Nearly 16,000 Pass Level III CFA® Exam, Begin the Journey as Investment Management Professionals

A New CFA Level I candidate numbers reach record high. 3,726 candidates in the Middle East and North Africa sat for the CFA exam in June 2016, 8 percent higher than the previous year.

CFA Institute logo
CFA Institute logo
Paul Smith - President of CFA Institute
Paul Smith – President of CFA Institute

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence, announced that of 28,884 candidates who sat for the Level III CFA exam in June 2016, 54 percent passed the third and final exam. Pending experience and membership requirements, these successful candidates will become CFA charterholders starting in early October, and begin their journey as investment management professionals whose mission is to raise standards in the industry.

In addition, of 50,230 candidates who sat for the Level II exam in June 2016, 46 percent were successful and of 58,677 candidates who took the Level I exam, the pass rate was 43 percent. Globally, a total of 64,020 candidates passed Levels I, II and III, with the overall pass rate for all three levels at 46 percent. (View historical pass rates.)

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, 3,726 candidates sat for the CFA exam in June, representing an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous year:

  • The United Arab Emirates had the most number of CFA candidates in the region with 1,557 aspiring charterholders, representing an 11 percent increase from 2015.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had 482 candidates, 12 percent more than last year.
  • Bahrain (316 candidates), Qatar (170 candidates), Oman (97 candidates), Lebanon (387 candidates), Jordan (103 candidates) and Egypt (410 candidates), also saw increased levels of participation.
  • Kuwait, with 204 candidates, was the only country in the MENA region which experienced a marginal decrease in enrolments for the exam.

“Congratulations to the successful candidates who have demonstrated their commitment to the highest standard of professional knowledge and ethics,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. “At CFA Institute, we aspire to develop future investment management professionals for the global financial markets. 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 industry that puts clients’ interests above their own interests.”

Globally, a total of 64,020 candidates passed CFA exams Levels I, II and III, with the overall pass rate for all three levels at 46 percent.

To earn the CFA charter, candidates must pass all three levels of the exam which is considered to be the most rigorous exam in the investment profession; 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; and become a member of CFA Institute.

“We applaud CFA Institute for its continued efforts to strengthen the professional and ethical foundations of our industry by upholding the highest standards in their certification process,” said Ronald P. O’Hanley, President and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, “and we congratulate all successful candidates.  As an organization that is proud to partner with CFA Institute, we strongly encourage everyone to avail themselves of the many opportunities it provides for continuing education and certification to improve our industry and the quality of service and engagement for our clients.”

Successful candidates study approximately 1,000 hours on average to master 8,500 pages of curriculum. The CFA curriculum includes ethical and professional standards; financial reporting and analysis; corporate finance; economics; quantitative methods; equity, fixed income, alternative investments; derivatives; portfolio management; and wealth planning. Its depth and breadth provides a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and practical portfolio management skills, which gives investment professionals a career advantage.

“The CFA designation is widely recognized as the gold standard of professional knowledge and business ethics in the investment industry,” said Yimei Li, CFA, 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.”

New candidates entering the CFA Program in this year’s exam cycle grew by 15 percent to 102,514 candidates, which reflects growing interest in building professionalism in the investment management industry.  The growth has been strongest in Mainland China where Level I candidate registrations reached a record high of 22,999, surpassing the number of registrations in the United States for the first time.

The June 2016 Level I, II and III exams were administered in 258 test centers in 197 cities across 91 countries worldwide. The top 10 countries and territories with the largest number of candidates tested are the United States (31,501), Mainland China (26,758), India (12,117), Canada (11,136), United Kingdom (9,717), Hong Kong (5,359), Singapore (3,433), Australia (2,915), South Africa (2,006), and France (1,784).


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