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TMCNet:  CFA Institute Aims to Improve Industry Expertise and Integrity with Launch of New Global Examination Program For the Financial Services Industry

[January 09, 2013]

CFA Institute Aims to Improve Industry Expertise and Integrity with Launch of New Global Examination Program For the Financial Services Industry

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

CFA Institute, the global association for investment professionals and administrator of the CFA Program, today announced the launch of the Claritas™ Investment Certificate ("Claritas"). This new international education standard for the financial services industry will open for global registrations in May 2013.

Claritas is aimed at the broad range of people in the financial services industry who work alongside those in investment roles. Currently 68 organizations and over 3000 candidates are taking part in a pilot program. These organizations are supporting the development of the industry focused program and include asset managers, financial institutions, media and consulting groups. Participants are also globally diverse, with candidates taking part from a variety of countries including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, UAE, UK, Uruguay and USA. The first pilot exams are scheduled for late March.

At a time when the on-going financial crisis has undermined trust in financial services and left a vacuum which organizations, academics and regulators have struggled to address, CFA Institute firmly believes that there is a clear need for those who work in the industry to take visible action to restore its integrity and reputation. According to the CFA Institute Global Market Sentiment Survey 2013, investors agree that to restore integrity in the global capital markets, change must come from within. More than 65 per cent of respondents indicated that a lack of ethical culture within financial firms has been the biggest contributor to the decline in confidence.

CFA Institute is launching Claritas, in part, to help address this trust and integrity issue. It will provide a foundational level of education aimed at increasing levels of knowledge and understanding of the investment industry for the many professional disciplines within financial services, including consultancy, compliance, marketing and sales, legal, HR, IT and operations. Based on feedback from CFA Institute members and input from top financial leaders, regulators and academics from around the world, the new program is made up of seven self-study modules covering the industry, ethics, tools, instruments, structure, controls and client needs. Those completing the certificate will emerge with a clear understanding of the investment industry and their professional responsibilities within it.

John Rogers, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute, said: "Building and maintaining trust in the financial services industry is at the heart of our mission at CFA Institute, and the Claritas Investment Certificate was born out of our firm belief that clarity and knowledge will help achieve this. Claritas will enable those working across financial services to become more effective, knowledgeable and responsible professionals. This will benefit their employers, colleagues and society as a whole, as well as help support their own career development."

John Bowman, CFA, Head, Claritas Investment Certificate, CFA Institute, said: "Claritas represents a vital pportunity for the industry to raise standards across the board and lay the foundation to a better educated and informed workforce at all levels, regardless of their role. I am delighted with the program that we have developed in partnership with the industry and the warm reception we have received from our numerous and diverse pilot partners. I believe all candidates will find it stimulating and motivational, and employers will certainly benefit from the introduction of this global standard."

Alok Sethi, a member of the board of Franklin Templeton International Services India Private Limited at pilot participant firm Franklin Templeton Investments, commented: "Claritas presents a huge opportunity to raise standards of excellence across the world of financial services - not only for the candidates themselves, but for our company and the industry. CFA Institute is bringing this to market in a timely manner as the industry seeks to find global solutions to help earn trust. We are proud to be one of the first participants in this vital new program."

-Notes to Editors-

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. Our broader mission begins with the gold-standard Chartered Financial Analyst designation. More than 100,000 CFA charterholders lead the investment industry in analytical rigor and ethical behaviour. This graduate-level credential demands CFA charterholders do right by their clients and demonstrate the highest level of professional integrity and expertise. CFA Institute has more than 111,875 members in 137 countries and territories, including 104,043 CFA charterholders, and 138 member societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org.

Claritas and the CFA Program

Whereas Claritas is designed to reach everyone in the investment industry who helps enable investment decision making - from client services to operations, compliance and legal, from human resources to sales and marketing - the CFA Program is intended for those who are directly involved in the investment decision-making process.

The CFA Program is a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that provides a strong foundation of real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills along with the practical knowledge you need in today's investment industry. It also emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards.

About Claritas

Follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) @Claritas for news about the Claritas Investment Certificate from @CFAInstitute.

Open to all. The Claritas Investment Certificate is for all professional disciplines in the financial services industry outside of investment roles. From client services to compliance; from human resources to IT and operations; from marketing and sales to legal. It is ideal for the many different people in the financial services industry who are not directly involved in analysing or making investment decisions. Participants do not need to meet any education or experience requirements to study for Claritas.

Clear and cost effective. With Claritas, learners can study online in their own time. In around 100 hours of study over an expected 3 to 6 month period, they should gain a clear understanding of all the essentials, including: ethics and regulation, structure of the industry, the various asset classes and client needs. Registration will be easy and cost effective for organizations to offer Claritas to their employees around the world. As the name suggests, everything about Claritas - from online support to the look and feel - has been designed to be as clear as possible for participants.

Pilot phase participants. To date we have 68 organizations and over 3000 candidates participating in the pilot phase from around the world. Here is a listing of organizations who have agreed to be named as participants:

  • AIMSE (Association of Investment Management Sales Executives)
  • PAICR (Professional Association for Investment Communications Resources)
  • Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
  • AFAP SURA SA
  • Al Meezan Investment Management Limited
  • Allianz Global Investors
  • Alston + Bird
  • Amba Research
  • Ascendant Compliance Management
  • Ashland Partners & Company
  • ASISA Academy
  • Aviva Investors
  • Barclays Wealth and Investment Management
  • BBC
  • BlackRock
  • BNY Mellon
  • BT (News - Alert) Investment Management Ltd
  • California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)
  • California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)
  • Calvert Investments, Inc.
  • Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited
  • China Life Insurance (Group) Company
  • Credit Suisse
  • Dubai Financial Market
  • Fleishman-Hillard
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Hong Leong Asset Management Bhd
  • Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd
  • IBK Securities
  • Income Research + Management (IR+M)
  • Malaysian Association of Asset Managers
  • Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
  • NASDAQ Dubai
  • New York Hedge Fund Roundtable
  • Nordea Wealth Management
  • Old Mutual Investment Group (South Africa)
  • Perpetual
  • Reliance Capital Asset Management Limited
  • Russell Investments
  • State Administration of Foreign Exchange (China)
  • State Street Corporation
  • SBI Mutual Fund (India)
  • Schroders
  • Towers Watson
  • UBS
  • Union Capital AFAP S.A.
  • University of Montevideo
  • Wesfarmers
  • William Blair & Company
  • Wilshire Fund Management


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