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CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials in the investment industry. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Its end goal is to create a global environment where investors’ interests come first, capital markets function at their best, and economies grow.
The organization offers the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation, the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM®) designation, as well as the Claritas™ Investment Certificate. Those with a CFA and other qualifications may also be eligible for the Chartered Investment Counselor credential. Through its continuing education conferences, seminars, webcasts and publications, members and other participants stay current on developments in the investment industry. CFA Institute also oversees the CFA Institute Research Challenge for university students and the Research Foundation of CFA Institute.
CFA Institute offices are located in New York City, London, Hong Kong, and Charlottesville, Virginia USA.
In 1947, four financial analyst societies—Boston, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia—joined forces for the purpose of promoting the exchange of ideas and supporting the welfare of the financial analysts’ profession. In 1962, a cadre of these financial analysts created the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation and established a code of conduct. In 1963, the profession was formalized when 284 candidates sat for the first CFA exam and 268 CFA charters were awarded.
The discussion that began in North America in the 1940s has resulted in more than 120,000 CFA Charters awarded since the inception of the CFA program. CFA Institute has more than 110,000 members in 140 countries and territories, and 137 member societies in 60 countries.
Charters and Designations 
The CFA is a professional designation which is offered by the CFA Institute. The CFA is a charter and not a certification. The CFA designation is not a degree or diploma. The CFA Institute does not offer a degree or diploma, but rather works with degree granting and accredited educational institutions worldwide.
Member societies 
The largest of CFA Institute's member societies are:
- New York: Over 8,500 members
- Toronto: Over 7,500 members
- United Kingdom: Over 7,000
- Hong Kong: Over 5,000 members
- Boston: Over 5,000 members
- Chicago: Over 3,500 members
- San Francisco: Over 3,000 members
- Singapore: Over 2,500 members
Florida has the largest number of societies (six), followed by California and Ohio with five each. The oldest society, was founded in 1925, is in Chicago. The newest society, was admitted in August 2012, is Nigeria.