IMCA Finalizes CIMA Certification Enhancements

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Revision of four “Es” further cements certification as the voluntary standard for investment advice

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These revisions further establish CIMA certification as the voluntary standard for investment advice.

Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) announced today at its Investment Consultants Conference that it has finalized several updates to the CIMA® certification that further establish it as the voluntary standard for investment advice. The revisions are based on a 2013 job analysis and are completed at a time when investors likely are looking increasingly to their advisors for guidance through market uncertainty after a rocky start to 2016. Investors cite investment management strategies and expertise as the most valuable skill they pay their advisor for, more so than financial planning strategies, according to IMCA client research in 2015.

“Any financial professional who advises retail or institutional clients—or exercises discretionary authority over their investments—should hold the CIMA certification to competently deliver sound advisory services,” said Sean R. Walters, CAE, IMCA’s executive director and CEO. “These revisions further establish CIMA certification as the voluntary standard for investment advice. CIMA certification will continue to grow as the most relevant credential for discretionary advisors who provide investment advice to their clients.”

IMCA’s Certification Commission set policies throughout 2014 and 2015 to update all four “Es” of the CIMA certification:

  •     Ethics. In December 2015, IMCA revised its Code of Professional Responsibility to reflect the ongoing changes in the investment and private wealth advisory professions. All IMCA members, certification candidates, and IMCA-certified professionals must adhere to the Code. The Code is comprised of nine principles that guide professional conduct, including acting in clients’ best interest, disclosing and resolving conflicts of interest, and maintaining a high level of ethical conduct.
  •     Experience. In July 2015, IMCA changed the experience requirement to allow CIMA certification candidates to apply for the certification program without three years of industry experience. The three-year experience milestone still is required to earn CIMA certification; it now must be satisfied before certification (instead of before applying for the program under the old rules).
  •     Education. In February 2015, the MIT Sloan School of Management joined the ranks of registered education providers for CIMA certification as the only online option for CIMA certification education. All four business schools that deliver CIMA certification education in the United States are ranked among America’s top-20 business schools, according to Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report.
  •     Examination. In 2014, the exams for CIMA certification were modernized to reflect findings from a job task analysis completed by more than 750 retail and institutional advisors. Revised content reflects an increased emphasis on risk management, alternative investments, behavioral finance, and discretionary authority/rep-as-advisor tasks.

Only a handful of financial services credentialing bodies apply the best practice of incorporating job task analyses findings into their certifications. The job analysis in 2013 surveyed more than 750 investment professionals around the world, asking them to prioritize professional task and knowledge competencies required for investment advisors and consultants. Based on the results, IMCA’s Certification Commission systematically reviewed and updated certification requirements throughout 2014 and 2015, culminating with the introduction of the revised Code of Professional Responsibility in late 2015.

In addition to these enhancements, CIMA certification earned accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2011, and is the only financial services credential in the United States to meet international standards (ISO 17024) for personnel certification.

Contact: Ryan Hoffman, Communications Director. P: 303.850.3079 E-mail: rhoffman(at)imca.org. Twitter: @IMCA

About IMCA
Established in 1985, Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) is a nonprofit professional association and credentialing organization with more than 10,000 individual members and certificants worldwide. IMCA members collectively manage more than $2.477 trillion, providing investment consulting and wealth management services to individual and institutional clients. Since 1988, IMCA has offered the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification, which earned accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in April 2011, making it the first financial services credential in the United States to meet international standards (ISO 17024) for personnel certification. IMCA’s Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification is suited for wealth management professionals working with high-net-worth clients. In 2015, IMCA conferences and workshops hosted more than 4,000 attendees.

IMCA® and Investment Management Consultants Association® are registered trademarks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. CIMA®, Certified Investment Management Analyst®, CIMC®, CPWA®, and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® are registered certification marks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. does not discriminate in educational opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Ryan Hoffman
Investment Management Consultants Association
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