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CFA Institute Launches Refreshed Investment Foundations® Certificate

Program designed for non-investment professionals prepares learners with a clear understanding of how the global investment industry works

New York City, United States 14 Feb 2023

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, has launched a new edition of its CFA Institute Investment Foundations® Certificate (“Investment Foundations Certificate”), a self-paced online certificate-level program that provides learners with a clear understanding of how the global investment industry works.

CFA Institute designed the content for non-investment professionals who work alongside investment teams, such as those working in marketing, communications, sales, HR, IT, legal and compliance roles.

Refreshed with entirely new topics, course structure, and an optimized learning experience, the certificate covers foundational concepts helpful for learners to better understand the investment industry, think critically, ask the right questions, and ultimately open doors to roles in the industry via expanded knowledge.

Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute, comments:

“We’re so excited to bring this new version of the Investment Foundations Certificate to the market. Our vision for CFA Institute is to be where the investment industry comes to skill, upskill, and reskill. Employers seek a broader range of skills from their teams, and this refreshed content meets this demand. The Investment Foundations Certificate will enable participants to communicate more skillfully, apply critical thinking to their work, and collaborate more effectively with colleagues in investment teams based on shared knowledge. Whether for someone already in the industry, or someone working towards their first role, the Investment Foundations Certificate can offer the foundational content they will need.”

Leading organizations are already accessing the Investment Foundations Certificate to complement organizational learning agendas designed to help people work more effectively with global colleagues through a common industry understanding. Organizations that will be offering access to the Investment Foundations Certificate learning materials to their teams following today’s launch include AXA Investment Managers, Mercer, MSCI, State Street Global Advisers, UBS Asset Management, and BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“At BNP Paribas Asset Management, we have worked closely with CFA Institute for a long time and consider them an important voice in investment-related training standards. With a culture of learning, we invest in employee development and offer dynamic growth opportunities. This certificate will enable employees to get on board with essential investment industry concepts, building a culture of empowerment that helps discover the potential within each of them,” said Marion Azuelos, Global Head of Human Resources at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“Learning and development are key to upskilling and reskilling employees in today’s environment, and in 2022, reskilling ranked the #3 investment priority for the year by HR leaders according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends report,” said Marc Cordover, US Investments and Retirement Leader, Mercer. “This opportunity to be a part of the relaunch of the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate provides Mercer team members more structured investment education, broadens their career opportunities, and contributes to our mission of inspiring a culture of lifelong learning. In turn, our clients will benefit from the knowledge obtained through this certification.”

“Client-centricity is at the heart of MSCI’s business, and our early career colleagues need solid industry knowledge to be able to anticipate and address client needs ahead of time. The CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate allows us to upskill those passionate about the investment industry and provide them with an important tool needed to deliver exceptional performance and make a real impact,” said Alvise Munari, Chief Client Officer, MSCI.

“Investing in the financial literacy of State Street Global Advisors’ employees through the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate provides long-term benefits for both the individual and the organization, creating a workforce more equipped to make informed decisions, help clients and drive growth for the company,” said Lori Heinel, CFA, Global Chief Investment Officer, State Street Global Advisors.  

“We are pleased to offer the Investment Foundations Certificate as part of our broader curriculum for young talent. For those in non-investment roles, this program will be key in developing the skills and knowledge needed to understand the changing demands of the industry and deliver the best results to our clients”, said Defne von Krogh, Head, Talent & Development, UBS Asset Management & Group Sustainability and Impact.

Through 60-90 hours of online study, the Investment Foundations Certificate provides learners with the essential investment industry concepts including its purpose, structure, key functions, roles and responsibilities, commonly used vocabulary, investment types, ethical considerations, financial regulation, and more. New content on Decentralized Finance, Financial Technology, ESG Investing, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Practice, draws on CFA Institute research, policy, and standards to inform the materials. Teaching packs are available to organizations who wish to support enrolled employees with facilitated group study.

Learners for whom English is a second language may find the Investment Foundations Certificate helpful in mastering the core investment industry concepts in English in a low-stakes study environment. Job seekers without a finance background, as well as undergraduate students, who aspire to work in the industry, may find the certificate a helpful bridge to roles within the wider ecosystem of investment management, with proof of knowledge and understanding.

Certificate Experience

The Investment Foundations Certificate comprises six self-paced interactive courses, each delivered through a modular learning structure that uses interactive text graphs, images, video, discussion prompts and assessments to deliver a compact, modern, and highly accessible learning environment to engage and motivate learners. The course topics are:

Course 1: Industry Overview and Structure

Course 2: Types and Functioning of Markets

Course 3: Investment Instruments

Course 4: Investment Inputs and Tools

Course 5: Serving Clients Needs

Course 6: Serving the Greater Good

Originally launched in 2013 as Claritas, the certificate was renamed Investment Foundations Certificate in 2016. Some 46,000 individuals worldwide have successfully completed the program.

For the full Investment Foundations Certificate details, visit: https://investmentfoundations.cfainstitute.org/


Notes to Editors

  • The Investment Foundations Certificate registration is priced at is US$350. From the point of registration into the program, learners have 12 months to complete all six courses--including all course assessments and the end-of-certificate assessment. All assessments take place within the learning platform.
  • The end-of-certificate assessment comprises 100 multiple choice questions over a maximum test time of 140 minutes. The final assessment will be available to learners from 15 March 2023. Participants who successfully complete all six courses and the end-of-certificate assessment will receive a digital certificate and a digital badge.
  • A free Investment Foundations Certificate demonstration, via access to the Decentralized Finance material in Course 2, Module 2, Lesson 5, is available here: What is Decentralised Finance (DeFi)?
  • The Investment Foundations Certificate is not an academic degree/diploma or equivalent and does not in itself allow for progression to higher-level academic studies in any education system.

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 of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 190,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter at @CFAInstitute