CFA Program from ICFAI (India) Vs CFA Program from CFAI (US)

February 7, 2010
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You have decided that you are going to pursue CFA, but now the question that arises is, whether you should pursue CFA from ICFAI (India) or CFAI (US). Well, to solve your confusion we bring you analysis of both. Go through this and take a wise decision.

CFA India

Below are some important facts :

A. The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) was established in 1984 as a non-profit society, with the objective of providing training in finance and management. It offers a certification program for financial analysts known as CFA Program (originally Certified Financial Analyst, later becoming Chartered Financial Analyst).

B. Now, ICFAI is in NO way affiliated with the CFA Institute nor other awards, such as CA or ICWA and both the institutes have broken their partnerships and running their courses separately.

C. The Indian Trademark registry recognizes ICFAI's right to use the CFA trademark and does not recognise the CFA Institute's sole right to use the CFA trademark.

D. Indian CFA Course Curriculum: This course is designed for the Indian financial system and is therefore offers more localised than the CFA Institute's (USA) program. ICFAI is a Private Institute and Indian CFAs need not be employed mandatorily by Indian companies. The Indian CFA Program focuses on Financial Analysis as applicable to Investment Management. The CFA Program offered by ICFAI has been developed and is consistently reviewed in the context of the present and future needs of the corporate sector, the investment industry and the financial services sector in India.


CFA can be done through CFA Institute US and CFA ICFAI University. However, CFA US certification will pave your way for a better career, and give you an edge over others. CFA from US will bring more weightage on your resume than CFA ICFAI.

Below are some key benefits:

  • CFA is recognized in 135 countries across the globe. So if you wish to go abroad, and settle in US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. then you most probably stand a chance of getting a green signal from companies there.

  • Better Compensation than MBAs- According to Russell Reynolds study, a CFA US charter out earns its peers by over 50% and demands higher salary than MBAs.

  • Affordable Fees- the Fee structure is $3000 that is about 1/5th of fees of any reputed business school, which makes it an affordable qualification.

  • After CFA, you become eligible for senior roles such as portfolio manager, investment banker, financial advisor and many other reputed roles.

History of Trademark Dispute between CFAI and ICFAI :

The CFA program was first delivered through AIMR in the USA and later in India with the partnership of the then Institute of Certified Financial Analysts.

The ICFA and AIMR came together in 1990 to have a common uniform curriculum and bring all the societies under one umbrella. ICFAI had brought out its academic curriculum to suit Indian finance professionals, though it had global content. ICFAI wanted to function independently and had established working relationships with the European Federation of Financial Analysts (EFFAS) and the ASAF (Asian Securities Analysts Federation) with regard to development of the Profession of Security Analysts and its course content.

ICFAI also wanted to bring its CFA india as an Indian Statutory Charter. All this led to the dispute with AIMR, the parent body of CFA india Institute which wanted a uniform curriculum or body of Knowledge through out the world for CFA program whereas ICFAI wanted changes in CFA india charter to suit Indian regulations as finance professional used to work in an extremely regulated capital markets. AIMR eventually broke its working relationship with ICFAI and CCFA.

If you have any other doubts, comment below and we shall get back to you at the earliest.


About the Author

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