Nearly 16,000 new investment management professionals minted

Just over half of the takers in the recently held Level III CFA Exam have earned the “gold standard” in investment industry certification

As athletes from all over the world go for the gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics, nearly 16,000 of the candidates who took the Level III CFA exam in June are surely feeling a sense of triumph.

In an August 9 release, CFA Institute announced a 54% passing rate for the 28,884 candidates who sat for the third and final exam. The ones who passed are eligible to become CFA charterholders starting in early October, pending experience and other membership requirements.

The statement also reported a 46% pass rate among 50,203 candidates who took the Level II exam in June, and 43% for the 58,677 who took the Level I exam. A total of 64,020 candidates took the exam globally, achieving a 46% pass rate for all three levels.

According to the release, the top five countries by number of candidates tested are the US, Mainland China, India, Canada, and the UK.

"Congratulations to the successful candidates who have demonstrated their commitment to the highest standard of professional knowledge and ethics," declared Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. "These candidates have taken the first step to earn the CFA designation and to join us in our pursuit to build professionalism, market integrity and a more trustworthy [global financial] industry that puts clients' interests above their own interests."

Candidates who wish to pass must study an average of 1,000 hours to master 8,500 pages of the CFA curriculum, which includes ethical and professional standards; financial reporting and analysis; quantitative methods; and wealth planning, to name a few. The rigorous course provides a strong analytical and practical foundation for investment professionals who seek a career edge.

"The CFA designation is widely recognized as the gold standard of professional knowledge and business ethics in the investment industry," noted Yimei Li, CFA and deputy CEO of China AMC. "We encourage and support our staff to pursue the CFA charter, as it demonstrates our commitment to our clients that we bring in the best talent to serve their needs."

The number of new candidates entering the CFA program grew by 15% this year to 102,514 candidates, reflecting growing interest in building professionalism in the investment management industry. Growth was strongest in Mainland China, with Level I registrations reaching 22,999 to surpass the number of registrants in the US for the first time.

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