The Association of International Wealth Management AIWM is a non-profit association established to encourage, promote and strengthen global education in the private banking industry and to set a globally recognised standard for the qualification of private banking professionals.
Private banking/wealth management is a fast growing and increasingly global industry. Serving today’s wealth owners requires a thorough understanding of their individual needs and of the tools that can be applied to meet these needs. The Association of International Wealth Management (AIWM) was established to respond to the growing demand for sophisticated products and professional client service, to identify and meet the needs of wealth owners, and to assist in navigating the increasing regulation and general complexities of globalised financial markets.
The AIWM awards the Associate Wealth Manager (AWM®) and the Certified International Wealth Manager Diploma (CIWM®) and offers private banking professionals a platform for high-quality education, knowhow transfer and international networking.
The Association was founded in 2007 by AZEK, the training centre of the Swiss Financial Analysts Association. The Association is a development of the renowned Swiss Financial Analysts Association (SFAA). The AIWM now has more than 3,500 members including financial and investment fund analysts, asset managers, wealth managers and fund managers.
Based in Switzerland, with its Head Office located in Zurich, the AIWM operates on a global scale.
CIWM® recognition by Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)
In May 2009 the CIWM designation gained recognition from the Financial Skills Partnership in the United Kingdom as a Key 2 qualification. The AIWM now has awarding body status and the CIWM qualification is included on the appropriate examinations list for the relevant activities that are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK.
CIWM® compliant with Retail Distribution Review (RDR) requirements
For certain activities in the financial sector the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) formerly known as Financial Services Authority (FSA), the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK, requires a minimum of qualification.
Originally, it had mandated the Financial Sector Skills Council to issue standards for these activities and accredit qualifications that match these standards, i.e., people holding these approved qualifications are qualified for the respective activities.
The Financial Conduct Authority has taken back control of some activities under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), an initiative to strengthen the financial centre of London. The activities falling under the RDR are
- Advising and/or dealing with securities and/or derivatives
- Advising on packaged products
“Managing Investments” is an activity that is not officially part of the RDR, but often treated as one. Under the RDR, qualifications need to be set at least at Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) level 4. The CIWM designation comfortably fulfils this threshold requirement.
The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) applies to “retail facing” investment professionals, only. That is, those CIWM holders working in the wholesale sector are unaffected by the RDR and the existing UK CIWM recognitions continue to be valid for such investment professionals. The new examination requirements have a very strong UK markets, regulation, products, and tax orientation. As a consequence of the RDR, from 2013 practitioners in the UK with a retail facing role will need to be RDR recognised.
The CIWM is recognised by the FCA in the UK as being an RDR compliant qualifications in the following four activities defined in TC Appendix 1.1.1R:
Activity No. 2
- Advising on (but not dealing in) securities*
Activity No. 3
- Advising on (but not dealing in) derivatives*
Activity No. 12
- Advising on and dealing in securities*
Activity No. 13
- Advising on and dealing with or for clients in derivatives
(* which are not stakeholder pension schemes or broker funds)
In order for a CIWM graduate to practice in the UK they need to have passed two modules such as those offered by The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment CISI. There are two modules that cover the new UK content which are available under their Investment Advice Diploma:
- FCA regulation and profes sional integrity; and
- Investment, risk and taxation.
Both modules need to be completed to cover the UK element. (note: www.handbook.fca.org.uk)
The AIWM seeks to achieve its objectives by:
- Facilitating research and high-quality education and training in the field of international wealth management.
- Providing internationally recognised certifications in the wealth management field, the Associate Wealth Manager (AWM®) and the Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM®).
- Establishing a Code of Ethics governing the work and activities of members.
- Providing members with opportunities for continuing professional development.
- Fostering the exchange of information and experience between members and partners.
- Cooperating with national and international partners.
- Representing the Association’s interests vis-à-vis governmental and regulatory authorities as well as the public at regional, national and international level.
- Communicating actively between members, partners, media representatives and the public.
- Assisting wealth owners in identifying appropriately trained professionals to help address their wealth management needs.
AIWM assists graduates in acquiring core competencies in wealth management and in qualifying for key positions within the industry.
AIWM supports employers in reaching highly qualified specialists that best meet the individual needs of a global client base.
AIWM allows clients to obtain first-class, reliable and comprehensive advice and services.