The Charted Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), is a professional body for financial services professionals based in London, UK.
It provides several professional qualifications for individuals working in the wealth management, banking and stock brokerage sectors. The most well-known are:
- Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning (Level 7)
- Diploma in Wealth Management (Level 7)
- Diploma in Corporate Finance (Level 6) (In association with ICAEW).
Why do professionals join CISI?
Senior finance professionals in a variety of financial sectors are expected to hold relevant qualifications if they want to successfully apply for a position at a firm.
The UK’s financial regulator mandates specific qualifications for different roles, which then becomes the de-facto qualification route for any professional hoping to pursue that career path.
Graduates will typically join a firm on a graduate scheme which includes a training contract to study a relevant qualification. For example, a private wealth management firm may begin graduates on the path towards gaining a financial planning qualification.
Aspiring stockbrokers will join a brokerage and become a member of the CISI to begin studying for their Diploma in Wealth Management. The best stockbrokers in the UK pursue a high level of qualification to improve their technical skills and appear impressive to clients.
The minimum qualification level for roles is rarely higher than level 4 or level 5. This makes the level 6 or level 7 qualifications a ‘value-add’ to a CV and becomes a factor that helps excellent candidates distinguish themselves, and provides professional development over many years.
What qualifications does the CISI offer?
- Foundation qualifications
- Wealth Management
- Compliance & Risk
- Capital Markets & Corporate Finance
- Islamic Finance
- Financial Planning
- Green, Sustainable & Responsible Finance
How large is the CISI?
The Institute holds a membership list of 45,000 individuals, living across 100 countries, with 81 countries hosting students actively studying for a CISI qualification.
This compares to 125,000 members of the Chartered Insurance Institute, and 170,000 members of the CFA Institute.
Each of these organisations offers a different range of qualifications that appeal to overlapping (but not identical) financial services sectors, which accounts for some of the differences in membership.
Some stockbrokers are members of both the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and the CFA Institute.
When was the CISI formed?
The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment can trace its roots back to 1992. It was formed by member brokers of the London Stock Exchange to fulfil the role of a professional standards & training body.
The CISI has less regulatory bite than other similar financial bodies in other financial sectors such as accountancy. The Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales) and the Institute of Chartered Accountant (Scotland) have various self-regulation duties.
The CISI lacks the same clout because it was formed relatively recently. The regulatory framework surrounding financial advice and wealth management was already enshrined in legislation and carried out by other regulatory authorities long before the CISI gained Royal Chartered status in 2009.
What are members of the CISI known as?
Following the award of the Royal Charter, members of the CISI who complete the Level 7 Diploma in Wealth Management may refer to themselves as Chartered Wealth Manager. Those who are successful in the Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning are known as a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP for short, which is a globally recognised accreditation.
How much does it cost to become a CFP?
To become a Certified Financial Planner, you’ll need to complete a series of exams and a case study. You’ll need to pay for study materials as well as student membership of the organisation while you study.
The ‘all-in’ cost of studying for the CFP qualification is £2,508 for the 2022 year. This does not include the cost of tuition.