Business / Economy

Chartered financial analysts rapidly increase, new candidates to exceed US

By Zhong Nan and Zhu Wenqian (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-05 09:48

New candidates for the level-I chartered financial analyst designation in China are forecast to exceed the number in the United States for the first time this year, according to Nick Pollard, managing director of the CFA Institute's Asia-Pacific region.

The number of level-I candidates for the CFA exam from China grew to 52,315 in December, ranking No 2 worldwide, just behind the United States.

Pollard said CFA charter holders in China had surpassed 3,300 in 2015, with a 5-year compounded average annual growth rate growth of 14 percent, compared with the global growth rate of 2 percent.

The level-I exam tests candidates' knowledge of ethical and professional standards. The level-II exam tests them on how to apply those standards to situations analysts face, and the level-III exam concentrates on how to apply the standards in a portfolio management and compliance context.

Since 46 percent of candidates who want to gain the CFA designation are Chinese passport holders this year, the US-based institute is confident that CFA societies will be opened in Shanghai and Shenzhen over the next three years. One was established in October in Beijing. CFA societies are independent organizations and formed by volunteers.

"We noticed that the CFA has been receiving increasing recognition from Chinese financial institutions, including large banks, securities firms and funds management companies, as well as new private equity companies," said Pollard.

The CFA Institute has more than 135,000 members in 147 societies across 151 countries and regions. It runs training and examination programs for CFAs, a designation considered an entry ticket for would-be investment analysts and asset managers.

Tian Shen, a 24-year-old finance major from the Renmin University of China in Beijing, just finished her CFA level-III exam last month and has already got a job offer from Bank of China's headquarters in Beijing. She said taking the test is a great opportunity to sort out her financial knowledge, as the CFA course clearly structured the framework of the financial system.

"Despite the fact that the certificate won't have any decisive impact on my finding jobs, it is certainly a bonus point," she said.

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