Stockholm (NordSIP) – As interest in sustainable investments continues to grow, educational efforts to bring finance professionals up to speed are a crucial part of ensuring best practices across the board. According to a CFA Institute survey, 76% of institutional investors and 69% of retail investors have expressed an interest in ESG. To respond to this demand, CFA Society Sweden, the local society of investment professionals, announced on Friday, March 26th, that it will market the Certificate in ESG Investing in Sweden.
The Certificate in ESG Investing was developed by the CFA Society of the United Kingdom in consultation with leading firms and is recognized by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). It was first launched and opened to registration in September 2019.
“It is increasingly clear that ESG is inseparable from long term value creation and preservation. It is therefore essential for financial analysts and financial market participants to acquire the skills and capabilities to address ESG. CFA Society Sweden is proud and excited to bring the Certificate for ESG Investing to our market and interested parties, and to help meet the financial market needs and demands also in this area,” says Niclas Düring (Pictured), Board Member of CFA Society Sweden.
The Certificate in ESG Investing
During the last 17 months, over 5,000 candidates have registered for the qualification. As of January 2020, the certificate costs £485, or approximately US$665, and comprises approximately 130 hours of study to prepare for a 2 hour and 20minutes exam of 100 questions. The assessment is delivered through computer-based testing at test centres and remote proctoring in most countries, which started in June 2020.
The syllabus covers the following themes: The ESG market; ESG factors; Engagement & Stewardship; ESG Analysis, Valuation and Integration; ESG Integrated Portfolio Construction & Management; and Investment Mandates, Portfolio Analytics & Client Reporting.
The Certificate is designed to meet practitioners’ needs in investment roles who want to learn how to analyze and integrate material ESG factors into their daily investment analysis practice. It is also suitable for anyone looking to improve their understanding of ESG issues working in sales and distribution, wealth management, product development, financial advice, consulting and risk. Registration details and information.
“We are seeing a real acceleration of interest in ESG investing – a major development that will shape the future of finance – while increased demand from clients and investment management firms has fuelled the need for education,” Margaret Franklin, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute, adds. “This Certificate is the first of its kind to be made available globally, and will equip practitioners with foundational knowledge and competencies, enabling them to better serve the needs of their clients and contribute to building trust within the industry.”
Outpacing the Competition
The main competition faced by the CFA’s Certificate in ESG Investing in Europe comes from the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS) certification in ESG investing is considered to be a competitor in Europe. However, Düring tells NordSIP that the CFA Society of the United Kingdom’s Certificate “has well exceeded the number of candidates in less than a year, by comparison,” noting that it is “developed by practitioners, for practitioners” and “simple in terms of structure: one exam and a reasonable price point.”
According to Düring, “the industry feedback has been positive about the structure of the curriculum, practitioner input and focus, in particular.” The fact that the Certificate is global is also a distinct competitive advantage, he explains. “The CFA Society of the United Kingdom and the CFA Institute have tested its applicability and relevance around the world, and it now forms part of our B2B strategy because we know firms are interested in demonstrating a commitment to ESG and want a global standard. Our members and global audience also want a global standard and that makes us unique in this endeavour,” Düring concludes.
More information on the CFA Certificate for ESG Investing and registration details can be found here.