Finance: In-person study courses for the CFA and ACCA financial professional exams are set to debut in September.
The Grand Duchy’s first-ever preparatory courses for two rigorous financial professionals’ exams will launch next month. Business School Luxembourg will begin a series of 11 week classes to prepare for the Chartered Financial Analyst and ACCA Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Qualification tests, both of which are widely recognised around the world, tuition director Rory Collins told Delano in an interview. It is “something that isn’t in Luxembourg right now, and it needs to be provided in Luxembourg.”
The CFA exam, administered by the US-based CFA Institute, is a form of advanced certification for investment industry professionals. According to the institute, there are more than 100,000 CFA “charterholders” in more than 130 jurisdictions globally, and nearly 220,000 people applied to take the test last year.
The qualification appeals to many working in Luxembourg’s fund’s sector, Collins said. “It’s for somebody who wants to have a greater understanding of the risks and products and general environment, and that can be in the front office or the back office.” In his view, charterholders “inherently have a greater understanding of what’s coming through.”
The ACCA Qualification, administered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, is a global standard for professional accountants, according to the UK-based organisation.
The certification is “recognised” as part of applications to Luxembourg’s regulatory body for auditors, the Institut des réviseurs d’entreprises, Collins explained.
Both qualifications are also helpful “for career enhancement”, he reckoned. Qualifications holders can “get ahead of somebody in an interview situation.”
BSL is a private enterprise registered as an education provider with Luxembourg’s small and medium-sized business ministry, said Collins, formerly EMEA head of risk and control at BNY Mellon and international head of audit at PNC, two banks.
He noted that the examinations themselves are still conducted independently, and the BSL is not formally connected with either professional body. Collins said the CFA exams can be sat in Luxembourg. An ACCA test will be held in the Grand Duchy, a spokesman for the UK organisation told Delano.
“Lack of live tuition”
BSL is addressing the “lack of live tuition for these two designations in Luxembourg” despite the fact “there quite a number of people undertaking these qualifications”.
Up until now, only occasional weekend courses organised by a Paris-based firm had been available.
Face to face interaction with an instructor is valuable not only for mastering the required technical knowledge, but also how to tackle difficult questions. “You can learn everything and still not pass the exam if you don’t learn the techniques,” Collins stated.
BSL has partnered with Elan Guides for CFA study materials and Kaplan Publishing UK for the ACCA Qualification.
Collins will lead the first series of courses himself, and is in discussions with several “highly qualified, senior people” in Luxembourg’s financial services sector about lecturing in the new year.
Classes, like both examinations, are exclusively in English.
Business School Luxembourg’s evening courses begin on September 9 and will be held at the Hotel Meliá in Luxembourg-Kirchberg. The registration deadline is August 31.