Sunday 11, June 2017 by Jessica Combes

Over 4,400 investment professionals from the Middle East register for CFA exams


CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, has announced that 188,915 candidates worldwide registered for Level I, II, and III CFA exams across 91 countries.

This year’s exams took place on 3 June, and saw a nine per cent increase in registrations globally compared to June 2016. The growth in candidates shows a strong demand for investment education rooted in ethics and is a testament to the increasing focus on raising standards, improving professionalism and putting client interests first.

The Middle East had a strong representation from investment professionals in the region choosing the CFA as the qualification of choice: a total of 4,451 investment professionals from 12 Middle East countries reaffirmed their commitment to the highest level of professionalism by enrolling for the CFA exams across Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

“The CFA charter is the most rigorous credential in the investment profession, and represents the technical skills, knowledge, and commitment to ethics that future professionals need to succeed. When investors place their trust in CFA charter holders, they can achieve peace of mind knowing that they are in the hands of professionals with the expertise and integrity to meet their investment goals and put their interests first,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute.

Regionally, the Asia Pacific region continues to be the largest source of candidates, with 90,290 registered for the June 2017 exam, accounting for 48 per cent of the total. The Americas region saw the registration of 58,549 candidates, 31 per cent of the total, and 40,076 candidates registered in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), accounting for 21 per cent of the total.

CFA Institute currently has more than 142,000 charterholders who work in some of the most prominent firms around the world, including BNY Mellon, JP Morgan Chase, PwC, HSBC, and State Street. Employers know that by hiring charterholders, teams are strengthened with professionals who have an in-depth understanding of client needs, and the capacity to tailor and implement specific solutions.  

The CFA curriculum is grounded in the practice of the investment profession and is methodically updated with knowledge, skills, and competencies that are relevant to the profession. The three-level self-study programme covers 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 of the CFA Programme 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, emphasising 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 CFA exam comes on the heels of the organisation largest global gathering, the CFA Institute 70th Annual Conference, held on 21 to 24 May in Philadelphiaspan style="color: #0000ff; font-family: Calibri; font-size: small;">. At the event, Smith invited an audience of more than 1,800 professionals from 70 countries to commit to higher standards and help make the system work for all investors.

In a wide-ranging speech that addressed issues that Smith described as “existential”, he called on members of CFA Institute to take the lead in raising professionalism to a new level. “We all like to say we put our clients first, but it is not enough to proclaim a formal fiduciary commitment to them. We have to live up to that fiduciary standard every day and our clients and investors have to believe that we do,” Smith said. “I want us to stand even more vigorously and vocally for candour and transparency.” 
In his address, Smith outlined four steps that investment management professionals must take to make the profession more trustworthy and reinforce its value. These are: revising business models, taking the lead in earning trust, recruiting the right kind of professionals, and adapting to new technology.
“The fundamental purpose of finance is to contribute to society through increases in societal wealth and well-being. We need more people in our professional ranks who have clear ethics and a sense of commitment, people who see this career as a way to do a lot of good,” Smith said. “We also need more diversity in our ranks. Not just gender, but other diversity dimensions such as ethnicity, culture and work style.”




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