What is the 'CFA Institute'

The CFA Institute is an international organization that serves investment management professionals with educational, ethical and certification programs. Formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR), the CFA Institute is comprised of more than 70,000 members who hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation or are otherwise bound by its rules. Its primary mandate is to specify and maintain a high standard for the investment industry.

Breaking Down 'CFA Institute'

CFA Institute has active members in most countries. CFA charterholders numbered some 132,000 as recently as 2016. The CFA is guided by a board of governors comprised of 20 board members, most of whom are elected by the institute's members for three-year terms. The institute is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., and has offices in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, London and Brussels. It it produces industry guidelines such as the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS)

CFA Institute Mission

The mission of CFA Institute is to promote the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence in the global investment industry. The Institute aspires to serve financial professionals by providing education, professional development and networking opportunities. It also aims to be a global leader in investment ethics, industry practice and capital market integrity. The CFA's mission statement is as follows:

"To lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society."

CFA Institute has created and maintains the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, which is an ethical benchmark for investment professionals around the world, regardless of their specific jobs within the industry. Institute members and CFA charterholders and candidates are required to adhere to this document throughout their careers. Beyond monitoring and updating this standard of conduct and behavior for investment professionals, CFA Institute also works to shape and influence public policy and industry practice to put investors' interests first.

CFA Institute: Designations Offered

Besides the industry work the Institute does, it also offers education programs resulting in various designations. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is its most popular and widely recognized. The CFA Program provides a strong foundation in portfolio management and investment analysis skills. The CFA charter is the professional standard of choice for over 31,000 investment firms worldwide. The designation requires candidates to pass three successive examinations that cover ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting, corporate finance, equity, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments and portfolio management.

Another designation offered by CFA Institute is the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM), which is designed to give candidates the practice-based investment performance and risk evaluation skills that are globally relevant. The program covers ethics and reporting standards, manager selection, appraisal, attribution and measurement.

The Institute also has the Investment Foundations Program, which covers the essentials of investment roles, finance and ethics. The self-study program is designed to benefit people who work for or in investment and financial services companies, such as sales and marketing professionals, human resources, or information technology professionals.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Associate In Management (AIM)

    An Associate in Management (AIM) designation is a management ...
  2. Chartered Market Analyst - CMA

    Chartered Market Analyst (CMA) is a globally recognized certificate ...
  3. Business Ethics

    Business ethics is the study of proper business policies and ...
  4. Associate In Loss Control Management ...

    An Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM) was a professional ...
  5. Financial Analysts Journal - FAJ

    The Financial Analysts Journal is a publication circulated by ...
  6. Retirement Planner

    A retirement planner is a practicing professional who helps individuals ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Study Does Not End After the CFA

    Getting your CFA is an admirable achievement, but it doesn't end there. Find out what comes next.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Designations For The Buy Side

    For those interested in picking securities and financial planning, these certifications could be just what your buy-side financial career needs.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Financial Certifications With The Best ROI

    These certifications will land you a long, profitable career for an affordable price.
  4. Personal Finance

    Standards and Ethics for Financial Professionals

    Learn basic principles of financial standards, and unethical behavior of a financial professional's career and how these circumstances should be handled.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Should Financial Advisors Pursue the CFA?

    There is a certain prestige that comes with obtaining your CFA, but is it needed?
  6. Financial Advisor

    So, You Want to Earn Your CFA?

    Earning the CFA designation is a grueling process, so before you commit, consider what it takes to earn it and how it will benefit you and your career.
  7. Financial Advisor

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    The prestigious CIPM designation can give you an edge in the finance world. Here's what you need in order to get it.
  8. Personal Finance

    Financial Analyst Training & Designation Programs

    Find out how to upgrade your financial skills with a series of analyst designations that are flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing finance industry.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Careers For CFAs, CFPs® And CTAs

    Discover the differences between Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner™ and Commodity Trading Advisor credentials.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why is business ethics important?

    No matter the size, industry or level of profitability of an organization, business ethics are one of the most important ... Read Answer >>
  2. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't ... Read Answer >>
  3. If I already hold a professional certification am I eligible for any exemptions from ...

    No. To obtain a CFA designation, you must complete all levels of the CFA program regardless of whether you hold a professional ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center