CFA Institute drives international financial standards; Registration increase 131 %


CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announced today that over 900 candidates registered for its June 2011 examinations from across the GCC, Lebanon and Jordan. This represents an increase of 131% over the past five years highlighting the strong commitment among finance professionals to high standards of ethics, education and professional excellence, which the CFA Program demands.

144,900 candidates registered globally from 162 countries, an annual increase of 4% on last year. Asia Pacific continues to be the largest source, accounting for 42% of the total, followed by 36% from the Americas, and 22% from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The United Arab Emirates remains the largest source of new registrations from the Middle East in 2011, representing 49% of the regional total, followed by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with 12% and Kuwait with nearly 10%.

Mr. Nitin Mehta, CFA, Managing Director for EMEA at CFA Institute, said: “It is encouraging to see the growth in the overall number of candidates registering for the CFA Program, despite the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Our recent CFA Middle East Societies Market Sentiment Survey suggests that this is being driven by a number of factors, including a desire for personal career development, a growing demand for well-qualified investment professionals, and an urgent need to restore trust in financial markets. This development evidences a continuing drive for greater professionalism and the application of global standards around the region.”

Following a rise in the number of local candidates, a new examination centre was used for the first time in Doha, Qatar, and complemented the ten other existing examination centres across the Middle East.1

“We are pleased to report an increase in registrations for both the June exam and in fiscal year 2011, for yet another year. It is very encouraging to see that financial professionals across the world continue to dedicate themselves to the ethics, rigor, tenacity, and analytics at the core of the CFA Program and, through this, they commit in many ways to bettering our profession”, said Mr. John Rogers, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute.

The CFA Program is a self-study program, considered to be the most rigorous credentialing program in the investment industry. The CFA curriculum is grounded in the practice of the investment profession and evolves with time. Through a process called “practice analysis,” a survey of investment professional from around the world, CFA Institute is able to update the curriculum with knowledge, skills, and abilities that are relevant to the profession.

The CFA exam is a three-level exam covering topics including Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Investment Tools, Asset Classes, and Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning. Each level imparts a particular skill set: Level I is focused on investment tools and the foundations of the business, giving candidates the necessary knowledge and comprehension; Level II is focused on asset classes including equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments, emphasizing candidates’ ability in application and analysis; and Level III is focused on portfolio management and wealth planning, requiring candidates to be competent in synthesis and evaluation while making investment decisions.

The Level I exam is administered in both June and December, while Levels II and III are administered in June only. Surveys of successful candidates indicate that they spend on average 300 hours preparing for each level. Preparation time required for individual candidates will vary, however, depending on their individual circumstances and academic background.

On average, successful candidates take four years to complete the self-study program and examinations to earn the CFA charter. In addition to passing the exams, candidates must also have at least four years of work experience in the investment profession; sign a commitment to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute.


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