In October 2008, the name CFA Ireland was adopted by the Society of Investment Analysts in Ireland (SIAI).
The SIAI was formed in 1986. The founders were Frank Shanley, Frank O’Brien, Gavin Caldwell and Pat Cuneen, senior figures in the stock-broking and domestic asset management industries. All were members of The Society of Investment Analysts in the UK (SIA), the precursor of the Institute of Investment Management and Research (IIMR). Having operated in the early years of the society as a branch of the UK society, a decision was made in 1996 to go it alone as an independent society. The investment industry was in expansionary mode in Ireland and the founders saw the need for a local society which would address local needs.
The mission of the Society was primarily to facilitate debate and networking among investment professionals operating within the domestic market. The education of young investment professionals remained a key consideration, and up to 2002 the Irish society continued to use the UK society exam program as an entry mechanism for membership. This qualification was ASIAI, a rigorous program of study covering a breadth of investment topics. The Associate examination (ASIAI) required students to sequentially pass five separate topic exams and a case study focussed on a company research topic.
Economics and Applied Statistical Analysis
Securities and Investment
Interpretation of Accounts and Corporate Finance
Investment Regulation and Practice
Membership at that time was divided into three categories; Students, who were attempting the Associate examination; Associates; and Fellows. The whole examination structure of the SIA was revised in 1989 when the Fellowship examination was dispensed with. In 1994 , when the regulatory authorities in the UK required a competence examination for those working in investment management, the SIAI introduced the Certificate in Investment Management (CIM) as a complementary exam to the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) developed by the UK Society in response to that regulatory need. The CIM became the introductory level of the Associate Examination with the following four papers.
Accounting & Taxation
Economics & Statistics
Securities, Markets & Portfolio Management
Investment Industry – Regulation & Structure
There was dual membership with the IIMR in the UK for a period of time. The UK Society changed its name to IIMR in 1992, to UKSIP following its merger with the London Society of Investment Professionals, and again in 2007 to the CFA Society of the UK. www.cfauk.org
The Society of Investment Analysts in Ireland (precursor to CFA Ireland, now known as CFA Society Ireland) became a member society of the CFA Institute in 2002 following the UK Society's merger with the local CFA society (LSIP) in the UK. The Associate examination program lapsed in 2002 following an IIMR decision to close the exam program and weak demand for the CIM program post the demise of the Associate program saw that program pass into history shortly after. A generation of Irish investment professionals owe much to these examinations at the start of their careers. Holders of the designations, and particularly the ASIAI, can be assured that the breadth of knowledge covered can be favourably compared to the CFA program, a matter acknowledged by CFA Institute.
Since 2002 CFA Society Ireland has been actively promoting the CFA Program, reaching a point where some 500 Irish candidates register for the exam program annually.