AMHERST, Mass. (HedgeWorld.com)–The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association has slated Nov. 3 as the registration date for 2003 exams for its CAIA designation.

The Alternative Investment Management Association and the Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets sponsor the CAIA designation, an effort that was launched earlier this year.

Both organizations, AIMA and CISDM, have been proponents of education in the alternative investment industry. The new standard is for professionals who specialize in alternatives and the qualification will demonstrate an individual’s abilities within and his understanding of alternative investment vehicles, according to the groups.

The designation requires applicants to pass two CAIA exams, hold a bachelor’s or equivalent degree, fulfill the CAIA Association’s membership requirements and apply concurrently for membership in the association. CAIA holders also will be required to show evidence of furthering their education in both traditional and alternative asset classes.

The CAIA exams cover traditional alternative investments such as real estate, private equity and commodity investments, as well as more modern alternative investment vehicles including hedge funds and managed futures. A separate exam committee determined the exam curriculum. The exams will be administered at proctored testing centers around the world.

The first sitting of the Level I exam will be in February 2003. Level I and Level II exams will be given the last week of June 2003 and each six-month period thereafter. The Level I exam is done in two parts. The initial part covers fundamental concepts of finance and statistics as they relate to investment markets and alternative investments. The second part of the test given in the afternoon covers: trading strategies employed by alternative investment managers; sources of returns for those strategies; types of alternative investments as; and background legal and economic aspects of alternative investments along with standards for professional conduct. The Level I exam is in multiple-choice format.

Level II will concentrate on the application of portfolio theory to alternative investments, manager selection and oversight, risk management, due diligence and standards for professional conducts. This test will be in both multiple-choice and essay format.

The CAIA Association has approved online review courses that will be available starting December 2002. The group’s web site is www.caia.org.