Some 42% pass CFA exams worldwide

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Forty-two per cent of this year’s candidates working towards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification passed the exams they sat in June, the CFA Institute has announced.

A near-record number of entrants – 71,897 – took the Level I, II, and III exams leading to the qualification, which is often a prerequisite for financial professionals in investment management, investment banking and financial analysis of stocks, bond and derivatives.

Europe led the way with a 47% pass rate of its 11,732 candidates, even though it had less than half the number of candidates of the US, where 23,221 participants achieved a 44% success rate. But just 28% of the 3,477 examinees in Africa and the Middle East passed the test.

Overall, the results were below the average pass rates since the CFA’s inception in 1963. The Level I and Level II global pass rates were both 40% (average 46% and 51%, respectively), and 50% passed the final Level III (average 67%).

Of all those who passed Level III since 2004, just 12% have opted to specialise in risk management. It is the least popular career path chosen by CFA charterholders – 29% have gone into equity analysis and valuation strategy and 25% have entered portfolio management.

All those who sit for the CFA must have at least four years’ experience in the investment industry, must become a member of the CFA Institute and must sign a commitment to abide by its Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Jeff Diermeier, CFA president and CEO of CFA Institute, said: “The CFA programme is for the serious investment professional. This is an important fact for investors to remember, especially with the current proliferation of less rigorous credentials.”

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