CIMA Certification – Quantifying the Value of Experience

Eric Schimpf has held a number of roles within Merrill Lynch over the past 20 years, and his record of success has led to his current role as a managing director. Supplementing his undergraduate education from West Point, Eric Schimpf went on to complete the CIMA certification program through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 2003.

For more than 20 years, the Wharton School of Business has partnered with the Investment Management Consultants Association as one of only three business schools in the nation to offer instruction for the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation. Recognizing the unique challenges and risks associated with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth portfolios, CIMA certification was designed to differentiate investors with a specialized body of knowledge from day traders. The CIMA program encompasses several aspects of wealth management, including risk assessment, asset allocation, and performance measurement. To date, CIMA certification is the only financial credential that meets international standards for personal certification (ISO 17024) and accreditation requirements set by the American National Standards Institute.

Only investment consultants who have three years of professional experience and submit to a third-party background check are eligible to apply for a CIMA certification, though only one in three persons who start the program follow through to completion. In addition, CIMA-certified professionals must meet continuing-education requirements every two years. Statistically, CIMA advisors represent the top quartile of the financial advisory industry.