Press release

CAIA Announces the Launch of the Financial Data Professional (FDP) Institute and Designation

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The Chartered
Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association
, the global leader
in alternative investment education, is today announcing the formal
launch of an entirely new credential designed for financial analysts
working alongside data scientists. This new breed of charterholder will
carry the Financial Data Professional (“FDP”) credential borne out of a
curriculum and exam-based program offered by the FDP Institute.

The FDP designation is a self-study program designed to educate
financial professionals about the emerging field of data science and its
practical applications in the financial sector. The FDP charter will be
granted to individuals who successfully complete prerequisite
requirements and pass a high-stakes exam focused on big data,
artificial intelligence, and machine learning applications in the
financial industry.

“Data scientists and financial professionals are now working side by
side, tasked with successfully deploying and using big data and machine
learning, but all too often it can seem like these groups are speaking
their own languages,” said William J. Kelly, CEO of the CAIA
Association. “The FDP Institute has been established to solve this
challenge and provide a solid curriculum for financial professionals to
gain a deeper working knowledge of data science.”

The FDP Institute is led by Mehrzad Mahdavi, Ph.D., a recognized expert
in the transformative role of technology across a wide range of
businesses. He is joined by an accomplished team of finance and
technology experts, including Hossein Kazemi, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to
the CAIA Association, Kathryn Wilkens, Ph.D., Advisor to the FDP
Institute, and Satya Das, CAIA, CFA, Advisor to the FDP Institute, who
have developed an extensive curriculum.

“Data science is having a transformative effect on the finance industry
and having an understanding of these technologies has become a
fundamental need for those who want to succeed in this field over the
long term,” said Dr. Mahdavi. “Data-driven decision making is no longer
on the horizon. It is here, and we’ve designed the FDP program to help
professionals stay competitive as the rate of change only continues to

An advisory
board and curriculum committee
, comprised of global leaders in the
data science space within the financial services industry, oversees the
FDP curriculum and exam (full list below).

“Investors have been using data for as long as they have been investing,
but the concept of big data in the hands of the more sophisticated
allocator is now becoming much more commonplace and, in many cases, it
is a data scientist who is doing the analytics using machine learning
tools across numerous types of data sets,” said Joseph Simonian, Senior
Investment Strategist at Acadian Asset Management LLC and co-editor of
the Journal of Financial Data Science. “The analyst must have the
knowledge, vocabulary, and courage to challenge these findings
systematically in order for these types of investment opportunities to
become part of a cogent investment process. The launch of the FDP
Institute and the FDP designation is both timely and appropriate.”

Those interested in pursuing the FDP designation can visit
for more information and to obtain the prerequisite and the FDP exam
requirements. The FDP Institute has selected an international list of prerequisite
content providers
and will continue to broaden this list to enable
more choices for candidates. The FDP exam for 2019 will be available
this November for those who successfully complete the prerequisite

More information about the FDP Institute and the FDP designation can be
found here.
Please email
with any questions or for further information about the FDP Institute.

About the FDP Institute

The FDP institute was established to address the growing need in finance
for a workforce that has the skills to perform in a digitized world
where an increasing number of decisions will be data and analytics
driven. The FDP institute offers the only global educational program and
designation to bridge the gap between financial professionals and data
scientists. The FDP credential offers expertise in data science and its
practical applications in finance. The FDP curriculum was designed with
the collaboration of academia and industry practitioners and is divided
into two segments, the online prerequisite courses, providing
foundations of mathematics, statistics and Python programming, and the
FDP exam covering big data, data mining, and machine learning
applications in finance.

About the CAIA Association

The CAIA Association is the world leader in alternative investment
education, offering the only education program uniquely designed for
individuals specializing in institutional-quality alternative
investments. The Association is best known for the CAIA Charter, an
internationally-recognized credential granted upon successful completion
of a rigorous two-level exam series, combined with relevant work
experience. Earning the CAIA Charter is the gateway to becoming a Member
of the CAIA Association, a global network of more than 10,000
alternative investment professionals located in more than 97 countries.
The Association supports 30 global Chapters in financial centers in
Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America, including a Virtual Chapter
that brings together Members from far-flung locations around the world.
CAIA also offers the Fundamentals of Alternative
Investments certificate program (“Fundamentals”), an introductory-level
online course, designed to provide a foundation in the core concepts in
alternative investing. This program represents a natural extension of
CAIA’s mission to provide solutions to specific market needs for
alternative investment education.

To learn more about the CAIA Association, contact Deborah McLean
(413) 253-7373 or
For more information on the CAIA Charter, please visit

William Kelly, CEO, The CAIA Association
Mehrzad Mahdavi, CEO, Executive Director, FDP Institute
Dr. Hossein
Kazemi, Director of Curriculum and Exams, Senior Advisor, CAIA

FDP Advisory Board
Jane Buchan, Ph.D., CAIA, CEO, Martlet
Asset Management
Mike Chen, Ph.D., Director Dynamic Equity at
PanAgora Asset Management
Peter D. Gerlings, CFA, CAIA, Senior Vice
President, Segal Marco Advisors
Tony Guida, Senior Quantitative
Researcher – Executive Director, RAM Active Investments
Kaminski, Ph.D., CAIA, AlphaSimplex Group, Chief Research Strategist and
Portfolio Manager
Bertrand Mouton, Investment Manager, CalPERS
Investment Servicing
Miquel Noguer i Alonso, Ph.D., Co-Founder at
Artificial Intelligence Finance Institute
Nigel Noyes, Former
SVP/Head of Data Analytics & Engineering, Invesco US
Simonian, Ph.D., Senior Investment Strategist, Acadian Asset Management
LLC and co-editor of The Journal of Financial Data Science
Oliver Weinberg, Managing Director, Head of Hedge Funds and Alternative
Alpha, APG

FDP Curriculum Committee
Satya Das, CAIA, CFA, Advisor, The
FDP Institute
Francesco A. Fabozzi, Managing Editor at Journal of
Financial Data Science
Mila Getmansky Sherman, Ph.D., Professor at
Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst
Jim Kyung-Soo Liew,
Ph.D., Co-Founder of | FinTech Entrepreneur | Educator of AI &
George Martin, Managing Director, Barings
Pishro-Nik, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts
Matthew Rattigan, Ph.D., Director of Research Programs,
Center for Data Science, University of Massachusetts
Wilkens, Ph.D., CAIA, Founder, Pearl Quest LLC
Al Yazdani, Ph.D.,
Machine Learning Research Manager, State Street