IMCA, In A Bid To Grow Its Already Fast-Growing Membership Base, Is Hitting The Road In A Six-City North American Workshop Series Hot

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An abridged version of IMCA’s investment certification is packaged in a new Best of IMCA series of workshops. The workshops, which will be offered over the next year, provide a fast, easy way for advisors to determine if IMCA and its CIMA designation fit their business model and style of practice.  


Teachers in the six-city workshop program also teach courses required to become a CIMA licensee.

  • Jeff Jaffe, Associate Professor of Finance at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, on Modern Portfolio Theory.
  • Criag Mackinlay, Associate Professor of Finance at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School,  on manager selection and asset allocation.
  • Richard Joyner, practitioner and IMCA faculty member, on tax issues for high-net-worth individuals.

The first three events will be held in Toronto (April 12), Vienna, Va. (April 27), and Irvine, Cal. (June 1).

Three more events are planned for Dallas, Houston and San Francisco on dates to be announced, and each event will confer continuing education credit for those holding the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation.


The educational outreach effort was announced at a press conference attended by A4A and just one other trade publication at IMCA's 2011 New York Consultants Conference in Manhattan earlier this week. I met with IMCA President John Granzow and CEO and Executive Director Sean Walters.

The workshops are designed to give members and potential members a “sense of community” while helping IMCA officials “stay connected to members,” Granzow said. The series is also designed to build membership by attracting prospective members, he added.

Indeed, Walters says the Denver-based organization has grown 27% since 2007, from 6,300 to more than 8,000 members -- a big leap given the economic downturn.

By contrast, the more broadly based Financial Planning Association has seen its membership rolls plummet 16% during the economic downturn, from 28,200 in 2008 to 23,650 today.


The FPA’s members have average assets under management of $84.1 million, while IMCA's average member has $272 million in assets under management.

IMCA confers two certifications in conjunction with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: CIMA, or Certified Investment Management Analyst, is for advanced investment advisors and consultants, and CPWA, or Certified Private Wealth Advisor, is for wealth managers and advisors who work with high-net-worth individuals.

To receive a CIMA certificate, advisors must attend a five-day education program at Wharton. Maintaining the designation requires attending 40 hours of CIMA-approved continuing professional education every two years.


IMCA also announced pass rates for its two separate CIMA exams at the New York conference: The pass rate for the CIMA qualification exam is 63%, and the pass rate for the CIMA certification exam is 58%.

Will be interesting to see if IMCA's growth continues.  

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