A 26-year-old investment analyst from Zenith Investment Partners, Justin Tay, has been awarded a scholarship position in this year’s intake for the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) program.

The program is designed by the Investment Management Consultants Association, an international body which provides standards for the investment management consulting profession, including essential credentials and tools. It is sponsored by BlackRock and PortfolioConstruction Forum (PCF).

“It’s always a pleasant experience to win something like a scholarship, especially given that it’s such a competitive process that involved quite a bit of work,” said Tay.

There were 11 applications for the scholarship this year, which came from a wide spectrum of experience in the retail advice, research, and portfolio management ranks.

The judging panel included Mercer’s Richard Cahill, Perpetual’s Stephen Barbarich and Graham Rich, publisher of PortfolioConstruction Forum. They were unanimous in their selection of Tay, believing he has the potential to make significant contribution to the industry in the future, with the intellectual ability and knowledge to do well in the CIMA program.

Valued at around $7000, the CIMA program features a one-week intensive course that will be held at the Reserve Bank of Australia’s headquarters in Sydney.

“It will be non-stop the whole week, with a pretty intensive exam to follow at the end of that. And if I pass that, then I get the accreditation,” says Tay.

More than 20 candidates will participate in the program this year. The course is delivered by leading academics and senior industry practitioners, focusing on the theoretical and practical fundamentals underlying the investment consulting and fund research industries.

The CIMA program has been offered in Australia since 2001 and has over 200 graduates. The Australian program is aligned with the USA CIMA program, which has operated since 1988 and has over 7000 graduates.

“In terms of ages of participants, I’ve been told I’m the youngest winner of this award,” said Tay.

“From a technical skills perspective, it’s going to be a great benefit to me. There will also be lots of networking opportunities among the other delegates for this year, so I’m certainly looking forward to it.”

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