Financial reform will lead to a new emphasis on credentials in the financial services industry, which puts the
We caught up with Walters to talk about what is next for
Q: Last year we talked about the record growth
A: We’ve had another strong year at 7% growth this past year. Over the last three years, we were at 25 or 30%. This has us now, I guess, closer to 40% over three years. [We have seen] continued growth within the independent advisor segments. More independent advisors are finding us. I think more advisors are just coming to check out IMCA’s conferences. So, for example, about four years ago, I would say roughly 5% of our new members came from someone who joined
Q: And are you finding a parallel between event attendees and who’s actually becoming more involved with the organization and getting designations?
A: One thing I’ve noticed this past year—since I’ve been at
Q: Has financial reform impacted the structure of your credentials or the way that you do business at
A: I don’t think it’s changed any of the way that we do business. I think if anything it adjusts the topics that we cover as part of our certification programs. In both programs, we have a knowledge domain, which is a fancy way of saying a bunch of topics. They have to learn our ethics code, they have to learn regulatory and legal requirements for different advisor and consultant roles. And so it’s adjusting those topics, because the dust hasn’t settled yet. When it does, that will affect the exams content, and it will affect what they teach in the classroom.
Q: How long do you think that would take to have an effect?
A: The CPWA and CIMA certification are both conducting what we call a job task analysis. It’s basically a survey that certification bodies send to a profession, [to] have the profession define the knowledge, skills and competencies that should be required for the profession. CFP has done this for a number of years. That’s how, in my opinion, financial planning was defined, was through the CFP Board of Standards job task analyses that they’ve done every four or five years for the last 20 years. If anybody ever asks what’s financial planning, they can go review the topics that are tested for the CFP to define that. And that was the first step in our accreditation process for the CIMA certification. We’re conducting that for the Certified Private Wealth Advisor credential this year. Those task analyses will define the topics that need to be tested. I’m certain that those topics will include regulatory and legal issues. As soon as those issues are settled by regulators and
Q: Are there other changes that advisors can expect coming up from
A: With the ANSI (
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