CFA Institute

CFA Institute

January 22, 2013 11:05 ET

Thirty-Seven Per Cent of 48,981 Investment Professionals Worldwide Pass Level I CFA Exam

Record number of candidates take Level I CFA exam in 2012 as industry seeks to raise standards and restore trust

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2013) - In an environment of overwhelming lack of trust in finance, CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials, reports that 37 per cent of the 48,981 candidates that took the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December have passed and taken the first step to joining the next generation of highly educated and ethical investment professionals. In 2012 a record number of candidates sat for Level I of the CFA Program, a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards.

This year 3,726 Canadians wrote the exam, up from 3,648 in the previous year. Further demonstrating Canada's continued interest in the CFA designation, Canada represented the fourth largest group to write the exam, trailing only behind the U.S., China, and India.

The dedication shown by investment professionals taking the CFA Program demonstrates a strong desire to build a more trustworthy industry and develop a culture where ethical practice is just as important as investment performance. According to the CFA Institute 2013 Global Market Sentiment Survey, CFA Institute members think the profession must encourage a culture of ethics and integrity within financial firms, which can be fostered through adherence to codes and standards like the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, followed by all CFA charterholders.

"Although major equity markets have rebounded since their 2009 lows, public confidence in the financial industry remains at a very low level," said John Rogers, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute. "As the leading body of investment professionals with more than 110,000 members worldwide, CFA Institute drives the industry toward higher levels of financial expertise and ethical standards. Today's successful candidates are one step closer to earning the CFA designation, which after 50 years, remains the gold standard in education for investment professionals emphasizing the highest ethical and professional standards."

To earn the CFA designation, candidates must pass all three levels of exams (successful candidates often report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level); 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; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute.

The CFA Program curriculum is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills required everyday in the investment profession and covers ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, and performance measurement. Level I exams are offered in both June and December, and Levels II and III are offered only in June. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program, and requires dedication and determination. (View historic pass rates)

The December 2012 Level I exam was administered in 95 test centres in 67 cities across 38 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are the United States (11,164), Mainland China (7,636), India (5,173), Canada (3,726), the United Kingdom (3,476), Hong Kong (2,468), Singapore (1,553), and South Africa (1,107).

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 for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 113,000 members in 137 countries and territories, including 105,000 CFA charterholders, and 138 member societies. For more information, visit

Contact Information