CFA Societies Australia launches ESG investing certificate

CFA Societies Australia has announced the availability of the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing in Australia, the first certificate of its kind globally.

The certificate would offer investment professionals the benchmark knowledge and skills they require to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment processes.

Chief executive of CFA Societies Australia, Lisa Carroll, said the certificate would enable the industry to evolve by placing sustainable practices at the forefront of investment considerations and would also help to address the lack of ESG-skilled investment professionals.

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“Demand for professionals with ESG qualifications is outstripping supply, and this certificate will help to address this imbalance. According to the CFA Institute Future of Sustainability in Investment Management research report, over 6% of job posts in the investment industry required ESG skills, while only 1% of professionals claimed to have these skills. That finding comes at a time when 90% of investment management professionals expect their firms’ commitment to ESG research to increase.

“The CFA Institute is responding to this skills gap by launching this certificate in Australia and across the globe,” said Carroll.

With 76% of institutional investors and 69% of retail investors declaring an interest in ESG, according to a recent CFA Institute survey, the certificate would be suitable for practitioners across all investment functions, including portfolio management, product development, sales, financial advice, consulting and risk analysis.

“We are experiencing demand for the certificate from firms wishing to upskill employees in a wide range of internal and client-facing roles. The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing is a globally recognised credential that will ensure professionals have the requisite knowledge to meet best practice in ESG investment. It sends a strong signal to both employers and clients about a practitioner's expertise, and will potentially enable practitioners to command a salary premium given that expertise,” said Carroll.

The certificate was a self-study online course requiring approximately 130 hours of study, culminating in a two-hour, 20-minute computer-based exam comprising 100 questions. There were no formal entry requirements.  On successful completion of the exam, candidates would be awarded a certificate. The cost, which covers the exam and online learning, was US$675 (approximately $940) and candidates could claim 20 continuing education credits upon passing the exam.

The CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing was developed by CFA Society of the United Kingdom in consultation with leading firms and is recognised by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). 

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