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The CII J11 April 2018 Exam in Review

The CII J11 April 2018 Exam in Review

The J11 exam (wrap and platform services) is the next exam paper to have a look at in our analysis of past papers. Planning to sit the next J11 exam? This will help you.

Two hours are allowed for this paper, which is made up of short-answer questions and two essay questions carrying a total of 110 marks; Section A has 50 marks and Section B has 60 marks.

If you haven’t seen it, you can find it here.

Section A

The exam started off gently with 10 marks for stating the benefits to a client of using a D2C platform for investment planning.  It continued with 8 marks for explaining the main differences between legal and beneficial ownership of assets held on a platform. The questions within Section A also comprised: the main stages of the re-registration process of an existing portfolio and the additional stages for any assets that cannot be transferred in specie; the differences between retail and institutional share classes; the main risks to a retail client of holding collectives on a platform and 5 ways in which these risks can be mitigated, and the last question in Section A was identifying 7 platform features that would be of use to the employees of a PLC in respect of their investment needs.

All in all, this seemed (as is often the case with J11) a very fair test of the syllabus.

Section B

Section B includes two essay-style questions; the first one, for 16 marks, candidates had to state the main areas of due diligence that a firm would perform on potential new platform providers, and for the other 14 marks, they had to state the main factors that the firm should consider at business level when matching its choice of platform provider with the needs of its clients.

The second question, for the other 30 marks, involved a platform provider embarking on an upgrade program.  The questions were: state the main areas of functionality for a platform’s cash account that would be used by both the client and the adviser (14 marks); explain the main risks to both advisers and clients of a major upgrade programme by a platform provider (8 marks) and 4 benefits and 4 drawbacks of a stochastic modelling tool, if added to the platform, for use with investment portfolios (8 marks).

A review of the April 18 #CII #J11 exam paper Click To Tweet


Comparing with the October 2017 Paper

Let’s take a look at the October 2017 exam – found here.

This exam covered the following areas:

  • Ways in which a platform could help an adviser when preparing recommendations for an investment portfolio for a new client
  • Charges and levies that could be paid by clients within ISA/SIPP platform wrappers
  • The main differences between non-advised and advised platform business models
  • Main areas of due diligence that a firm would undertake in respect of technology factors
  • Regulatory permissions and controlled functions
  • Main employee features a platform could provide as part of a workplace platform

The essays covered:

  • Due diligence on a second platform provider
  • Main benefits to a high net worth group of clients using the platform
  • Main risks to that client group of using a DFM service via a platform
  • The re-balancing process

The annual pass rate for the J11 exam in 2017 was 46.94% (the lowest out of all the J exams) – this was a drop from 2016 (51.2%), which had also dropped from the 55.61% of candidates who passed in 2015.  Anyone thinking of sitting this exam in the future will do well to put together a well-structured study plan, which includes a thorough study of past exam guides to ensure they are comfortable with the style of question being asked.

Grab the resources you need!

If you’re studying for your CII J11 exam, and you’re concerned about the outcome, grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s mock exam papers for yourself.  Click the link to download the J11 mock exam taster now!

Click here to download our free taster mock paper for CII J11