Celebrating 25 years of the CISI

Supporting financial professionals to progress to the highest standard of excellence with CISI qualifications and membership.

A message from the CEO History of the CISI Our members stories

A message from our CEO

We're proud of the impact we’ve had on our members’ lives through the strength of our qualifications, innovation, training, branch networks and volunteers.

For over 25 years, we have supported our members in standing tall throughout their professional journey, as they uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. Our practitioner designed qualification pathways, CPD and networking events, publications and elearning tools ensure that our members possess the most up to date knowledge and skills they need to reach the very pinnacle of their profession. We connect members around the world, setting international standards for integrity and professional excellence. Our ambition is to inspire and equip a new generation of young people to take up the opportunities that a career in finance provides.

Today, we are proud to support over 40,000 members in 116 countries as they progress and excel throughout their career. As we mark this significant milestone of 25 years, we not only celebrate our history but look forward to the next twenty-five years supporting the financial services sector. We will continue to build on our strengths and set new standards for ourselves and the financial services sector.

Thank you for being part of our journey.



Explore key events in our history



The first regulated exchange comes into existence in London and the modern Stock Exchange is born.

Securities Institute formed as a “professional institute for the individual practitioner in the securities industry”. It initially has 4,800 members ‘grandfathered’ out of the Stock Exchange. Graham Ross Russell becomes Chairman and Tim Nicholson is Chief Executive. Institute develops 18 regional branches after canvassing members for their views.

The Institute becomes a registered charity in England and Wales.

Membership in UK regions increases by 26% to reach a total of over 5000 for the first time.

In the year to March, exam entries rise to a record 54,620.

Securities Institute celebrates 10th anniversary dinner at Guildhall, City of London.

Securities Institute changes its name to Securities & Investment Institute (SII).

The Institute launches offices in India and Singapore and launches its CPD scheme of 35 hours per year.

A year later an office is opened in Dubai and the institute launches its University Centres of Excellence programme.

After being granted Chartered Status, the SII changes its name to the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

The CISI adopts its own coat of arms, an entitlement of being a Chartered body. My word is my bond becomes the CISI official motto.

New international office and operations centre opens in Sri Lanka.

The Institute recieves FSA accreditation for RDR and merges with the Compliance Institute.

The CISI celebrates its 20th anniversary.

In April 2013, the CISI became the first professional body to require UK candidates taking customer facing entry level examinations for wholesale/capital markets financial services activities to pass an integrity test. In February 2014 this requirement was extended to also include candidates in Ireland, Europe and North America.

The CISI signs an agreement with the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and CaixaBank to certify 7,000 of its employees using a CISI international wealth management qualification.

20,000 candidates complete the CISI IntegrityMatters test.

CISI Chairman, Alan Yarrow becomes 686th Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The CISI merges with the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) and becomes the UK licensing authority for the globally recognised CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

CISI opens an office in the Phillipines and the 'Speak Up' campaign is launched to support a speak up culture in financial services.

The CISI holds its first Financial Planning Annual Conference following the IFP merger and our branch network expands to 24. 

CISI qualifications are recognised in 40 countries and mandates CPD and integrity requirements for all members.

The CISI celebrates its 25th anniversary with a celebration at the Guildhall.

Did you know?

The Institute’s symbol is a griffin. A mythological creature, the griffin represents a guardian of wealth whose role is to chastise avarice and greed. In 1993, the Institute invited entries from students at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London to design a statue of a griffin to display at its office. The winner was Tobias Apelgren, a Swedish student, and the statue was unveiled by the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George.

It now stands in the reception area of the Institute’s home on Fenchurch street in the City of London.
Royal Charters are granted to bodies that work in the public interest and demonstrate pre-eminence, stability and permanence in their particular field. The award of a Royal Charter is an acknowledgement of the Institute’s work in bringing a greater measure of professionalism to the financial services sector, encompassing both skills and ethical behaviour.

For our members, the benefits of becoming chartered are two fold; members will benefit individually through enhanced standing in the professional circles and the wider community, together with the opportunity to become individually chartered.
We were granted a ‘patent of arms’ by the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England on 11 March 2010. Each of the elements, even the colours, have a particular heraldic meaning:
  • Silver or white represents sincerity and gold represents elevation of the mind. Green represents hope and has also been the colour associated with the Institute.
  • 23 points on the wings represent the fact that the original resolution to form the SI was taken on the 23rd floor of the Stock Exchange.
  • Book represents learning. (If the book were open it would represent a university.)
  • Scales represents Justice and through that Integrity and Ethical Behaviour.
  • Motto ‘My Word is My Bond’ the English translation of the Stock Exchange’s motto ‘Dictum Meam Pactum’ – showing our shared history and some common values.

How have financial centres changed?

Skylines have changed radically over the last 25 years. From London to New York to Singapore, we look back at how the cities have changed and how technology has evolved in the financial centres around the world.

View our full gallery of interactive images

Our members’ stories

Having successfully completed the Diploma in Investment Operations I found the CISI have continued to add value to my development journey through its comprehensive CPD offering which in my opinion is second to none, allowing me to keep up to date in a continually changing profession whilst taking all of the hassle out of recording my CPD activities throughout the year.  Read more...

Stewart Lancaster, Chartered FCSI
Operations Risk & Control Manager, Ruffer

Having sat my first CISI exams about 17 years ago, they first introduced me to fund analysis and portfolio performance measurement. Back then it was a young discipline and a steep learning curve, and the exams were invaluable with no colleagues to learn from. Back then it was still the Securities Investment Institute (SII). Those exams allowed me to progress into asset management as a fund analyst. Then after building my experience, in 2007-08 I started to become more involved in the Institute. Read more...

Jonathan Beckett, Chartered MCSI
Fund Gatekeeper and Responsible Investor, Scottish Widows

CISI membership has supported me whilst studying for the CISI wealth management qualifications but also in my wider career development. Membership of the CISI provides access to resources to build your knowledge, free events to grow you network, and opportunities to help you progress in your career. I look forward to progressing my career with the CISI.  Read more...

Alexander Allen, Chartered MCSI
Assistant Investment Manager, Brewin Dolphin

Prior to joining Fidelity in 2014, I had no experience of working within financial services. The IOC exams are a superb introduction to the profession as a whole, and an invaluable tool in learning the key elements and regulation.  Read more...

Lisa Fox
Technical Senior Associate, Fidelity

I chose CISI membership as it has provided me with a forum where I can enhance my knowledge about the world of finance as well as wealth management. Additionally, the many events held through the CISI have allowed me to network with different people from various walks of life that all have the subject of finance in common.  Read more...

Aamir Tayeb ACSI
Analyst, Investment Counsellor, Royal Bank of Canada

I chose to enter the finance sector because of the professional training and development opportunities it presents. These provide you with invaluable skills, which can be transferred across multiple sectors and enable you to succeed in a variety of roles and professions. I also believe the dynamic nature and pace of the finance professional sphere is unparalleled.  Read more...

Greg Smith ACSI
Associate, Bovill

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