8 Wealth Management Specialist Certification Options to Explore

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Building a career in finance involves demonstrating a strong ability to apply financial concepts to real situations, such as wealth management. Many financial roles have elements of wealth management, which involves providing advanced financial planning services to clients with large portfolios of assets and capital. Gaining certification in wealth management enables you to show potential clients that you have the skills to help them manage their funds. In this article, we discuss wealth management specialist certification and list eight certifications you can consider pursuing to develop your wealth management skills.

What is a wealth management specialist certification?

A wealth management specialist certification is a professional designation for candidates with industry-standard skills relating to financial planning, investments and tax guidance. Finance professionals with wealth management certifications are knowledgeable of the specific techniques, guidelines and limitations involved in growing wealth for individuals or businesses with a high net worth. Wealth management certifications provide proof of your general wealth management skills. They typically focus on a specific aspect of wealth management, such as estate planning or business succession planning.

Related: Q&A: Why Pursue a Career in Wealth Management? (Plus Salary)

Why are wealth management certifications important?

Wealth management certifications are important because they enable you to uphold high standards within the financial industry. Both aspiring finance professionals and experts can benefit from pursuing these certifications. Understanding wealth management allows you to pursue many careers that involve managing money, such as a specialised financial planning career. People with wealth management certifications are able to work in brokerage firms, private banks, trust companies, mutual funds and many other environments. The following are some reasons you might consider earning a wealth management certification:

  • To build trust: It's important for clients to trust the financial professionals they hire to make choices regarding their money. A certification shows that you're capable of doing this.

  • To demonstrate compliance: As a wealth management expert, it's important to understand technical information about laws and regulations for various high-value income brackets. Getting a wealth management certification shows that you understand the legal, ethical and practical concerns involved with managing funds for high-value accounts.

  • To find job opportunities: Showcasing wealth management certifications on your resume demonstrates your area of expertise and identifies you as a competitive candidate committed to professional development in the financial field. Employers may prefer candidates with certifications over those without them, so earning a certification can improve your chances of securing the job you want.

Related: How to Be a Wealth Manager (With Tips to Advance Your Career)

8 wealth management specialist certifications

There are several specialist certifications available that relate to wealth management. Many finance professionals decide to earn multiple credentials to showcase all of their areas of expertise. When deciding which certification to pursue, consider your experience level, professional interests and career goals. The following are some top wealth management certifications that you can choose from:

1. Wealth Management Specialist

The Wealth Management Specialist (WMS) certification is ideal for new entrants into the finance industry. A WMS certificate shows that an individual is familiar with the general concepts that wealth managers and financial advisors utilise when helping clients manage their funds. The topics that you learn about include investment strategies, tax implications and financial planning strategies. There are many different organisations that sanction and issue WMS certifications. Requirements may vary for each organisation.

2. Certified Wealth Management Advisor

The Certified Wealth Management Advisor (CWMA) certification is from the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF). Several organisations have received IBF accreditation and offer the CWMA certification. To obtain this certification, you typically first undergo a training programme that takes around two weeks to complete. Students learn about important wealth management concepts such as customer acquisition, customer retention and market segmentation. Certificate holders also gain knowledge about different investment and asset types, enabling them to make better financial recommendations to clients.

Related: Key Financial Consultant Skills and How to Highlight Them

3. Private Banking Certification

The Private Banking Certification is a training certificate that the Singapore Management University offers in collaboration with the IBF. It's a certification for aspiring private bankers who want to learn more about the industry. While earning this qualification, you typically learn about wealth planning principles and solutions for managing the wealth of clients with high net worth. You can also improve your knowledge of client profiling and needs analysis.

Related: How Much Do Private Bankers Make? (Including Bonuses)

4. Certified Private Wealth Advisor

The Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) designation is ideal for financial professionals who manage private clients' assets. CWPAs provide financial planning services to individuals with a net worth of at least $5 million, helping them sustain and grow their wealth through advanced wealth management techniques. The CPWA exam questions you on each step of the wealth lifecycle, from accumulation to distribution. Throughout a CWPA course, you learn about tax strategies, charitable giving, wealth transfers, business succession, asset management, retirement and other topics that relate to high-income individuals and families.

Related: What Does a Private Banker Do? (Plus How To Become One)

5. Priority and Retail Banking Certified Adviser

The Wealth Management Institute (WMI) is a professional accreditation organisation that conducts training programmes for individuals who want to be wealth managers or financial planners. They offer the Priority and Retail Banking Certified Adviser (PRCA) programme at Level 2 and Level 3. This programme is for individuals who want to work in a client advisory role and regularly manage affluent clients. Individuals with PRCA certifications can use their knowledge to attain IBF certification, as the two organisations have related programmes with overlapping certification requirements.

The different levels of PRCA certification cater to professionals with different levels of experience. A PRCA Level 2 certification is ideal for finance professionals with three to eight years of industry experience, while a PRCA Level 3 certification is ideal for finance professionals with over eight years of experience. Individuals with PRCA Level 2 certifications are exempt from completing half of the PRCA Level 3 curriculum.

Related: Key Financial Consultant Skills and How to Highlight Them

6. Advanced Diploma in Asset Management

The Advanced Diploma in Asset Management is another wealth management specialist certification from the WMI. To earn this certification, you complete a training course with modules that teach you about ethics, regulatory compliance, investment advising, client relationship management and other useful asset management topics. Subject matter experts share valuable knowledge about their respective financial fields. Individuals who pass the course and its related certification test receive their diploma and accreditation from the WMI.

Related: How to Answer the 'Why Asset Management?' Interview Question

7. Certificate in Trust Services

The WMI Certificate in Trust Services (CTS) is a specialist certification for finance professionals who want to specialise in wealth and estate planning. To earn this certification, you attend a course that teaches you topics such as trusts in estate planning, trust regulations and practices, tax in wealth, estate planning and other estate planning-related topics. It's ideal for professionals such as family office advisors and trust administrators.

8. Certified Financial Planner

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential is an industry-recognised certificate that highlights your proficiency with financial planning principles. Many organisations, such as banks and trust funds, recognise the certification and actively hire professionals with CFP credentials. There are four stages to attaining a CFP certification, which are education, examination, experience and ethics.

Aspiring CFPs can start by completing the necessary financial planning curriculum. You can self-study or attend lessons at an accredited institution. After completing the educational requirements, you can take the certification examination. You also accumulate three years of experience in financial planning, which you can gain before or after taking your examination. You receive your CFP accreditation once you agree to the ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning.

Related: What Are Financial Advisor Skills? (Definition and Examples)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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