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University of Iowa News Release


March 24, 2009

New partnership helps MBA students earn investment profession designation

A new partnership between the University of Iowa's Tippie School of Management and CFA Institute will help MBA finance students prepare for their Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) certification and jump-start their careers.

The partnership, to be finalized this spring, ensures that finance students in the Tippie MBA program are studying in their classroom what they need to know to help pass the CFA exams.

"In this job market, students need every advantage they can get to start their careers, and this gives a powerful tool to Tippie MBA finance graduates," said Catherine Zaharis, business director in the Tippie School of Management's Finance Career Academy.

Recognition as a CFA Program Partner signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that the university curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well suited to preparing students to sit for the three levels of CFA examinations.

To receive their CFA certification, students must pass three rigorous exams, each of which requires about 250 hours of study. The global average pass rate for the exams is less than 50 percent.

Students in the programs will gain access to CFA Institute textbooks, journals, webcasts, and other educational resources. Students will also benefit from professional development events held in conjunction with the Tippie School of Management.

"Students in these programs are exposed to the Candidate Body of Knowledge, concepts and principles that have been identified by investment experts worldwide as essential to global practice," said Bob Johnson, deputy CEO of CFA Institute. "By mastering these fundamentals of the CFA Program, students will be well on their way to earning the highly valued CFA charter."

Many large institutional investment firms require or strongly encourage their employees to earn the CFA certification. Zaharis said such major Iowa employers as The Principal Financial Group and AEGON employ many analysts, portfolio managers, compliance officers and strategists with the CFA certification.

She said no major revisions are needed to the MBA curriculum because it already closely followed the CFA requirements.

Tippie is the only business program in Iowa to have such a partnership with CFA Institute.

About the CFA Program

The CFA Program sets a standard for developing the skills, standards, competence, and integrity of financial analysts, portfolio managers, investment advisers, and other investment professionals worldwide. It is widely considered the investment profession's most rigorous credentialing program. Administered in English, the CFA curriculum and examinations are identical worldwide. Fewer than one in five candidates who begin the program successfully complete it and go on to earn the coveted CFA charter, the "gold standard" for investment professionals.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has nearly 100,000 members who include the world's 82,000 CFA charterholders, as well as 136 affiliated professional societies in 57 countries and territories. More information may be found at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),