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CFA Institute Plans Certificate to Help Restore Integrity

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute plans to offer a certificate program it says may help restore integrity in the capital markets by targeting investment advisers’ support staff.

The group’s Claritas Investment Certificate provides additional training for financial-services employees and is open to people who work alongside those in investment roles, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute said today in a statement. Potential candidates include specialists in operations, compliance, human resources and marketing.

“There is a clear need for those who work in the industry to take visible action to restore its integrity and reputation,” the group said in the statement, adding that the financial crisis “has undermined trust in financial services and left a vacuum which organizations, academics and regulators have struggled to address.”

Registration opens in May, the group said. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Credit Suisse Group AG and BlackRock Inc. are among firms that have signed on to a pilot program.

A total of 68 organizations and more than 3,000 candidates are taking part, with exams for the pilot program scheduled for March.

“Claritas will enable those working across financial services to become more effective, knowledgeable and responsible professionals,” John Rogers, chief executive officer of the CFA Institute, said in the statement.

100 Hours

Certificate candidates will spend about 100 hours over three to six months to learn the basics of ethics and regulation, structure of the industry, and asset classes, the Institute said.

The certificate is separate from the Chartered Financial Analyst designation that applicants seek from the Institute each year in the hope it will lead to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. Successful charter recipients spend an average of 300 hours preparing for each exam and typically take four years to complete all three tests, according to the not-for-profit Institute.

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