The CFA Institute stands for the Chartered Financial Analyst institute. This global organization was formerly called the AIMR Association for Investment Management and Research. This institute is made up of over 70,000 individual members (from 137 different member societies located in 60 countries) who have the CFA Chartered Financial Analyst designation or who instead agree to be bound up by the organization’s rules. The principal mandate of the group lies in setting forth and ensuring that there is a lofty standard for the members of the investment and financial advisory universe.
The CFA Institute boasts an active membership in nearly all nations of the world, 150 countries and territories specifically. Their board of governors is steered by 20 individual board members. The majority of these become elected by the votes of the members of the institute for three-year long terms. The institute counts important offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. It also staffs satellite offices in Mumbai, India, and Charlottesville, Virginia in the United States. It crafts and releases such important industry guidelines as the financial industry’s GIPS Global Investment Performance Standards.
Ultimately, the aims of the CFA Institute are to encourage and foster the greatest possible standards in education, ethics, and excellence in the profession for the worldwide investment industry. As such, the Institute itself works to help out financial professionals via offering professional development, education, and also networking possibilities and opportunities. It also concentrates on becoming the world leader in best practices for the industry, highest investment ethics, and integrity for the capital markets of the globe.
The CFA Institute developed its famed Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. This is the worldwide benchmark for investment professionals throughout the globe, whatever their particular roles in the industry may prove to be. The members of the Institute as well as the CFA charter holders and candidates for this designation must abide by the gold standard document so long as they are practicing. The Institute similarly strives to influence and direct the public policy and practices of the industry in such a way as to make sure the interests of the investors come first.
The CFA Institute does a lot of great work in the industry, but the educational programs are among the most important. These programs lead to designations of various kinds. The most important, widely recognized, and popular of these accreditations is the CFA Chartered Financial Analyst. The program itself offers an important foundation in investment analysis and portfolio management skills.
In fact, this CFA designation proves to be the preferred professional accreditation for more than 31,000 different investment companies around the world. Attaining this designation mandates that the prospective candidates successfully complete three consecutive exams which deal with professional and ethical standards, economics, quantitative methods, corporate finance, financial reporting, equity, derivatives, fixed income, portfolio management, and alternative investments.
The CFA Institute also purveys its CIPM, the impressive Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement. This designation provides candidates with risk evaluation and investment performance credentials that are based on actual practice. These various skill sets are considered to be useful and relevant on a global scale. In this program, the participants learn useful subjects such as measurement, attribution, appraisals, selection of managers, reporting standards, and ethics.
Another program of the CFA Institute is called the Claritas Program. This course addresses the important elements of ethics, finance, and investment roles. It is also interesting for being a self study program which was specifically designed to help those individuals who already work for financial services and investment firms. This includes professionals in marketing and sales, information technology, and/or human resources.