New international designation? More alphabet soup, says Toronto advisor

New international designation? More alphabet soup, says Toronto advisor

New international designation? More alphabet soup, says Toronto advisor A new wealth-manager accreditation offered through the Canadian Securities Institute, adds more letters – and confusion – to the alphabet soup of designations, says one Toronto advisor.

The CSI, in partnership with the Association of International Wealth Management (AIWM) – a Geneva-based, international non-profit organization for wealth management professionals – announced Wednesday that the globally-recognized Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM) designation is coming to Canada, as part of its launch in North America.

“By adding another designation, in affect they (the CSI) are diluting other designations,” says Joe Bakish, an advisor with the Investors Group in Toronto. “It adds to the complexity of the industry on both the side of the advisor, in terms of which designation is appropriate for them, and the client, to establish whether the designation is valid.”

According to CSI, the CIWM – launched in Switzerland in 2007 and well-established in Europe and Asia - raises the bar of professionalism in wealth management advice. The organization believes Canadian advisors need to be better-versed in the global financial markets, offering holistic advice models and effective client relationship principles to service the needs of wealthy clients. Particularly since the number of affluent investors is projected to double by 2020 to more than one-million Canadian households with investable assets of more than $1 million.

“We are trying to achieve alignment and begin the consolidation process of certifications in the wealth management space…by providing a clear definition of what it is to be a wealth advisor,” explained Marshall Beyer, director of credentialing at CSI, to WP. “In the wealth space, we’re going to provide the standards. That’s really our first step.” (continued.)


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