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Denver, CO Investments & Wealth Institute (the Institute), the leading credentialing body for financial advisors and wealth management professionals, is pleased to announce that the Institutes Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification has been recognized by the North American Securities Administrators Association ("NASAA") as a designation eligible for waiver from the Series 65 or 66 exams. These exams are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and serve as minimum qualifications for new investment adviser representatives (IARs).

NASAA memberships approval of the CIMA designation to the Series 65/66 waiver list represents a major step forward for CIMA certified professionals, said Sean Walters, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute. We are exceedingly proud that our CIMA certification is the first new voluntary certification to be approved and added to NASAAs model rule in 24 years. We are aware that NASAAs primary mission is consumer protection, and we believe this addition of the CIMA designation is consistent with an advisers duty of care owed to its clients.

Walters noted that, in the year 2000, NASAA revamped the Series 65 exam from a knowledge of securities law exam to include extensive knowledge of investing in the securities markets. At the time, five professional designations were approved under the waiver section of the model rule.

Each state must still adopt NASAAs amended rule for CIMA certification to automatically qualify as a waiver from the Series 65 or 66 exam requirement, commented Rob Frankel, General Counsel and Managing Director of Certifications at the Institute. We could not be more pleased that the curriculum and exam that fuels this certification have been recognized as an appropriate waiver under the states licensing requirements for IARs.

At the time of NASAAs announcement, the Chair of the NASAA Exams Advisory Committee publicly noted that the amended rule was an enhancement to the evaluation and registration process for investment adviser representatives, while maintaining high standards within the financial services industry.

The Institutes CIMA certification already enjoys accreditation under a global personnel certification standard by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANSI/IEC 17024), the largest multi-disciplinary accreditation body in the western hemisphere. To qualify for certification, CIMA candidates must have three years, at minimum, of verified professional experience in financial services or a related industry at the time of certification. Candidates must successfully pass two background checks at time of application and at time of certification. The CIMA curriculum is taught through Registered Executive Education partners, including programs offered by two of the worlds most elite business schools, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the Yale School of Management. Passing the exam is not easy. The average first time pass rate over the past two years is approximately 48 percent.

CIMA-certified professionals often work in roles such as investment consultants, financial planners, portfolio managers, and investment analysts. The CIMA certification program covers a wide range of topics related to creating, managing, and evaluating portfolios for individual or institutional clients. CIMA certified professionals know how to evaluate model portfolios, target-date funds, ETFs, and index funds; and perform asset allocation, manager selection, and performance attribution. They learn to manage risk and return based on client objectives including when and how to incorporate alternative investments into client portfolios and how to build proper investment policy statements. CIMA certified professionals understand how to apply behavioral finance to address cognitive biases in client decision-making, and how capital markets and global macroeconomic trends affect portfolio design. In summary, they are equipped to prudently assemble, evaluate, and/or manage portfolios that meet client objectives and outcomes as fiduciaries.

CIMA practitioners are required to exhibit knowledge of 89 topics, organized within 20 sections and five knowledge domains. The exam and curriculum were recently updated as the result of a professional job analysis. Approximately 3% of advisory professionals have earned and maintained the certification. However, more than 15% of teams or practices with $500M or more in AUM have at least one CIMA certified professional serving on the team. (Cerulli Associates, 2023)

About the Investments & Wealth Institute

Founded in 1985, the Investments & Wealth Institute is the premier professional association, education provider, and standards body for financial advisors. Through its award-winning events, publications, courses, and acclaimed certifications Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA), and Retirement Management Advisor (RMA) the Institute delivers Ivy league-quality, highly practical education to more than 20,000 practitioners annually in over 40 countries. Members of the Institute include the industry's most successful investment consultants, advanced financial planners, and private wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics in applying a broad set of knowledge and skills in their daily work with clients.

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