Institute for Financial Markets

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IFM Banner 728x90 0619-plain.jpg
IFM Banner 728x90 0619-plain.jpg

Institute for Financial Markets (IFM)
Founded 1989
Headquarters Washington, DC
Key People Mike Dawley, Trish Foshee
Twitter @the_ifm
Web site

The Institute for Financial Markets (IFM) is a nonprofit educational foundation that was founded in 1989. It aims to provide quality, unbiased information and education to increase public understanding of the importance of financial markets and financial service industry to the global economy and to improve the technical competence of those in the industry who deal with the public.

The IFM focuses its efforts in two core areas - education and ethics. It develops and delivers market-based educational programs and online training that are used by financial industry professionals, investors, U.S. and international regulators, public-policy makers, and universities.

In addition, the IFM, publishes the Review of Futures Markets, a quarterly, peer-reviewed financial journal and supports the Asia-Pacific Futures Research Symposium.[1] The Review promotes global research and the study of financial engineering, derivatives markets and products, and includes articles designed to appeal to a high-level audience including exchange professionals, market practitioners, financial engineers and academics. The IFM also funds independent research studies that are subjected to a peer-review process, a rigorous process that encourages authors to meet quality standards and avoid the dissemination of unwarranted findings, interpretations, and personal views.

In January 2012, the IFM and Eurex partnered to offer an educational initiative targeting Eurex exchange members, potential clients, and other members of the industry. The project provides webinars in English and Brazilian Portuguese.[2]


The IFM is an affiliate of the Futures Industry Association (FIA), but operates autonomously as an independent foundation. The IFM is governed by a board of trustees, separate and apart from the FIA Board of Directors.[3] IFM trustees are drawn from the principal segments of the financial industry and provide policy guidance and direction to the foundation's staff.

The IFM has no members and does not engage in any lobbying activities. It funds its activities and the development of new programs and services from two sources: the sale of its products and services, and the generous support from a broad range of financial institutions, exchanges, brokerage firms and participants from a variety of market sectors. The IFM is exempt from income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). No taxable unrelated business income is generated and accordingly no provision for income taxes.

Products and Services[edit]

Calendar of Events[edit]

The IFM offers a variety of live courses, customized in-house programs and Web courses. Clients include global investment banks, broker dealers, FCMs, hedge funds, portfolio and money managers, traders, investors, public-policy makers, regulators and exchanges. Courses range from basic to expert levels.[4]


The IFM provides customized education and specialized training to a wide cross-section of financial market users from investors to governments, exchanges, financial firms and multi-country member organizations. Courses range from basic to intermediate and expert level to meet the varied educational needs of those in the industry. All IFM courses are led by qualified, well-rounded educators who blend theory, practice and application into each program. In addition to customized, in-house education, the IFM offers open-enrollment courses offered in major financial centers.

The IFM also publishes introductory booklets and comprehensive self-study guides for various National Futures Association proficiency exams. These NFA exams [5] include;

  • National Commodity Futures Examination - Series 3 exam
  • Futures Managed Funds Examination - Series 31 exam
  • Limited Futures Examination, Regulations -Series 32 exam

Ethics, Professional Conduct and AML Training[edit]

The IFM has provided training to more than 900,000 futures and security industry professionals worldwide. The IFM develops its training content from interviews with regulators and industry compliance professionals, through research and review of enforcement cases and client working groups.

The IFM offers an ethics and anti-money laundering compliance training programs that fulfill the regulatory obligations of firms and registrants as mandated by National Futures Association (NFA) and Compliance Rule 2-9.[6] and the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA)[7] In addition, the IFM authors educational content for customized professional conduct programs for regulators, exchanges and firms; conducts in-person training sessions; develops train-the-trainer materials; and provides coaching sessions for in-house staff.[8]

Finally, the IFM participates in the development of standards and fostering best practices initiatives in the financial services industry. One such initiative was a report to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Recommendations for Best Practice in Order Entry and Transmission of Exchange-Traded Futures and Options Transactions, completed by the IFM along with the NFA.[9]

Key People[edit]

Members of the Board:

Associates and Instructors: