Hershey bars are made by Hershey's, Campbell's soup is made by Campbell Soup Company, the CFP designation is awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards--and the CFA designation is sponsored by a group called ... AIMR? In an effort to make things more straightforward, the members of the latter group voted in May to officially change their association's name from the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR) to the CFA Institute, a name designed to more directly reference the professional credential offered by the group.
The idea of changing the name has been floating around for several years, but it wasn't until last year that members really began re-examining the possibility, says Ray DeAngelo, executive VP of the association's member and society division, based in the organization's Charlottesville, Virginia, office. "Members told us, 'The CFA credential has gotten so prominent in the industry, yet there seems to be a disconnect between the credential and the parent organization that actually sponsors it. Why don't we take another look at the possibility of changing it?'" he says. In addition, the association's market research showed that having two acronyms (AIMR and CFA) in a single public awareness advertisement was confusing to consumers. "It was problematic for us in terms of trying to get our core message out to the public," says DeAngelo.
The newly renamed CFA Institute has 70,000 members around the world, approximately 60% of whom are located in the U.S. The first CFA exam was administered in 1963 to 284 people, says DeAngelo.