Applications for the Investment Management Consultants Association’s certification programs — Certified Investment Management Analyst and Certified Private Wealth Advisor — have increased significantly from last year.
And perhaps surprisingly, according to IMCA CEO Sean Walters and IMCA board chair John Nersesian, the largest single group of CIMA applications for the first half of this year has been independent advisors.
“A lot of independents, they either get no designation or a CFP,” said Walters in an interview on Monday with ThinkAdvisor.
Walters and Nersesian, who is also managing director of wealth management services at Nuveen, stopped by ThinkAdvisor’s New York office to discuss some fresh data about IMCA membership and take a look at recent research.
“The reason we found those findings to be surprising is because — if you think about it — the independent advisor, by definition, they’re paying for it out-of-pocket,” said Nersesian. “And our programs are not inexpensive.”
CIMA certification program typically costs $7,000 to $9,000, and the cost of the CPWA program is $7,475 for IMCA members and $7,975 for nonmembers.
“The independent advisor who’s choosing to sign up, that’s a real commitment,” Nersesian said.
According to Walters, applications in general have increased since last year. CIMA applications are up 20% year-over-year and CPWA applications are up 35% over last year, he said. And, he added, membership is up about 5% from last year.
“So, we’re growing and we have a lot of interest out there,” Walters said.
Recent research from IMCA and Advisor Impact released in May showed that clients want credentialed advisors.