Our biannual 2018 CFA Society Nigeria Investment Conference held successfully on Thursday, 8 November 2018 at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The theme of the conference was “Let’s Measure Up”. The conference was used as a platform for advocacy and knowledge exchange with the broad aim of improving the professionalism and ethical standards of Nigeria’s investment industry. The Investment conference was used to amplify CFA Institute’s global “Let’s Measure Up” campaign which aims to increase awareness that the investment industry is built on honesty and transparency.
We had in attendance more than 500 attendees from the investment industry comprising of senior executives, regulators, industry leaders, academics, senior government policy makers, and investment professionals. We were also joined by delegates from other African CFA Societies such as CFA Society South Africa, CFA Society East Africa and CFA Society Mauritius. The conference moderated by Gary Baker, the Managing Director, EMEA, CFA Institute, featured a morning session focusing on investment industry practitioners and an afternoon session which focused on policy dialogue with high-level policy makers.
The President of CFA Society Nigeria Mr. Banji Fehintola in his welcome address described the event as “a platform for dialogue and advocacy to improve the landscape of the financial market.” He drew attention to the relevance of the theme of the conference. In his words, “for Nigeria in particular, there is no better time than now to remind ourselves of our collective obligations to measure up to the highest standards that will promote the development of our capital market, increase inward investment flows and deliver economic prosperity to our people.”
The President and CEO of CFA Institute Mr. Paul Smith in his remarks was full of optimism about Nigeria. According to Smith, the country’s demography is a compelling case for investments. With 60% of the population under 30, Smith sees Nigeria as the future of the CFA.
The first panel which was featured in the morning session was moderated by Ore Sofekun, Managing Director, Investment One Vencap deliberated on ‘Boosting Confidence in the Financial Services Industry – The Role of Ethics, Incentives & Behavioral Changes’. The panelists, Andrew Alli, Non-Executive Director, CDC Group Plc, Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director/CEO, Sterling Bank Plc, and Alhaji Shehu Mohammed, FCA, FCCA, Sarkin Shanun Kano agreed that post-2008 global financial crisis, financial institutions must place top emphasis on building trust with their clients and customers. “Trust” in Mr. Suleiman’s words “is one way to unlock the Nigerian economy and grow its commerce.”
The second panel focused on ‘Bridging the Infrastructure Gap: What Nigeria Must do to Measure Up with the Developed World.’ The discussants Mr Oliver Andrews, Chief Investment Officer African Finance Corporation, Bolaji Balogun CEO Chapel Hill Denham, Mrs Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, Mr Jabalo Oshikanlu, Legal and Compliance Director, ARM-HARITH Infrastructure Fund agreed that for Nigeria must give top priority to the “Sanctity of Contracts”. Nigeria’s quest to address its infrastructure deficit through investments and public-private partnership can be achieved if it values the “Sanctity of Contracts”.
We had the pleasure of hosting Carla Harris, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Morgan Stanley in a conversation on ‘Strategize to Win: Why Gender Diversity Matters’. Carla challenged the Nigerian women in finance, to step up and make their voices heard in the boardrooms and the industry. In her words, “work-life balance is important, and women have to find a way to negotiate on the issues of pay gap inequality because Gender Diversity and Inclusion is the commercially right thing to do”.
The afternoon session focused on policy dialogues with the following headliners; ‘Attracting Foreign Direct Investments through Ease of Doing Business Reforms: What has been done and what should we expect?’; ‘Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies: How Resilient is Nigeria to the Shocks of EM Capital Reversal and an Upcoming Election?’. We were honored with the presence of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria. Mr. Emefiele lauded the institute and its role in promoting transparency and professionalism in the Nigerian investment space.
The last session “Putting it all Together: 2019 Economic & Investment Outlook” moderated by Wole Famurewa, Anchor, CNBC Africa had Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director/CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Limited addressing the need to tackle poverty in Nigeria and the distribution of income.
Representing the Minister for Industries, Trade and Investments the Executive Secretary and CEO of the National Investment Promotion Council, NIPC Yewande Sadiku spoke on “Attracting Foreign Direct Investments through Ease of Doing Business Reforms”. In her words, “more businesses are formed in an environment that makes business formation easier.” She stressed that there was a correlation between Ease of Doing Business and economic prosperity, and Nigeria should make efforts to attract Domestic Direct Investments and not just Foreign Direct Investments.
The conference ended with a networking reception where our attendees had the opportunity to meet and greet. Altogether, the conference was a huge success and we look forward to our 2020 Nigeria Investment Conference.
