More than 20,000 Investment Professionals Worldwide Pass Level I CFA Exam

Press release
Published February 2nd, 2015 - 09:11 GMT
CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the highest standards for education, ethics and professionalism, reports that 44 percent of the 47,175 candidates that took the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December 2014 have passed. These candidates progress to Level II of the CFA Program, having now taken the first step in joining the next generation of investment professionals committed to raising the standard for professional excellence. In June and December of 2014 a combined total number of more than 94,000 candidates sat for Level I of the CFA Program, a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards. “Each year we see the continuing commitment by thousands of investment professionals around the world to raise the standards of excellence, ethics and education within the industry,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. “CFA Institute remains committed to its mission to advance the profession and shape a more trustworthy financial industry. I congratulate today’s successful candidates who are now one step closer to earning the CFA designation, the mark of distinction that is globally recognized as the definitive standard for industry ethics and education.” To earn the CFA designation, candidates must pass all three levels of exam (successful candidates often report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level); meet the work experience requirements of four years in the investment industry; sign a commitment to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute. The CFA Program curriculum develops knowledge and competencies that investment professionals deem necessary in today’s ever changing marketplace. It covers ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, wealth management and portfolio analysis. Level I exams are offered in both June and December and Levels II and III are offered only in June. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program, and requires dedication and determination. (View historic pass rates) The December 2014 Level I exam was administered in 92 test centers in 69 cities across 38 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are the United States (10,862), Mainland China (8,621), India (4,070), Canada (3,725), the United Kingdom (3,229), Hong Kong (1,903), Singapore (1,508), South Africa (1,087), and United Arab Emirates (1,120). Employment outlook for prospective charterholders improving According to the recent CFA Institute 2015 Global Market Sentiment Survey, nearly a third of CFA Institute members expect employment opportunities to increase in their local markets, up from just 14 percent in 2012. Coupling this optimism for employment with increasing demand from employers for the CFA charter can point to an increased potential for career advancement for candidates and charterholders. Additionally, the survey revealed that CFA Institute members have continuing concern for market integrity due to a lack of ethical culture within financial firms and market fraud, like insider trading and the integrity of financial reporting. The dedication and effort shown globally by investment professionals taking the CFA Program demonstrate an aspiration to build a more trustworthy industry where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. For more information on the Global Market Sentiment Survey visit

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CFA Institute

In an industry that struggles to define itself, the institutions and individuals that CFA Institute serve stand for building a better world for investors.

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