Last updated: 07:39 / Monday, 26 April 2021
227,031 candidates

Record Number of Aspiring CFA Charterholders Sit for Exams as Program Marks 55th Anniversary

Record Number of Aspiring CFA Charterholders Sit for Exams as Program Marks 55th Anniversary

CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, announced that a record 227,031 candidates registered for Level I, II, and III CFA exams at 286 test centers in 91 countries and territories. The exams, administered on June 23, mark the 55th anniversary of the first CFA exam, which was held in June 1963. Since then, the CFA Program has seen steady annual growth, with a notable 20% increase in exam registrations in the past year alone.

“From our humble beginning in 1963 when we administered the exam to 284 candidates, CFA Institute has grown dramatically around the world in pursuit of its mission,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO, CFA Institute. “We fervently believe that charterholders raise the standards of the investment management industry and contribute to making finance a noble profession, and we are gratified and humbled that so many candidates share that belief. The examination is the first step to a professional life dedicated to client service, continuing education, and engagement with regulators to protect investors and clients.”

The Asia Pacific region continues to generate the highest number of candidates, with 120,436 registered for the June 2018 exam, accounting for 53 percent of the total. Registered candidates numbered  63,368 in the Americas, 28 percent of the total, and 43,227 candidates registered in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), accounting for 19 percent of the total. The exam was administered at 286 test centers around the world, including new test center locations in Barcelona, Spain; Dalian and Hangzhou, China; Hyderabad, India; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Lagos, Nigeria.

CFA Institute has more than 154,000 charterholders who work in some of the industry’s most prominent firms. In 1959, the Financial Analysts Federation (FAF) formed the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (ICFA) to establish standards of ethics and competence for security analysts, develop the exam, and bestow the title of Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) on those who passed. The FAF and ICFA eventually merged to form what is now known as CFA Institute. On June 15, 1963, the inaugural exam was administered at 27 test centers in the United States, Canada, and London to 284 candidates, six of whom were women. Today, over 84,000 (37%) candidates are women.