The Investment Management Consultants Association announced changes in its certification process to attendees of its Consultants Conference in New York on January 12. The changes, most of which take effect July 1, 2009, include a new certification examination that must be passed to achieve the CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) certification, though the same required educational curriculum necessary to take the exam must still be completed at either the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania or the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.
That emphasis on education is what helps differentiate CIMA certificants from other financial consultants, said IMCA president and Merrill Lynch wealth manager Garry Bridgeman.
Another big change concerns continuing education and what IMCA Executive Director Dede Pahl says is move to better align the CIMA certification program with third-party accreditation standards. While gaining 40 hours of CE within a two-year period are still required for CIMA certificants, now those certificants will no longer be required to get those 40 hours only from IMCA itself.