into its own. Like the CFA maybe a decade+ ago. It only recently started showing up on a few (small number) of job descriptions. I think it's recognition is currently low-modest on an absolute scale (I can still meet many people in FinServices who don't know what it is, unlike the CFA which is everywhere recognized) but growing rapidly on only helped by recent events. (as frankly, it is winning over PRM as the gold standard for risk designations)

4. In my opinion, no, you will get no real purchase by doing them both. They overlap and frankly FRM is more of superset of PRM. I do *not* see the learning or the career benefit in both. I have had the opportunity recently to review the PRM and talk with some folks involved in PRM, and i can say without a (personal) doubt, the FRM is broader and tougher. A few years ago, it was common to hear that PRM is more quantitative. Now that i've looked at PRM, I disagree with this currently (they have a new module in development, so we will see). At this moment, I think the FRM is more quantitatively rigorous.

5. I wouldn't go quite that far. I think it signals a baseline competency. Depends on your audience. Financial Engineers (Quants) will frankly not, just my opinion, consider the FRM a signal that you have sufficient math background. They tend to operate at a different level. At the end of the day, if you look at the cirriculum, the FRM is a *broad* survey not deep in any area (e.g., not deep in derivatives, not deep in Basel - but dizzyingly broad)...in fact, this is why almost anyone needs lots of prep time. You can be an expert/experienced is some area (e.g., fixed income, bank regulations) but likely, for the exam, you will "knows too much" (more than you need) in your area, but you will still need to refresh on the other 80%+/-.

Hope that helps, just opinions, thanks, David