The transformation and bounce back of the Cypriot financial markets and economy has been commended by the Chief Executive of a global education charity and professional institute.
Simon Culhane Chartered FCSI CEO of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment was speaking at the CISI’s inaugural Cyprus Gala dinner, in partnership with CySEC, in Limassol. Addressing the audience of over 100 Cypriot CISI members and officials, he said: “The turnaround in the Cypriot financial markets and wider economy is impressive. The Bank of Cyprus is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, unemployment is falling, tourism is booming and Paphos is the 2017 European Capital of Culture.”
In 2016 over 1,000 CISI qualifications were taken by candidates on the island of Cyprus. The CISI, an educational charity and professional body for wealth management, financial planning and capital markets professionals has a growing global membership with over 22,000 individuals now fully qualified in addition to 20,000 students. Over 40 jurisdictions recognise CISI qualifications which cover the areas of operations, wealth management, capital markets and corporate finance, Islamic finance, compliance and risk and financial planning.
At the dinner on 7 February it was revealed that the CISI has received several enquiries from EU regulators who want to know if CISI exams are ESMA compliant for advisory and information givers: “The simple answer is yes. Our Introduction exam is fully ESMA compliant and around 5,000 individuals entered for this exam last year. In some Gulf states this CISI qualification is the threshold competence requirement to operate in the market,” said Mr Culhane.
Recognising the achievement of the CISI Cyprus branch which was started in 2009 by Charles Charalambous Chartered MCSI past President and current President Petros Florides Chartered FCSI, Mr Culhane said: “Charles and Petros realised early on that the most important factor in building up a global financial centre was, and remains, the ability to have a pool of skilled people. They could see that bringing CISI’s international qualifications to Cyprus would quickly allow Cypriots to reach international benchmark standards in finance.” The CISI is the only professional body that requires members to take and pass an integrity test before being accepted for membership.
Three highly regarded Cypriot educational bodies have partnerships with CISI: the European Institute of Management and Finance, the Cyprus International Institute of Management and the European University in Cyprus.
“These superb strategic partners provide high quality training for the CISI syllabi. Our partnership with CYSec, the regulator, has resulted in the mandating of certain examinations. So the combination of internationally recognised globally portable CISI qualifications, mandated by the Cypriot regulator, trained for by Cypriots, for local Cypriots, is working well,” said Mr Culhane.
Demetra Kalogerou, Chairwoman CySec said: “Financial education is increasingly important, not just for investors, but also for professionals in the financial services sector, due to the fast growing sophistication of financial markets and the increasing variety and complexity of the financial instruments offered to investors.
“For this reason, amongst other things, the last four years CySEC has been working intensively on revolutionising the entire system of certifications. Our overall aim was to create a more efficient and effective way for people to study, learn and become certified. Here I would also like to thank the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) for a very fruitful cooperation towards the successful implementation of this project.”
VIP attendees at the dinner included Mr George Syrichas, Executive Board Member of the Central Bank, Mr Andreas Charalambous, Director of Finance, Ministry of Finance and Mr Matthew Kidd, British High Commissioner, Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Sponsors were Safecap Investments/Markets.com Group, KPMG, Global Recruitment Solutions and GOLD Business Magazine.