The CFA Institute, an association of investment professionals, has launched a Certificate in ESG Investing education program created by CFA Society of the United Kingdom that is available worldwide. The organization said the program represents a new global qualification for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in investment management.
The CFA said the goal of the program is to strengthen market integrity by delivering the benchmark knowledge and skills required by investment professionals to integrate ESG factors into the investment process.
The certificate program, which is supported by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), was designed for practitioners looking to learn how to analyze and integrate material ESG factors into their daily investment analysis. The FCA said the certificate is also useful for anyone looking to improve their understanding of ESG issues in functions such as sales and distribution, wealth management, product development, financial advice, consulting, and risk.
According to a survey conducted by the CFA Institute, 76% of institutional investors and 69% of retail investors have expressed an interest in ESG.
“We are seeing a real acceleration of interest in ESG investing,” Margaret Franklin, CEO of the CFA Institute, said in a statement. “This certificate is the first of its kind to be made available globally, and will equip practitioners with foundational knowledge and competencies, enabling them to better serve the needs of their clients and contribute to building trust within the industry.”
The self-study course requires approximately 130 hours of study, and the syllabus covers the ESG market, governance factors, environmental factors, social factors, ESG analysis, valuation and integration, engagement and stewardship, ESG integrated portfolio construction and management, investment mandates, portfolio analytics, and client reporting.
Participants conclude the course with a 140-minute computer-based exam of 100 questions at a proctored testing center or via online proctored testing. Once the exam is successfully completed, candidates will be awarded a UK Level 4 Certificate in ESG Investing. Candidates have one year to sit the exam after registration, and the cost, which covers the exam and online learning, is $665.
The CFA said that although there are there are no formal entry criteria for the certificate program, it strongly recommends that candidates have a solid grounding in the investment process achieved via formal qualifications or experience.