Natalie Ford

Reiman School offers track for wealth management

The Reiman School of Finance has always prepared students for a variety of career options—investment banking, portfolio management, financial planning and analysis, and much more. Reiman students have been able to complete coursework and exams to progress toward a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Now, they can also prepare for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification too.

“We have had a long and successful relationship with the CFA Society,” said Conrad Ciccotello, professor of finance and director of the Reiman School of Finance. “Now we have wealth management under the Reiman umbrella as well, allowing our students to have exposure to financial advising and the ability to become a CFP practitioner.”

The CFA prepares students to be investment advisors and analysts, helping companies and financial institutions manage assets and portfolios. The CFP brings more of a “front of the office” perspective and the ability to work directly with clients on achieving their financial goals.

That kind of financial acumen, but with a personal touch, is what is appealing to Natalie Ford, a third-year undergraduate finance major at Daniels.

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison

“I enjoy having one-on-one personal interactions,” Ford said. “I believe it would be valuable to sit down with a client, build a relationship over time and see them achieve their financial goals.”

Ford is one of several students in the first class of a 6-course track. These classes prepare students for financial planning, and when they’re done they have the credentials to sit for the CFP exam. Paul Harrison, teaching assistant professor of finance, has been leading the effort on bringing this credential to Reiman.

“Once completing the wealth management course, students receive the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) designation,” Harrison said. “Reiman now offers the opportunity for students to expand beyond this gateway credential. The CFP is the most recognizable designation in the personal wealth management space, and we are now a registered program with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.”

In addition to this designation, Ciccotello was recently appointed as a co-editor of the Financial Planning Review, the journal sponsored by the Board of Standards, which is a leading academic journal in the area of wealth management and is distributed to more than 93,000 CFP® holders.    

Conrad Ciccotello

“I’m honored to be one of the editors of the Financial Planning Review,” Ciccotello said. “This gives the Reiman wealth management program national visibility to all of the practitioners who read the journal.”

Ford is excited and hopes to sit for the CFP exam one day even though she understands it’s one of the hardest exams to pass.

“I look forward to taking the CFP exam because, by that time, I will have completed the course sequence that will prepare me,” Ford said. “I think the CFP designation is not only beneficial for Daniels, and the Reiman School, but it is also beneficial for students because it makes us more competitive in the marketplace.”

Ford is looking for a wealth management internship opportunity. In recent years, the number of Front Range firms offering internships in wealth management has grown tremendously. Between the rigorous coursework, the opportunity to get certified and the deep industry connections, Harrison feels Reiman is set up to help students succeed.

“I think this could be magic for both our students and the wealth management community,” Harrison said. “We’re set up to be the bridge between growing firms looking for interns, and highly motivated students looking for a challenging career path. DU is right place to make the connection.”

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