CBV Designation | Feature
Chartered Business Valuator
Prem Lobo is a Chartered Business Valuator You earned your CA while working at
(CBV), a specialized financial professional Arthur Andersen and continued working
CA Magazine has called “One of Sexiest Ca- in accounting. When and how to did you
reers in Finance.” At the age of 32, Prem is decide to pursue the Chartered Business
an Associate Director at Navigant Consult- Valuator (CBV) designation?
ing in Toronto. Recently, Prem talked to In- A colleague recommended the CBV desig-
Sight Magazine about the rewards of becom- nation to me, and I looked into it myself and
ing a CBV and Member of The Canadian thought it sounded very interesting. The
Institute of Chartered Business Valuators courses were very cutting-edge and built on
(CICBV). some aspects of my training as CA, while
extending my knowledge into much more
You’re a Chartered Accountant and a specialized areas. The CBV Programme of
Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). Many Studies encouraged me to think in a more
people haven’t heard of the CBV designa- holistic, integrated way. In finance, it’s like,
tion. How would you describe the CBV “Here’s how you do the math,” and in the
designation? CBV program, it was “Here’s the big pic-
Well, the CBV designation is a “specialty” ture.” Prem Lobo, CA, CBV
designation that trains and accredits those am involved in the valuation of businesses -
who hold the designation to provide busi- Following successful completion of the shares, assets and liabilities - in various con-
ness valuation and related services. Quite CBV Programme of Studies, students need texts such as shareholder oppression litiga-
simply, the term “valuation” refers to the de- to pass a Membership Entrance Examina- tions, tax transactions, or purchase and sale
termination of the potential market value of tion (MEE) before becoming Members of transactions. In terms of damages quanti-
a business interest, asset or liability. A CBV the Canadian Institute of Chartered Busi- fication, I quantify how much money one
is qualified to provide an “opinion” with re- ness Valuators. What was the MEE like? party has lost due to the alleged improper
spect to the value of a business interest, as- The MEE is a challenging examination that actions of another party in commercial dis-
set or liability. I call the CBV designation a requires you to integrate knowledge from putes such as breaches of contract, or patent
“specialty” designation because many who a wide range of business valuation courses. violation cases.
hold it have earned an accounting designa- You can’t pass the MEE based on memory
tion (CA, CGA etc.) or some other designa- work. You are provided with a case based What is the most rewarding aspect of be-
tion, or have some prior business, finance exam that tests professional judgment as ing a CBV?
or economics training, and then choose to well as core business valuation knowledge, For me there are many rewarding aspects of
“specialize” in the valuations field. all packed into a time-pressured 4 hour being a CBV. Being part of an “elite” pro-
exam. fessional designation specialized in valua-
Some students struggle to find the “per- tions / damages / investigations is certainly
fect” job straight out of their undergradu- You have worked as a CBV at Navigant attractive. The various “doors that open”
ate degree. Tell us about your first job out Consulting since 2001 and are now an As- and opportunities present themselves to
of university. sociate Director. What kinds of work are CBVs in terms of interesting types of work
While I was still an undergraduate I was you involved with? – whether as a valuator for the Government,
lucky enough to get a summer job in ac- At Navigant Consulting I have three gen- or an investigator for the Ontario Securities
counting, at the now sadly defunct firm eral areas that I focus on – business valua- Commission, or as a professional in the val-
called Arthur Andersen. I say “sadly” tions, damages quantification and forensic uation group of a specialty CBV firm – that
because despite the Enron debacle that is investigations. With business valuations, I is rewarding.
most usually associated with Andersen
and with its demise, Andersen was widely Tips for New Accounting Grads on the Job Hunt
regarded as the premier public accounting
1. With honesty and hard work, you will achieve what you set out to achieve. Even in a
firm in its day, and it was a tremendous
tough economy like ours, it is possible to advance and achieve your goals. It just takes
place to work. When I finished my BBA in
more focus and perseverance.
1999 I was asked to come back full time by
2. Consider pursuing a designation such as Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). If you
Arthur Andersen, and I worked there from
enjoy communicating and using technical skills, the CBV designation might be for
1999 until 2001. I was initially making the
lofty sum of $30,000 a year, but I was learn-
3. At job interviews, never exaggerate your experience. Be earnest, but never desperate,
ing a lot. Sometimes, the hours were long.
and present your best foot forward.
Accounting hours fluctuate. In the busy
4. Don’t ask about salary at the interview. What’s more important than salary when
season it wasn’t uncommon for me to work
you’re starting out is getting into a place that gives you long-term career develop-
six days a week for over 10 hours a day.
But in the summertime, I sometimes had a
5. If you are interested in pursuing a designation, talk to professionals in that field.
much lighter schedule. The hours even out
Consider going to an information session, or get in touch with the CICBV for infor-
eventually. “Work hard, play hard” was the
mation on the designation and Programme of Studies. For more information, visit:
Andersen motto, and we had fun living by
InSight Magazine Volume 6, Issue 3 February 2010 | 9