New Isenberg-Industry Partnership Will Improve Student Marketability

November 1, 2012

Isenberg-CAIA Partnership 

Isenberg students will enjoy greater marketability thanks to the school's academic partnership with CAIA, the leading accreditor of alternative investment professionals. "CAIA accreditation coupled with our own courses in alternative investments and risk management will make you unique in the marketplace," Isenberg finance professor Thomas Schneeweis told the school's students at a signing ceremony on October 25 that formalized the Isenberg-CAIA relationship.


Under the new arrangement, up to eight Isenberg students will be eligible each year for a generous CAIA subsidy toward the association's professional accreditation exams. That would provide student support for four students during the exam's first level in March and for another   four students during its second level in September. With the subsidy, each student would pay $100 for each $1,650 exam sitting. CAIA is offering similar support for two faculty members.


Passing the exam will give Isenberg students a powerful market credential.  "They will join a vibrant global network of 6,000 accredited professionals in 80 counties," observed CAIA's CEO Florence Lombard at the ceremony. Although most CAIA professionals received accreditation while working in industry, Isenberg and 12 other colleges and universities are participating in an innovative arrangement with the association that encourages students to take accreditation exams after completing complementary coursework.


At Isenberg, finance professor Mila Sherman offers an annual course in alternative investments that includes a CAIA textbook by Hossein Kazemi, Keith Black, and a third author.  Kazemi is a finance professor at Isenberg and CAIA's program director; Black is CAIA's director of curriculum. "In the materials and the CAIA exams, we've emphasized industry fundamentals but also professional ethics," Kazemi told the gathering. "Given the events of the last six years, a professional code of conduct is critical."


Isenberg graduates will discover dynamic CAIA professional communities in 16 world financial centers, added Black. "CAIA certification is a global passport," he said.