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About Us

About the Certified Equity Professional Institute

Equity compensation is an integral part of Silicon Valley’s legacy—and future. Our CEP certification was built strictly by professionals in equity compensation and guarantees expertise across a broad range of skills—from legal and tax to accounting and stock plan administration— to fill a very specific equity administration need for firms throughout the nation. Our certification has grown tremendously, with more than 1,900 fully certified CEPs to date, and has become useful across many industries for any professional who needs to better understand the complex nature of equity compensation. The Certified Equity Professional Institute in the Leavey School of Business provides a self-paced study program to assist you in passing all three of the exams required to receive the designation.


“From the perspective of an outside executive compensation lawyer, I can attest to the difference that having a CEP managing a client's stock plans can make. CEPs are trained to anticipate legal, tax, and accounting issues before they become a problem - saving substantial time, legal fees and mental angst. Less business for me, but it's worth it!”
Laura G. Thatcher, Alston & Bird

The Certified Equity Professional Institute (CEPI) became part of the Santa Clara University (SCU) Executive Development Center in 1989.  The Executive Development  Center is part of SCU's Leavey School of Business.

An education program for those involved in equity compensation administration was proposed by Santa Clara University alumni who were professionally involved in the equity compensation field.  They saw that there was a need to create the professional body of knowledge for those involved in equity compensation.  Since 1989, thousands of individuals have benefited from the self-study certification program.  Nearly sixteen hundred people have achieved the Certified Equity Professional (CEP) designation and that number grows annually.  The CEP designation is now a widely recognized professional achievement for those involved in equity compensation administration.

The Certified Equity Professional Institute (CEPI) is an integral part of Santa Clara University's (SCU) Executive Development Center (EDC). The EDC is a component of SCU's Leavey School of Business, with a direct reporting relationship to the Dean.  It is this University affiliation that allows the multitude of professionals, many of whom work for competing organizations, to work together for the good of the equity compensation administration industry.  The not-for-profit University status is a unique and appropriate venue for drawing on professionals who generously donate their time, knowledge and expertise.  The University affiliation is also integral of the rigorous educational process that ensures mastery of an important body of knowledge.