The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) open day (4th – 6th May 2017) at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) was a beehive of activity. We take this early opportunity to laud CMA’s initiative to create public awareness through the annual event which is a critical pillar in ensuring increased participation by the public and other stakeholders in the financial services industry. At the backdrop of this, is the ambitious goal of making Nairobi the financial entrepot of Africa.
As in the past years, we in Africa Risk Institute(ARI) registered a record number of inquiries in our booth particularly about our latest offering – the Kenya Capital Markets Program for Students (KCMP). Whereas the majority of the inquiries came from finance students, a significant proportion represented students from other fields who had an interest in finance.
Our motivation for starting this program was based on empirical studies, the most recent of which is a 2016 study by Internationale Projekt Consult GmBH, which identifies an enormous need for skills required to work in the financial services industry. Whereas the objective of the study was to assess the feasibility of establishing a risk management training program to support the financial sector development, its revelations are a reflection of the dire need for professional training to complement academic knowledge in the broad financial services landscape. Increasingly, therefore, we expect a growing demand for certified professionals in making the industry more competitive.
Among other findings, it was clear that considerable gaps exist in meeting training needs for all staff levels in the industry but especially so for entry level staff. According to McKinsey, 40 percent of employers report skills gaps in entry-level vacancies.
At ARI, we have taken the leadership to create programs that address this need among students so as to give them an edge in the marketplace. ARI has designed the KCMP on the theme “Get into Finance” to attract students keen on pursuing a career in Finance or seeking practical understanding of the workings of this oft misunderstood industry. This program is in line with the Securities Industry Certification Program (SICP) that is now a mandatory requirement for anyone seeking to in an intermediary licensed by CMA. In building industry requisite skills and knowledge, students will be prepared to meet industry demand ahead of graduating. On one hand, the industry benefits from a pool of professionals matching its needs. On the other hand, employers need not worry about training their staff who are later “poached” by competitors.
The student program is organized in four modules with increasing level of complexity. The curriculum is developed by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI). The first two modules (Fundamentals of financial services Industry and International introduction to securities and investments) are designed to introduce participants to the world of finance and investments. The third module is an in-depth look at the Kenya regulatory environment as it pertains to the capital markets. In the fourth module, a student can choose one course from among three options (Global securities, Derivatives, Wealth Management).
Leveraging industry expert for training and using modern learning techniques, ARI is at the forefront in preparing students for the securities and Investment industry. With the training structure designed to fit the student’s school workload, our training approach uses both online/e-learning and face-to-face interactions to prepare students for the exam. Students can steadily complete this program in six months earning themselves the right to use the CISI designatory letters – ACSI for associate members.
With ARI’s program, students have a unique opportunity to start a journey that is both professionally and intellectually rewarding as they join the higher echelons of investments professionals.