The CFA Exam Is Going Green


bloomberg.com | Published 20 October2016

By Emily Chasan

Talk about alphabet soup: CFAs are about to get schooled on ESG.

CFA Institute, whose eponymous exams are a requirement for many professional analysts and money managers, is planning to update its 2017 curriculum to include more focus on corporate ethics, risk management and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues after feedback from its investment management practitioners.

CFAs are “telling us loud and clear that investors are demanding ESG, and there’s increasing academic evidence that sustainable companies are better-managed companies and have higher risk-adjusted returns,” Steve Horan, managing director of credentialing for the Charlottesville, Virginia-based institute, said in an interview.

The change stems from the institute’s recently-completed annual survey of 2,000 investment managers. The curriculum, used as a basis for exams to obtain the chartered financial analyst credential, has had a “heavy” focus for years on governance, Horan said. The curriculum additions aim to ensure analysts are also trained in understanding how to incorporate material social and environmental issues into investment models and strategies.

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