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CFA exams opens doors for candidates Back  
Two hundred and ninety-five Irish investment professionals sat one of three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst? (CFA?) examination on June 3rd, out of a total of 84,491 candidates worldwide.
Administered by the CFA Institute, the CFA Program is a college graduate-level, self-study curriculum and series of examinations that test candidates around the world in ethical and professional standards, financial statement analysis, economics, portfolio management and analysis and valuation of debt, equity and alternative investments.

According to Claire Dunwoody, a manager with Robert Walters, having a CFA qualification can open doors for candidates. She says, ‘Employers are certainly interested in this group of people, and they know that the qualification comes with both knowledge and experience. We are more and more frequently receiving requests from clients for individuals with the CFA qualification’.

‘Internationally, salary surveys show that CFA charterholders command a premium. There is little enough evidence of that in the Irish marketplace at the moment but it is something that we plan on asking in our next salary survey,’ she adds.

In addition to passing the three exams, candidates must also complete at least three years of acceptable work experience in the investment profession and must commit to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. On average, candidates take a little more than four years from initial enrollment to the time they complete all requirements for the CFA designation.

Only one in five candidates who begins the arduous program successfully completes it and goes on to become a CFA charterholder. Level I is administered twice a year, in June and December, and Levels II and III are administered just once a year, in June.

The historical overall pass rate of the CFA exams is 52 percent. Currently, more than 68,000 investment professionals in 120 countries and territories hold the CFA charter, 108 of whom reside and work in Ireland. Some 63 Irish candidates are sitting the final Level III examination at the June 3rd sitting, the largest number ever to do so.

The largest employers of charterholders in the Irish marketplace include Bank of Ireland Asset Management, Pioneer Investment Management, KBC Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Mercer Investment Consulting and Setanta Asset Management.

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