EFFAS is a non-profit organization that brings together 16 European national associations with more than 20,000 members, all investment, asset management, and financial analysis professionals. The aims of EFFAS, chaired by the Spaniard Jesús López Zaballos since 2012, are to offer proposals to public administrations, regulators, and international organizations, to raise the level of training of professionals in the field of financial analysis, developing international standards, codes of ethics and professional conduct, and to become a world reference in the training and certification of investment professionals.
The professional certifications are intended to ensure that the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of its graduates are accredited and can be compared internationally. In this way, the holders of the certifications demonstrate their professional experience and increase the confidence of their clients as specialists in financial advice.
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ESG criteria are increasingly given importance by both clients and companies
This is the case of the CESGA title (Certified ESG Analyst) in socially responsible investment advice; which not only considers profitability, but also social and environmental impact and good governance practices (Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG). In other words, investments that generate competitive financial returns in the long term and a positive social impact. These criteria are not only taken into account more and more every day by entities and professionals, but they are also a growing demand among the clients themselves. In some important firms in the sector, the assets in investment funds that are managed taking into account the ESG plan already reach 85% of the total.
Therefore, in an environment where sustainable decisions are gaining weight in the portfolios, the importance of good training in this area grows for analysts and managers, who feel the need to recycle themselves in order to introduce in their work these ESG criteria that, until the launching of CESGA by EFFAS, did not have any professional or academic degree.
CESGA is especially addressed to financial analysts and portfolio managers who wish to integrate ESG data in their capital investment processes, but also, in general, to all investment professionals, increasingly committed to sustainability issues. Other specialists also demand this course to develop a better understanding of the needs of the capital markets in terms of ESG information, such as those responsible for corporate sustainability, investor relations, auditors, and consultants.
In short, this is the ideal program for asset owners, asset managers, corporate consultants, financial planners, and family offices who wish to adopt ESG criteria in a comprehensive manner.
What does EFFAS do at an international level
EFFAS has introduced in 2020 in online format the CESGA in Hong Kong, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, taking this internationally recognized certification to the Latin American and Asian markets for the first time.
Until this year, the CESGA title had been available in the main financial markets of Europe and in the United States, countries in which more than 800 specialists of the sector have already been accredited. EFFAS expects this number to exceed 1,200 before the end of 2020.
Companies that are certifying their professionals in ESG with the CESGA title of EFFAS in different countries are Andbank, Bankia, BBVA Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Caixa Asset Management, CDC Valeurs Moyennes, Deutsche Bank, DWS Investment, La Banque Postale Asset Management, Mutua dels Enginyers, Mapfre Inversión, Metzler Asset Management, Tressis Gestión and Santander Asset Management.
In addition to offering this pioneering certification among financial professionals, since 2007 EFFAS has had an ESG Commission co-chaired by the Frenchman Jean-Philippe Desmartin and the German Frank Klein. In 2010, this commission produced a guide to the main KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in the field of finance with ESG criteria. In addition, one of the members of the commission, the Spanish José Luis Blasco, has been part of the technical working group on sustainable finance that the European Commission launched in 2018 (European Commission Technical Working Group on Sustainable Finance) for the implementation of the Commission’s action plan on sustainable finance.
Online test to obtain the CESGA certification
Last June 12th, more than 400 candidates took the first exam called by EFFAS in online mode to obtain the CESGA certification. Jesús López Zaballos, president of EFFAS, has anticipated that the option of taking this exam through the internet will be repeated in the future calls of this certification. In fact, 300 professionals (without counting yet those from Spain and Germany) have already registered for the next call for this online certification test, which will take place next November. This federation organizes three calls for this exam every year.
The program is available completely online, both the training for its preparation, since last year, and the exam, since this year 2020. In this way, it is accessible to candidates from all over the world who are interested in improving their professional opportunities with the ESG Analyst Certification.
Before the COVID-19, the exam was also taken in the main financial centers: New York, London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, Lisbon, Oslo, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of environmental and social issues and, therefore, the importance of training in these matters for our future when making investment decisions.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
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First published in AF elAsesorFinanciero, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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