More than 25,000 Investment Professionals Worldwide Pass Level I CFA Exam

Record number of candidates begin journey to join CFA charterholders in raising standards in investment management

TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, reports that 43 per cent of the 59,627 candidates that took the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December 2016 have passed. These successful candidates now progress to Level II of the CFA Program, charting a course to build an investment profession dedicated to professional excellence. The December 2016 exam saw continued growth with an increase of 14 per cent from the previous year in the number of Level I candidates tested for the CFA Program, a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical standards.

Across Canada, candidates were tested in four major cities: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Toronto had the largest number of Level I candidates tested, with a total of 2,508.  Montreal had the second largest number of candidates with 649 tested. In total, 4,210 Level I candidates sat for the exam in Canada. This is roughly an 8 per cent increase in the number of candidates from 2015.

"CFA Institute is dedicated to shaping a trustworthy investment management profession, and the CFA Program prepares candidates from around the world to have the highest level of professional knowledge within the industry to better serve investors and society at large," said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. "Congratulations to this next generation of investment professionals, who have already displayed a commitment to raising standards in the industry, and are one step closer to becoming CFA charterholders."

To earn the CFA charter, 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 2016 Level I exam was administered in 104 test centers in 72 cities across 40 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are Mainland China (14,181), the United States (12,187), India (6,357), Canada (4,210), United Kingdom (3,790), Hong Kong (2,210), Singapore (1,577), South Africa (1,327), and United Arab Emirates (1,207).

CFA Program curriculum reflects modern industry practice

The CFA Program offers a strong platform tailored to professionals across the industry, and annual updates to the curriculum ensure that the CFA charter remains the global industry standard. This year, three primary areas were updated and enhanced based on evolutions in practice: ethics, risk management, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. Each year, practicing investment management professionals, university faculty, and regulators are surveyed to identify what competencies are needed in an investment role today. As the profession evolves, investment management professionals are obligated to stay informed on industry trends, and the CFA Program 2017 curriculum updates reflects advances in the skills necessary to meet the needs of clients. For more information on the CFA Program course of study, visit

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 145,000 members in 159 countries and territories, including 139,000 CFA charterholders, and 147 member societies. For more information, visit

SOURCE CFA Institute

For further information: Media Contact: Fiona Buchanan, GCI Canada, +1 416 486 5921,

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