Institute of Management Accountants Issues Warning to Merrill Lynch and Others on CFM Designation

The 75,000-member Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has issued a stern warning to Merrill Lynch, the College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, for misusing the "CFM" designation and the words, "Certified in Financial Management."

The IMA claims it has had jurisdiction over the designation since April 1994, and has used it in conjunction with the association's professional education and certification programs, offering it as a "license" to those who pass a rigorous exam process.

Violations include, for example, a reported practice by Merrill Lynch in encouraging employees to use the CFM mark on their business cards as sellers of financial services. The College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is said to have plans to use the CFM as a way to test, educate and promote anyone who has passed a test in stock brokerage and financial management.

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