CFA Institute

CFA Institute
Formation 1925
Type Non-profit
Purpose/focus Finance
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Region served Worldwide
Membership over 100,000
Official languages English
Website Official website

CFA Institute is headquartered in the United States of America at Charlottesville, Virginia, with offices in Hong Kong and London. Formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR), CFA Institute awards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. In addition to administering the CFA Exam, CFA Institute publishes the Financial Analysts Journal, founded in 1945. CFA Institute also operates the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity and the Research Foundation of CFA Institute.



In 1925, an organization of investment analysts founded the Investment Analyst Society of Chicago. Similar organizations were formed elsewhere starting with the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) in 1937. In 1947, the organizations merged to create an umbrella organization, the National Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (NFFAS). As societies were formed, they too joined the national organization.

In 1959, the member societies voted to form the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts for the purpose of providing the CFA certification. ICFA offered the first CFA Exam in 1963 and adopted a three-exam format in 1964. The NFFAS, which later became the Financial Analyst Federation (FAF), remained as an umbrella organization for the member societies.

After many years of operating separately, the two organizations voted in 1990 to move toward a merger as the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR). The organizations merged in 1999. In 2004, AIMR voted to change its name to CFA Institute to reinforce its association with the CFA charter that it issues. One hundred thirty member societies have also changed their names to reflect the global society's name change.

Today, CFA Institute claims over 100,000 members. There are 136 societies in 57 countries. More than half of the membership is in the United States and Canada. Approximately 88% of total membership holds the CFA designation.

Quick Facts

The largest of CFA Institute's member societies are:

  • New York Society of Security Analysts - 10,945 members
  • CFA Society of the UK - 6,928 members
  • Toronto CFA Society - 6,289 members
  • The Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts Limited - 4,399 members
  • The Boston Security Analysts Society - 4,526 members
  • CFA Society of Chicago - 3,377 members
  • CFA Society of San Francisco - 2,767 members
  • Florida has the largest number of societies (six) followed by California and Ohio (five each).
  • The oldest society is in Chicago - founded 1925.
  • The youngest societies are in Egypt and Bahrain - both admitted in May 2006.


GIPS (Global Investment Performance Standards) is set of standards for the presentation of investment performance information, established by CFA Institute in 1999 with the aim of creating ethical, global and industry-wide methods of communicating investment results to clients and prospective clients.[1]

A key concept of GIPS is that performance should be presented for composites that must include all fee-paying, discretionary accounts managed by a firm or money manager for a given investment strategy or objective. This avoids selection bias: including only accounts with good returns.[2]

GIPS standards represent ethical principles that establish a practitioner-driven, industry-wide approach to follow in calculating and reporting historical investment results for presentation to clients and prospective clients. The GIPS standards arose from the absence of meaningful comparison among reported investment results, even by ethical firms. Several performance measurement practices made comparability difficult, while other practices cast doubt on the credibility of performance reporting in the industry:

  1. Account Selection
  2. Survivorship Bias
  3. Varying measurement periods

Another key concept of the Standards is regarding "verification." This is often a confusing topic, because it doesn't actually "verify" a firm's claim of compliance; rather, it involves having an independent third party review the firm's processes and procedures, as well as their composite construction.

CFA Societies


  1. ^ Carl Bacon, Chairman, StatPro. "What are the Global Investment Standards (GIPS)?". 
  2. ^ CFA Institute GIPS site

External links

See also

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