On 25 June 2018, CFA Society Nigeria and Institute of Directors Centre for Corporate Governance hosted a conference on “Corporate Governance & Financial Reporting Quality” at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. The conference was held in commemoration of CFA Society Nigeria’s 2018 “Putting Investors First” Day. The conference was attended by C-level executives, regulators, investment professionals and journalists. The event attracted several high-profile speakers in the finance and investment industry.
The overriding objective of the conference was to draw the attention of players in the investment industry to the importance of good corporate governance standards and financial reporting quality as they link to transparency, ethical conduct and integrity. The content was rich and engaging, exposing participants to trends in financial reporting quality, regulatory thinking about corporate governance and how institutional investors such as supranational financial institutions, pension funds and private equity firms integrate corporate governance considerations into their investment processes.
The session featured three panel discussions moderated by Mr. Banji Fehintola, CFA, president of CFA Society Nigeria; Dr. Nechi Ezeako, Executive Director of IoDCCG and Mr. Abiodun Sanusi, CFA, Group Head, Investment Banking, Coronation Merchant Bank. CFA Institute’s President & CEO, Mr. Paul Smith, CFA delivered a keynote address on ‘Why Trust Matters’.
‘We believe the industry’s future is promising – IF professionals embrace trust and chart a course that better fulfils the industry’s purpose. Better outcomes are possible – for the end investor, the industry and society – when trust is placed at the core of relationships. If we succeed in building trust with our clients, we can build a sustainable industry’ he said.
During the conference, the Business Network for Ethics and Integrity (BNEI), a platform for the promotion of ethical conduct, values and compliance evaluation in business was launched by Mr. Paul Smith, CFA and Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, F.IoD, President/Chairman of Council, IoD Nigeria
The President of CFA Society Nigeria, Mr. Banji Fehintola, CFA stated that “given our mutual interest in advancing ethics and integrity, CFA Society Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Directors Centre of Corporate Governance in February 2018 to promote ethics and integrity in the Nigerian business community. One of the ways to achieve this mutual objective is by organizing events and programs such as the just concluded conference. The conference is just one of several initiatives that CFA Society Nigeria will pursuing in this area given our membership of the BNEI.”
The conference was sponsored by Citi, Coronation Merchant Bank and Synergy Capital Managers.
On 11 May 2018, CFA SOCIETY NIGERIA was recognized by CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence, as the 2018 recipient of the Most Outstanding Society 110-199 members category. The award recognizes the work and dedication shown by the society in its exceptional achievements in advocating for professional excellence in Nigeria by improving investor protection, market fairness, ethics and professional standards, and investor outcomes to ultimately benefit society at large.
“The Society Excellence Awards programme gives CFA Institute the opportunity to distinguish the hard work and commitment that our global network of societies demonstrates” noted Emily Dunbar, head, Global Society Relations. “With 151 societies in 73 countries and territories, CFA Institute is grateful for the thousands of CFA charterholders that generously volunteer their time and skills, and in turn, help to create a better member organization that benefits the investment profession at a local, regional and global level.”
The CFA Institute Society Awards Programme was established in 2006 to identify and reward efforts of societies in the delivery of the CFA Institute mission and provide value to the investment professionals they represent. This year, there were 132 nominations submitted globally in 14 award categories, representing 51 societies.
“We are honoured to receive the MOST OUTSTANDING SOCIETY 110-199 AWARD this year”, said Banji Fehintola, CFA, President of CFA Society Nigeria. “As a member society of CFA Institute, we are dedicated in our efforts to help build the next generation of investment professionals, to serve our members and promote the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence. We are proud of the recognition shown by CFA Institute for our commitment to supporting the organization’s mission”.
In the past year, CFA Society Nigeria increased member value by improving its administrative operations, organising high-quality programmes and events, and setting up a laudable society office with a functional and fully-equipped library facility to aid the development of future investment professionals. The society’s achievement this year includes facilitating the approval of the first CFA examination test centre in Nigeria, starting from the June 2018 exams. The society advocates for market integrity through thought-leadership, advocacy and by promoting the CFA Charter. CFA Society Nigeria promotes gender diversity in the investment industry through several Women in Investment Management initiatives. The society is also very engaged in university outreaches and organizes the annual Ethics Challenge and CFA Institute Research Challenge.
About CFA SOCIETY NIGERIA
CFA SOCIETY NIGERIA is the local member society of CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. For more information, visit https://cfasocietyng.org/.
About CFA Institute
CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has over 145,000 members in 159 countries and territories, including 139,000 CFA charterholders, and 147-member societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org.
Gloria Edem, Society PR, CFA Society Nigeria
Award Program Questions
William Boivin, Project Lead, CFA Institute 2017 Society Awards Program