What Is a Certified Investment Management Specialist (CIMS)?

A Certified Investment Management Specialist - CIMS - was a professional designation for investment managers that was conferred by the Institute for Investment Management Consultants to associate members who passed an exam and met work-experience requirements in the financial services industry.

Prior to 2002, CIMS was a lower-level designation that could lead to the Certified Investment Management Consultant (CIMC) designation. Although the Investment Management Consultants' Association stopped its Certified Investment Management Consultant (CIMC) designation and program in 2002, it is still supported by the organization.

Key Takeaways

  • Certified Investment Management Specialist - CIMS - was the first in a two-part credentialing program for investment consultants that ceased in the early 2000's.
  • From 2003 onward, the CIMS and CIMC programs were merged into the Certified Investment Manager Analyst (CIMA) designation.
  • CIMA is just one of several professional designations now available to financial professionals.

The Basics of the Certified Investment Management Specialist

In 2002, the CIMC program was merged into the Investment Management Consultants Association's Certified Investment Manager Analyst (CIMA) program, which has been around since 1988. Existing CIMC holders maintain their designations, but new applicants obtain the CIMA designation.

While it was active, those who earned the CIMS could go on and earn the CIMC designation. In addition, candidates were required to have completed extensive course work and passed the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)-proctored examinations for Levels I and II of the association's course. Topics studied included: asset allocation, modern portfolio management, portfolio performance measurement, and ethics.

CIMSs and CIMCs were also required to meet the Institute's requirements concerning experience in consulting and managed accounts, and adhere to its Code of Ethics and continuing education requirements.

Other Professional Designations in Finance

Other professional designations financial advisors and investment managers may hold include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC).

Each of these designations indicates that the holder has met certain standards of professional education, knowledge and experience and has agreed to abide by a code of ethics and stay abreast of new developments in their areas of professional expertise in order to act in the client's best interest.