The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) is a global professional body with a strong UK base. Its 160 staff are spread over ten offices, with the majority in London, and governed by a Board of Trustees.
Reflecting and benefiting from our rich heritage and strong international growth, 2017/18 was a highly successful year.
The Institute saw a major recovery in many areas of operations, especially the UK, where, after the uncertainty, and the general surprise of the Brexit vote, the finance sector in particular proved to be more robust and optimistic than originally feared.
During the year, the Institute offered over 5,500 more exams, welcomed 3,485 new members, was recognised by four new regulators, opened a new office in Africa and returned to a financial surplus of £1,086k for the year.
The Institute is proud to be both a Chartered Body and a charity which allows us to be an organisation which seeks to maximise its objectives rather than its profits. That is not to devalue the importance of earning a surplus as the Institute receives no public income or government subsidy, but it is not our primary aim.
Being focused on our objectives allows us to consider the longer term and to carry out initiatives which are the right thing to do for our profession and society rather than the most profitable.
Our significant work on Integrity and speaking up and responding to consultation papers are good examples of where we add value.
Much has been written during the year about integrity and trust, with the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney noting that “Trust arrives on foot and leaves by Ferrari”.
The Institute’s integrity case studies and guidance has been particularly well received during the year, especially internationally, as many countries grapple with how they can help their financial sector regain public trust. During the year over 10,000 people participated in our Integrity at Work seminars and we remain the only professional body in the world to require new members, and those taking some of our capital market exams, to take and pass a unique integrity test. The number who have done so topped 50,000 in the year.
The reason the Institute focuses on trust and integrity is that finance in general, and our area in particular, depends on it. People buy from people and if there is no trust, there is no transaction.
Trust is one of the three legs of being a professional. The other two are having the right knowledge and the right skills, which together define what it takes to be considered a professional.
Read the Chief Executives full message in the downloadable report
Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI
The acquisition and assimilation of knowledge is one of the Institute’s key strategic goals. We aim for CISI qualifications to be recognised as the global benchmark for wealth managers, financial planners, capital market, compliance or operations professionals. We were delighted that regulators in Qingdao (China), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Labuan and Turkey recognised our qualifications during the year. Our strategic goal is to gain recognition in 60 countries by the end of 2020, and we are on target to do so, with 47 so far.
The recognition in Qingdao (which is rapidly becoming the prime area for wealth management in China) was accompanied by a decree from the municipal government, awarding anyone who achieves the CISI Chartered Wealth Manager qualification an automatic 10% salary rise.
In terms of number of qualifications taken, there was better than expected (and welcome) recovery in the UK, where the number of examinations taken rose 10% to just over 25,000.
There was also significant growth internationally, with over 16,200 exams being taken, which is more than 30% growth on the previous year, helped especially by the growth of our Fundamentals qualification in both South Africa and India.