The Certified Investment Management Analyst designation got a lot of press last year as an emerging competitor to existing credentials. It turns out that nearly all of that interest was driven by registered investment advisors.
Membership in the Investment Management Consultants Association, which administers the CIMA credential, surged a healthy 7% to 8,400 last year.
Drill down into the numbers and you'll find that a net 620 RIAs joined the organization.
But overall membership actually increased by only 550.
Granted, attrition plagued the broker-dealer channel last year, but this indicates that RIAs are signing up for the CIMA faster while other types of advisory firm are giving up.
At this point, 27% of IMCA members are RIAs. If this goes on, IMCA may one day become a rival to today's RIA-heavy trade groups.