The National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA) today launched the NICSA Online Learning Center and the Mutual Fund Industry Specialists (MFIS) Certificate Program.

The MFIS Certificate Program is the first in a series of education and training offerings that NICSA will offer through the new online center. It is based on NICSA’s book, A Purely American Invention: The U.S. Open-End Mutual Fund Industry by Lee Gremillion, Ph.D and is designed to offer financial services employees with an overview of the history, regulations, operations, distribution, and marketing of mutual funds, according to NICSA.

Firms can use the programs within their own organizations to reduce training costs, increase productivity and attract and retain employees, said Barbara Weidlich, president of NICSA.

There are 14 individual courses within the program. Participants can take the full program, individual courses, or one of three ‘tracks,’ which are broken up as general overview, operations, and distribution/marketing. In order to receive the program certificate, however, participants must complete the full program.

The fee is $1500 for the full program, $600 per track, and $150 per course for non-NICSA members, and $1200, $480, and $120, respectively, for members. However, corporate, volume pricing exists for organizations that will have multiple users.

The program was developed by Acadient, a Boston-based firm which develops, hosts, and manages online universities for financial services companies. Bob Goldberg, who retired as president of NICSA in July after serving there for ten years, became a managing director and co-head of sales for Acadient soon after his retirement.

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