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2018 End of Year Summary

As we near the end of the first full year operating under the new Investments & Wealth Institute brand, we wanted to reach out and say “thank you” for your continued support and engagement with your professional community.

The rebrand from IMCA to Investments & Wealth Institute was undertaken to more accurately reflect who we are and what we do: we are a professional association, advanced education provider, and certification board for financial advisors, investment consultants, financial planners, and wealth managers who continuously strive for excellence and hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.

2018 was a year of great progress toward our objectives based on GEARS: Grow, Educate, Add Value, Relevance, and Standards. It’s our job to help advanced professionals like you, and to help you transform knowledge into value for your practice, the industry, and most importantly, the clients you serve.

Here’s a recap:

  • CIMA® certification celebrated its 30th year with a revised content outline, a revised examination, and a streamlined process. More than 1,200 candidates took the CIMA examination in 2018, 67 percent more than 2017. CIMA professionals have grown nearly 20 percent over the past four years, to 8,200 certified professionals. Wharton, Chicago Booth, Yale School of Management, and the Investment Management Research Program in Australia remain the four ways to complete the education requirement for CIMA certification.

  • CPWA® Certification celebrated its 10th year by growing more than 18 percent over 2017, to 1,800 certified professionals. Chicago Booth hosted several hundred candidates at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, and Yale School of Management became a new CPWA education provider January 2018, and will host more than 160 candidates through their online program by year-end.

  • Institute live and online education programs hosted more than 6,000 learners in 2018, 16 percent more than 2017. ACE 2019 will return to the Aria in Las Vegas next year, so be sure to register early to save your spot.

  • We launched a new Endowments and Foundations Consulting course in late 2018, designed to help you better serve non-profit clients.

  • In January 2018, we began administering the Retirement Management Advisor® program, and by year end we have enrolled more than 100 professionals. RMA® is an advanced credential that qualifies advisors to build and manage retirement income plans, using a holistic, and client-centered process. Unlike other retirement planning designations, RMA is product-agnostic. It is uniquely designed to build upon CIMA, CPWA and CFP® certification.

  • The Exceptional AdvisorTM campaign was launched in 2018 and includes valuable new benefits, resources and initiatives to help highlight the ethics and expertise of our practitioner members to the public. These initiatives include an online course to help teach members how to better-communicate their designations to clients, a Toolkit with various complimentary resources for members to promote their certifications to clients, including a new suite of FINRA -reviewed client-facing brochures. We ran several earned and paid consumer media initiatives in 2018, including a full page, four color advertisement in the Wall Street Journal and several full-page ads in Barron’s, Worth magazine, and Forbes.

  • Membership retention for 2018 was 90 percent, and total membership grew 4 percent over 2017. Several new benefits were launched in 2018, including a new Exceptional Advisor Podcast Series featuring industry veterans Jamie Green and Bob Powell interviewing leading practitioners and industry experts. In November, you should have received a new members’ only publication, the Retirement Management Journal.

The Investments & Wealth Institute is the premier association for advanced investment and wealth management practitioners. Today we serve more than 12,000 members and certified professionals in 38 countries. Our average member has five times more assets under management than the average financial advisor in the U.S. (Cerulli Associates member profile, 2018) In order to be successful as an organization, and fulfill our commitment to you, we will continue to deliver the most relevant knowledge, insights and tools required so that you can better serve your clients and distinguish your expertise in a global, and highly competitive marketplace.