Just about anyone can call themselves a Financial Advisor or even a Financial Planner, which is why it's important for professionals who actually know what they're doing to have the credentials to prove it. And there are many certifications and designations available that do just that, including the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation available through the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). It's designed to help advisors who don the financial consultant’s hat to show anyone who comes through their door that they've been in the financial services business at least three years and have completed a course of study that prepares to provide objective investment advice.
This week, IMCA announced that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is now a registered education provider for its CIMA credentials, along with The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which also offers the education component for CIMA certification and has done so since 1988.
IMCA’s Web site describes the CIMA certification program as “The only credential designed specifically for financial professionals who want to attain a level of competency as an advanced investment consultant."
The so-called education requirement for the CIMA certification consists of a five-day classroom experience. “As one of the world’s leading business schools in finance, Booth has the faculty capabilities, cutting-edge application and research to thoroughly cover the CIMA curriculum and bring it to life,” John Heaton, Joseph L. Gidwitz Professor of Finance and Faculty Director of the CIMA certification program at Booth, said in a press statement distributed at IMCA’s Consultant Conference in New York City this week.
In addition to providing education for CIMA certification, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers the education component for IMCA’s Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) designation. The CPWA emerged four years ago to target the requirements of those advisors serving high net worth ($5 million in assets and above) and ultra-high net worth clients with more to invest.
IMCA’s Web site describes the CPWA designation program as focusing on advanced wealth management topics including behavioral finance, charitable and estate planning, planning for closely held business owners, planning for executives, portfolio management, retirement planning, risk management and tax planning.
As of last September, there were some 63,000 Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificants in existence along with 6,141 Certified Investment Management Analysts with IMCA’s CIMA certification and 447 new CPWA designees, IMCA CEO Sean Walters told eFinancialCareers then.
IMCA membership increased to more than 8,400 by the end of 2011, and the association says that it expects the addition of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to its curriculum will help meet increasing demand for CIMA certification.