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CFA Vs MBA: How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From Doing Both

Tom McGillycuddy is a CFA charter holder; Matt Matham has an MBA degree. They joined forces to start a new company

Wed Jun 19 2019

BusinessBecause
CFA and MBA are often pitted as rivals. But the two premier business and finance qualifications are not mutually exclusive.

There is a value in obtaining both an MBA degree and Chartered Financial Analyst status, not least acquiring technical and managerial skills to move into senior investment management positions.

CFA and MBA can also help in setting up your own business. 


CFA + MBA

Tom McGillycuddy and Matt Matham founded tickr, an investment app that helps people save towards their future by investing in the things they care about. In other words, the app helps empower people to make money and have a positive impact at the same time. 

Tom is a CFA charter holder; Matt has an MBA degree from the...

uo;s University of Liverpool Management School.

Tom took all three levels of the immensely complex CFA exams. “I pursued the CFA as part of the graduate program I did at Barclays, and continued it whilst at Wellington Management [in the impact investment team],” he says.

“The CFA gives you a good breadth and depth of knowledge in all forms of financial analysis, from accounting to equity valuations. The qualification is set up to prepare people to become financial analysts, with a focus on equities for the majority.”

Matt says an MBA was the best route to understand more about business in a broad range of sectors, and to meet interesting people with similar ambitions. “Having worked in the real estate sector in the build-up to the financial crash, I wanted to broaden my knowledge in finance and business,” he says.


Check out: CFA Vs MBA? Here’s Why You Should Do Both

cfa-mba


Complementary skills

The two entrepreneurs say that the MBA and CFA complement each other as they build their investment app business.

“Tom’s experience in impact investing, results in him taking the lead on the investment side of the business,” says Matt. “I have a broader experience and tend to be more operational—the MBA gave me a broader understanding of all aspects of running a business.”

Tom adds that, while an MBA can support budding entrepreneurs, the CFA isn’t designed to help you build and scale a startup, so he’s acquired those skills elsewhere. “The main thing I got from the CFA was the ability to have a decent understanding of all areas of financial analysis,” he says. “This then contributed to the career I had at Wellington, which was then a factor in starting tickr.”


The self-study nature of the CFA means it often takes over five years to achieve the qualification.


A few years ago Tom may have considered doing an MBA, “but now that wouldn't make sense at all, given that running a startup is a real-world MBA with no theory!” he says.

On the flip side, Matt has actually passed CFA level 1, but has “no real desire to complete [Levels] 2 and 3” since, he says, “startup life is all consuming and is a constant learning experience in itself.”

The pair have big ambitions for their business, and their qualifications may help them achieve their goals. These include getting millions of people impact investing as their default option; funnelling billions into impact investments through the app and the launch of their own exchange-traded funds; and provide financial and investment education to millions of users.

For Tom and Matt, MBA and CFA may turn out to be a match made in heaven.

Student Reviews

University of Liverpool School of Management

Karan

Verified

28/09/2023

On Campus

My experience in UOL

Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.

Hani

Verified

26/09/2023

On Campus

Fantastic school

The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!

Keira

Verified

10/09/2023

On Campus

Original RedBrick Review!!

The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!

Francesca

Verified

5/09/2023

On Campus

Enjoyed every aspect of it!

My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.

Ramy

Verified

11/07/2023

Online

Quality

Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.

Jessica

Verified

30/04/2023

On Campus

Amazing course

The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on

Imogen

Verified

30/04/2023

On Campus

The Best Experience

Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!

Student

Verified

6/02/2023

On Campus

Culture

One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.

India

Verified

29/11/2022

On Campus

Great university!

I did my undergrad in film studies at LJMU and I honestly could not recommend it enough. It has the perfect mix of practical and theory work that prepares you for any job possible in the film industry, from lighting tech to AD. The university lecturers were also very attentive, and I felt comfortable enough with them to seek their help if I ever had an issue or concern, academic or personal. LJMU gave me experiences I would not have got anywhere else, offering summer placements completely free that broadened my horizons. The fact the campus is interspersed around the city also makes it very convenient.

Student

Verified

27/12/2023

On Campus

Law Program

UoL has been a great school to attend so far. I attend UoL's campus in the Cayman Islands, Truman Bodden Law School. Being on such a small island, it has been great with the personal face-to-face with lecturers in understanding topics.

Karan

Verified

28/09/2023

On Campus

My experience in UOL

Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.

Hani

Verified

26/09/2023

On Campus

Fantastic school

The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!

Keira

Verified

10/09/2023

On Campus

Original RedBrick Review!!

The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!

Francesca

Verified

5/09/2023

On Campus

Enjoyed every aspect of it!

My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.

Ramy

Verified

11/07/2023

Online

Quality

Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.

Jessica

Verified

30/04/2023

On Campus

Amazing course

The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on

Imogen

Verified

30/04/2023

On Campus

The Best Experience

Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!

Student

Verified

6/02/2023

On Campus

Culture

One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.

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