THE PATHWAY TRAILBLAZER
Vincent Jeannin was part of the first cohort of students to go through the ACT's new Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals (CertTF). Upon completion, he quickly moved onto the next step on the ACT qualifications pathway and has completed the Certificate in Treasury. Here he talks to us about his background and how ACT qualifications are opening up his international opportunities.
What was the experience like for you studying with the ACT?
I had been planning to study with the ACT for a while. I love learning and although I finished my (first) Master's Degree 10 years ago, I kept on learning, trying to obtain other qualifications, either directly useful for my job (Master's in Mathematics, EUREX Trading License, FINRA Series 3) or purely by personal interest or fun (LLM in Business Law, WSET Level II). I didn't do it earlier because of time constraints but when I realised the ACT moved to online examinations, I could not miss it! And to be honest, this was a determining factor for me; there's now no need to waste a full day for a 90 minute examination. The revision material was very well written and the student chat forum was great. It seems the ACT is evolving very well compared with other organisations as it's making full use of the technological resources out there!
What impact do you feel these courses might have on your future career pathway?
The CertTF is a foundation level qualification and, with a Master's in Finance, a Master's in Mathematics and a Master's in Law, plus being a derivatives trader, I think I had the knowledge already. However, it's been easier for me to pass the CertTF (and maybe less expensive) rather than going through the laborious process of exemptions. Indeed, in French academia, it seemed quite complicated to get these exemptions.
I quickly moved onto the next step in the Certificate in Treasury (CertT) and this will certainly have some impact on my later career. I am currently a commodities trader and, although there's a big part of hedging (exactly what a treasurer would do) either on the commodities or the FX, there's also a speculation component. In a later stage of my career, I can see myself working in a treasury department in the UK, so British-based finance qualifications will certainly help me and will fill the knowledge gaps. This will probably be five years down the line though; at the moment, I am just planning to complete the next qualification -The Diploma in Treasury Management - finish the main path of the ACT and see how it supports my academic background.
What were the strengths of the courses?
CertTF is very well designed, well written and with a high level of detail. If the student is new to the topic, it's extremely useful. Students can also learn at their own pace, choosing the level of engagement with other students as there's no pressure to participate in the forums. Also, having flexibility with the time and day of the exam is a great feature of the course.
With CertT, the risk analysis and management unit was obviously the part that was more directly related to my activity and to the fundamentals of trading and hedging: managing the price risk. I also was very interested in the cash and liquidity management unit, specifically on the topic of financing international trade, an important subject in physical commodities trading. Also, there is a focus on interest derivatives like the Bund, Bobl and Schatz or the Eurodollar futures, which can be tools used in a treasury department.
What are the benefits of having a professional qualification?
As far as the ACT is concerned, a qualification from this organisation adds value to my knowledge and skillset and certainly shows I believe in using the financial markets to hedge the business model, rather than pure speculation.
What was your experience of doing the course through the ACT Learning Academy?
The course is very well designed, well written and with a high level of detail. If the student is new to the topic, it's extremely useful. Students can also learn at their own pace, choosing the level of engagement with other students as there's no pressure to participate in the forums. Also, having flexibility with the time, place and day of the exam is a great feature of the course.