CySEC Advanced – The most in-demand certification in financial services

The CySEC Advanced examination is the most booked examination for professionals working, or aspiring to work, in the financial and investment services industry in Cyprus.

Within this commentary, the Education team at SALVUS shares insights on:

  1. CySEC and its role in the investment services industry
  2. What is entailed in the CySEC Advanced Certification examination
  3. Who the CySEC Advanced Certification examination is for
  4. The type of work an Advanced Certification holder can perform

1. CySEC and its role in the investment and financial services industry in Cyprus

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the regulator and supervisor of all investment and ancillary services undertaken in Cyprus.

Since its initiation in 1996, they have progressively developed the Cypriot financial and investment market to become a well-known and established jurisdiction within Europe. CySEC’s mission is to “exercise effective supervision to ensure investor protection and the healthy development of the market”.

Furthermore, as part of CySEC’s continued market development in Cyprus, the Cypriot regulator perpetually introduces new components to their regulatory framework. This is done to stay in line with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and to protect the jurisdiction from loopholes or acts of money laundering and terrorism in financing (ML/TF). Each EU member state must abide by ESMA’s and the European Commission’s Acts and Directives. However, each member state can also implement enhanced laws that apply only to firms licensed by the member state.

2. What is entailed in the CySEC Advanced Certification exam?

Candidates taking the exam sit a 90-minute exam containing 70 questions in multiple-choice format. The material is based on the CySEC Advanced syllabus containing 14 chapters that can be found here. Also, the passing rate for the exam is 70% (or correctly answering a minimum of 49 out of 70 questions).

The syllabus covers laws related to Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) and UCITS, MiFID II and Investment Firm’s regulation, Anti-Money Laundering, and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) frameworks, MiFIR and EMIR laws just to name a few.

Below, we have put a table together highlighting the topics covered within the exam along with the number of questions per chapter.

ChapterQuestions
Chapter 1 - Investment Services and Activities And Regulated Markets Laws (MiFID II) (2017) Scope/ Powers/ Offences 4

Chapter 2 - Cypriot Investment Firms (CIF) 8

Chapter 3 - Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Laws Cypriot Investment Firms and Banks 8
Chapter 4 - Open-Ended Undertakings for Collective Investment Laws (2012-2016) 6
Chapter 5 - Alternative Investments 6
Chapter 6 - The Business of Credit Institutions Laws of 1997-2016 2

Chapter 7 - The Prevention And Suppression Of Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing Laws Of 2007-2017 5
Chapter 8 - Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (2014) (MiFIR) 4
Chapter 9 - Capital Adequacy Requirements 8
Chapter 10 - European Market Infrastracture Regulation (EMIR) 4
Chapter 11 - Recovery and Resolution Laws 5
Chapter 12 - Prospectus Law (2012-2016) 2
Chapter 13 - Transparency Law 3
Chapter 14 - Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation Regulation (2016) 5
Total 70

 

3. Who is the CySEC Advanced exam for?

Firstly, the exam is tailored for professionals working in CySEC regulated entities such as Cyprus Investment Firms (CIF), Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIF). These include board members such as executives and non-executives of such firms.

Secondly, members dealing with financial matters and operating in financial services or complimentary fields are recommended to be holders of the certification. If a professional works as a lawyer, accountant or is a member of the Cyprus Bar Association (CBA) or the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) and is involved in the financial industry, the certification is highly recommended. Becoming CySEC Advanced certified will increase knowledge, expand skillsets, and improve the level of competence in executing oversight, duties and responsibilities.

Established professionals within the financial sector in Cyprus who are not CySEC Advanced certification holders can also greatly benefit. As the syllabus encapsulates the Cypriot investment and ancillary services laws as well as EU regulation, it is a highly valuable certification that can improve job performance and help a professional achieve more in the workplace.

Finally, people aspiring for a career in investment services could also consider preparing and taking the exam. Although the certification is primarily for professionals operating in the financial industry, becoming CySEC Advanced certified can help an aspiring financial services professional land a job in the financial industry. Whether or not an individual is already involved in the financial industry or aspires to join it, the certification is a great leveraging tool that can help anyone enter the industry in Cyprus.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is another facet that the certification can help with. Each year, CBA, ICPAC and CySEC professionals must complete a certain number of CPD units to maintain their statuses as certified members of their respective associations. Undertaking a CySEC Advanced workshop provides CPD units that count toward the yearly annual requirement.

4. What type of work is a CySEC Advanced certification holder able to perform?

CySEC’s efforts to realise their mission involves producing more robust and comprehensive examinations that aim to ensure the workforce is equipped with the necessary knowledge to carry out their duties and responsibilities with competence.

Once successfully passing the exam and becoming a member of CySEC’s Public Register, the professional is legally qualified to perform a variety of duties. Firstly, the certification is required if a professional is to be employed in a key position within a CIF as well as being a director on the board (executive or non-executive).

The certified professional can undertake a role in the following investment services in Cypriot Investment Firms:

  • Dealing on own account
  • Portfolio management
  • Offer investment advice
  • Underwriting and placing of financial instruments

The professional is also able to be employed in an Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) investment company or in a Variable Capital Investment Company (VCIC) whereby the individual can conduct:

  • UCITS investment management
  • Investment management
  • Offer investment advice

In addition, professionals employed to an AIF can perform:

  • Marketing of an Alternative Investment Fund
  • Management of portfolio investments
  • Services stated within 6(5)(a) and 6(b) of the AIFM Law and 6(1)(a) of the AIF Law

It is worth noting that CySEC requires a Compliance and AML Compliance Officer to be a holder of the CySEC Advanced Certification to be appointed in the respective roles. Additionally, the AML Compliance Officer is required to be a holder of the CySEC AML Certification. You can find more about the CySEC AML Certification here.

How SALVUS can help

Our Education team has partnered with the Institute for Professional Excellence (IforPE), an academic institute that provides us with the platform to deliver a high-quality educational experience for professionals. Hence, we have put together the most complete CySEC Advanced preparation course on the market.

The course is led by our Risk & Compliance Director, Evdokia Pitsillidou, who runs the workshop live over 4 days. Additionally, the course includes:

  • Recordings of the live workshops
  • Self-study material
  • Test questions at the end of each day
  • 4 mock examinations simulating the real exam
  • 1-on-1 support with Evdokia
  • 20 CPD units

Please visit here to learn more about the course. Alternatively, should you wish to study at your own time, we also offer a comprehensive self-study course that prepares you for your examination. You can find more about the self-study course here.

Please feel free to contact us via email at [email protected] or call us at +357 7000 7898 if you would like additional information; our Education team is ready to help.

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The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only. You should always seek professional advice suitable to your needs.

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