In an effort to meet the growing interest in environmental, social and governance investing, CFA  said it will market the certificate in ESG investing, created by the CFA Society of the United Kingdom, in financial hubs across the globe.

The certificate is designed to meet the needs of practitioners in investment roles who want to learn how to analyze and integrate ESG factors into their investment analysis practice, CFA said, adding that it is also for anyone looking to improve their understanding of ESG issues in functions such as sales and distribution, wealth management, product development, financial advice, consulting and risk.

The CFA Institute said it conducted a survey that showed 76% of institutional investors and 69% of retail investors indicated an interest in ESG. The certificate, it said, will enable the industry to evolve by placing sustainable practices at the forefront of investment considerations, ultimately contributing to more holistic financial analysis.

Margaret Franklin, CFA president and CEO of the CFA Institute, said the acceleration of interest in ESG investing from clients and investment management firms is a major development that will shape the future of finance, and has fueled the need for education. “This certificate is the first of its kind to be made available globally, and will equip practitioners with foundational knowledge and competencies, enabling them to better serve the needs of their clients and contribute to building trust within the industry,” she said.

The certificate program is a self-study course that requires about 130 hours of study, culminating in a 100-question computer-based exam that runs for two hours and 20 minutes at a proctored testing center or via online proctored testing, where available and/or permissible by local regulation, the institute said.

There are no formal entry requirements for the exam and candidates have one year to take it after registration. A certificate is awarded on successful completion. The cost for the exam and online learning is $665, and candidates can claim 20 CE credits upon passing the exam, the institute said.

The CFA said that since the certificate's launch in September 2019, industry enthusiasm for it has been confirmed through its initial success within the U.K. and other Western European markets, where there have been a combined 5,000 registrations.

There are more than 160,000 CFA charter holders worldwide in 164 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and there are 161 local member societies.