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Chartered Financial Analyst Institute responds to backlash over layoffs, testing delays

Candidates for the exam administered by Charlottesville-based Certified Financial Analyst Institute say they’re facing test delays.
Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville-based Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAi) is facing backlash across the internet. Candidates for the exam the company administers say they’re facing test delays. Many say their questions to the institute are going unanswered.

The complaints have emerged after layoffs and a restructuring the CFA Institute said was to modernize the company. Dozens of posts on Reddit and Twitter from candidates say they’ve had exams cancelled or been unable to delay their tests. Many say they can’t get a response from the institute after multiple attempts.

A Reddit post from October sums up how one CFA exam candidate feels about the company -- “CFAi doesn’t care about us.” In the post, the user vents frustrations over testing site cancellations.

“CFAi had 6 months to figure this out where they could’ve tried to do ANYTHING different,” the user writes. “They chose to do none of that.”

Ultimately 104 locations worldwide cancelled the December exam due to COVID-19.

Candidates are also having trouble getting in contact with the institute. Dozens of posts across social media detail delays in responses for people trying to schedule or reschedule the exam – some having trouble securing refunds for their cancellations.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the CFA Institute defended the restructuring, saying: “We recognize that these changes are significant, and we have not taken any of them lightly. A strategic review identified the need to modernize and to add new skills and capabilities to CFA Institute. For this reason, we have been able to post more than 50 new roles to support our new strategy.”

CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYST INSTITUTE STATEMENT -- 03/08/2021

In late 2019 and into 2020, the CFA Institute leadership team and Board of Governors recognized the need for organizational change to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving investment management industry. The result was a comprehensive strategy review that led to a new operating model, including the implementation of computer-based testing. Unfortunately, this resulted in the need to eliminate a number of roles globally, but the decisions taken continue to be consistent with our values and a deep understanding of the challenging times we face. With this in mind, we extended our notice period from 60 days to 10 months, meaning that each affected employee is receiving full pay and benefits until August 2, 2021, at which point our severance packages will commence. This approach was taken, in large part, given the extraordinary context of the pandemic.

We recognize that these changes are significant, and we have not taken any of them lightly. The strategic review identified the need to modernize and to add new skills and capabilities to CFA Institute. For this reason, we have been able to post more than 50 new roles to support our new strategy.

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