Elite UK wealth management qualification now available in Mandarin

By CECILY LIU | Updated: 2017-06-23 10:16

A wealth management qualification from the United Kingdom can now be taken in Mandarin, another milestone as China's financial services industry integrates with global standards and practices.

The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment said on Wednesday it has made its basic-level exam available in China, across 10 test centers. In addition, it has partnered with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, which will provide personal training to students at its campus in Qingdao, in East China's Shandong province.

"Our exam's international recognition will help Chinese candidates prove their competency to clients and gain recognition from their employers," said Hayley Brown, the institute's senior international manager.

Brown said the organization is also in the process of making the tests for two other, more advanced, qualifications available in Mandarin.

CISI, which emerged from the training arm of the London Stock Exchange 25 years ago, has become the benchmark in the wealth management industry. Currently, around 40,000 candidates take CISI exams in 80 countries. Most candidates sit the exam in English, although it has also been available in Spanish, Greek, Arabic, and French.

Its profile-raising move in China follows in the footsteps of other international exams, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Financial Analysts, and FRM Financial Risk Manager. These international exams have all become increasingly popular with young finance professionals in China, especially those who aspire to work overseas or work for international financial companies in China.

Alan Wu, director of China programs at Manchester Business School, said CISI will have unique selling points in China.

"All qualifications have a slightly different focus, and the increasing number of international exams available in China gives Chinese students more diverse choices," said Wu.

CISI's entry into China began with Qingdao municipal government representatives visiting the institute's headquarters in London last year, when they invited the organization to make the exam available in China and partner with the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics' Qingdao campus.

The Qingdao government hopes finance professionals from the city will sit the exam, helping Qingdao become a center for wealth management.

According to the latest Global Finance Centres Index in March, Qingdao was the 38th most important financial center globally. In March 2016, it joined the list at number 79.

CISI expects at least 500 candidates to take the exam in China in the first year it is offered in Mandarin, of which 80 percent will be finance professionals working in China, and the remainder will be students.

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