The 1994 crop of Chartered Financial Analysts is a diverse group, comprising a record number of candidates seeking to earn the designation from the Association of Investment Management and Research.
This year, 1,891 investment professionals from the United States, Canada and 25 other countries passed the third and final exam requirement to receive the CFA designation. Those who are certified to have met other eligibility requirements - including three years' experience in professional investment and abiding by the AIMR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct - will be awarded their charter shortly.
The 1994 exams had a record number of candidates, with 15,413 attempting exams Level I, II and III and the reciprocal examinations offered in conjunction with the Security Analysts Association of Japan and the U.K.'s Institute of Investment Management Research.
Candidates - including more than 100 from South Africa and more than 500 each in Singapore and Tokyo - were tested at 139 locations around the world.
The CFA candidates are becoming a more diverse group in their backgrounds and national origins, said Thomas A. Bowman, president and chief executive officer of the AIMR. The candidates are getting younger - nearly half of this year's candidates are younger than 30 - and a growing portion are not investment managers or analysts by training, he said.
While 62% of the 1994 candidates are analysts, portfolio managers or investment sales professionals, AIMR figures show brokers, accountants and traders also are seeking the CFA designation. Also, while 73% are employed in investment firms, banks or insurance companies; 38% come from other sectors, such as students and academics or corporate financial officers.
According to AIMR, the number of candidates enrolled in the study program for the CFA exam has increased steadily since the charter program was created in 1963; and since 1987 alone, the total number of candidates has grown 214%. But the largest growth has been outside the United States and Canada, where the number of candidates has grown 789% from 1987 to 1994, when nearly 4,000 people enrolled in the CFA study program overseas.
The changes may be part of a shift among investment professionals, who see a CFA designation as a ticket to progress in the investment field, said Mr. Bowman. Some investment professionals are starting to see the CFA title as almost an alternative or an attractive supplement to a master's degree in business administration, he said.