The exam was launched two years ago to provide investment professionals with more skills in ESG and sustainable investment management.
The professional body says most candidates for the new exam have come from the UK, where the Certificate was first offered, followed by the US, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and Singapore.
It says interest is growing throughout the world with financial institutions such as HSBC Wealth and Personal Banking, AXA Investment Managers and Aegon Asset Management, among several large employers adopting the qualification.
The Certificate, first launched by the CFA Society of the United Kingdom, is now under the auspices of CFA Institute and is available to candidates in most markets globally. The Certificate is also available for investment firms to make bulk registrations for their employees allowing companies and also for individuals to use it.
In the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next week, the CFA Institute is aiming to raise awareness of the need to “upskill” investment professionals in order to meet client demand for sustainable investments and to advocate for clear and consistent data in order for the sector to play its part in the transition to a “more sustainable world.”
Peg Jobst, managing director of Credentialing at CFA Institute, said: “Against a backdrop of increasing client demand for ESG expertise, it is imperative for investment professionals to understand this subject matter. The Certificate in ESG Investing offers a broad foundation of knowledge to help portfolio managers, analysts and sales teams integrate ESG considerations into products, policies and client conversations.
“As we approach COP26, CFA Institute sees a clear role that the financial sector can play in integrating environmental, social and governance factors into investment portfolios. We continue to advocate for the provision of clear and comparable data from both corporates and fund managers, and for the need to build skillsets to understand and evaluate this data. The industry requires more well-equipped financial professionals to respond to the challenges facing society.”
Jan-Marc Fergg, global head of wealth products, ESG & mutual funds at HSBC Global Private Banking and Wealth, said: “At HSBC Global Private Banking and Wealth, we see a clear trend emerging from our clients. Many seek investments that support the global fight against climate change, and investments that are more broadly aligned with ESG principles.
“The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing seeks to upskill relationship managers and investment counsellors as they meet client demands. The broad-based curriculum provides a solid foundation in understanding these concepts while also instilling an ability to sift through disclosures quickly and effectively.”
During the week of COP26, CFA Institute has partnered with the City of London Corporation and Green Finance Institute, and will host a panel discussion on Skills, Capacity and Data at the Green Horizon Summit on Finance Day, 3 November. Panelists will include Dr Ben Caldecott, director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, and Lombard Odier associate professor and senior research Fellow; Sarah Gordon, chief executive of Impact Investing Institute; and Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA Society of the UK. CFA Institute President and CEO Margaret Franklin, CFA, will also host a fireside chat with Kate Hampton, CEO of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation on 2 November.
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