CISI marks global financial services talent with 76 Award winners, Kenya & Kuwait first ever, with 43% female & 57% male

By Lora Benson | Mar 20, 2017

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) 24th annual awards ceremony celebrates exceptional achievement amongst CISI students worldwide. This year, 76 award winners were recognised at the ceremony in London across categories including capital markets and corporate finance, operations, compliance and risk, wealth management, financial planning and Islamic finance.

New awards include the Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment and the Fundamentals of Islamic Banking & Finance subject awards. The Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment is CISI’s A-level equivalent, worth up to 120 UCAS points in the UK, offered to sixth form students.

CISI exams were sat in 80 countries last year, so it is no surprise that award winners are based far and wide, from London to Liverpool to the Lebanon. We are delighted to see Kenya and Kuwait – both countries where we are working with the local regulatory body, the Capital Markets Authority – represented for the first time.

James Stockdale, Global Director of Learning, CISI, said: 'Aristotle said “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution”. This is certainly true of our award winners, and we would like to congratulate them all on their success. I am certain these outstanding students will be shaping the industry in years to come.’

In terms of gender, the winners are more evenly split than in previous years; 43% of the winners are female and 57% male. In our 25th year, we are pleased to see that amongst winners under 25, the proportion of female winners rises to almost half (46%).

This category included award winners such as Hannah Holley, who studied our AS-level equivalent, Certificate for Introduction to Securities & Investment, at Hautlieu School. She now works at InterTrust Jersey. Hannah said, 'I knew CISI qualifications were something that firms considered beneficial for employees to have and that at some point in a career in business, employers would suggest undertaking qualifications in CISI, therefore I wanted to start early. The qualification has helped me understand more of why I undertake certain tasks daily and the benefit it has to the firm or the client.'

Ribal Fattal from the Lebanon, who studied with business school Ecole Supérieure des Affaires and won an award for his achievement in the Islamic Finance Qualification, said, 'As a worldwide leading esteemed organization, CISI has been a platform for professionals/practitioners who want to enhance their knowledge and to be specialized in diversified fields pertaining to finance and banking.'

Three further students from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires won awards, for high scores in International Introduction to Investment.

Other overseas winners included Khushal Wadhawan of Christ University from India and Swati Shanker of Takaud Savings and Pensions from the UAE.

Khushal said, 'The International Introduction to Investments module acted as my big ticket to the world of finance. Having CISI’s qualification on my resume gave me the opportunity to intern with 2 of the big 4 consulting firms of the world, while still in College.'

Swati said, 'I aspire to contribute to the evolving financial services industry in UAE. For this, I chose to take the International Certificate in Advanced Wealth Management as the contents of the course were relevant to my work and it is from the leading professional body for investment and wealth professionals, recognised and respected globally. I am confident that this would give me an edge.'

Meanwhile, one of our Regulation & Compliance winners, Kate Taylor MCSI of KPMG, has moved to Bermuda from the UK since completing her qualification. She said, ‘Whilst the regulatory environment is slightly different here to that in the UK, I’ve been able to bring insights into UK Best Practice to my role, and am ahead of the curve in terms of understanding emerging legislation in Bermuda that is based on UK law, such as the proposed new Bribery Act 2017. I would absolutely recommend the CISI Regulation and Compliance diploma to others.’

In the UK, award winners are based in the following regions: Birmingham; Essex; Jersey; Liverpool, Chester and North Wales; London; Manchester; Northern Ireland; Scotland; Southern and West Country.

Winners ranged in age from 18 to late sixties, proving that learning is for all ages and doesn’t end with full-time education. Indeed, two individuals who achieved full marks in the Fundamentals of Financial Services qualification told of how CISI qualifications helped when their career took a new direction.

David Padbury of Pension Works Limited said, 'Whilst I have worked in financial services for my whole career, I recently moved into the IFA and pensions market. The CISI qualifications are a vital part of my learning curve in attaining competence and knowledge to do my job in this sector.’

Alan Ryan of Pioneer Investments said, 'I was new to the financial services industry so my manager suggested taking exams in order to boost my knowledge. Fundamentals of Financial Services gave me a great overview of the sector. For anybody thinking about a career in the finance sector, these qualifications are a great way to start.'

The firms with the highest number of prizes were Credit Suisse (two prizes won by two individuals), C Hoare & Co (two prizes won by one individual) and HSBC (two prizes won by two individuals). Two students at Kemnal Technology College also won prizes in the education category.

Oliver Knights MCSI, of Credit Suisse who won an award for Private Client Investment Advice & Management, said, ‘I didn’t study finance at university; in fact, my background is languages/linguistics and so for me personally I found studying for a qualification like PCIAM incredibly useful. I have found that a number of areas of the curriculum have helped with client conversations in my day to day role. Having a CISI qualification shows dedication to one’s career development and provides industry recognition amongst peers.’

The Wealth Management awards were sponsored by Financial Services Training Partners (FSTP). The Islamic Finance and Operations awards were sponsored by International Financial Data Services (IFDS).