Investment management: SECP, CFA ink MoU to raise awareness of investors’ rights

Collaboration to help advocate high level of ethical standards, ensure transparency

April 06, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and CFA Society Pakistan (CFASP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly raise awareness of investors’ rights and establish standards of professional excellence in investment management in the country.

According to the SECP statement, the MoU sets the framework for collaboration on promotion of investors’ rights and financial literacy, and emphasises the importance of the ‘Statement of Investor Rights’ awareness among both investors and investment management professionals.

This collaboration will help advocate a high level of ethical standards and ensure fair practices and transparency, crucial for sustainable growth and development of Pakistan’s capital and financial industries.

SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi, terming the partnership a timely move, said protecting investors’ interests and ensuring fair practices and transparency in the markets was the regulator’s primary responsibility.

He said instead of traditional methods there was a need to adopt modern techniques to enhance public awareness of financial matters and highlight rights of investors.

“Independent research reports should be available to investors; hence, there is a need to establish an independent research institute in Pakistan’s capital market,” said Hijazi, adding that such an institute could be set up in collaboration of SECP, ICAP and ICMA.

CFA Institute President and CEO Paul Smith said the MoU was a milestone in marking a long-term established relationship between the SECP, CFA Society Pakistan and CFA Institute.

“Our work with the SECP and CFA Society Pakistan is a case study of how regulators and industry practitioners can effectively work together to improve the standards of professional excellence in capital markets,” Smith added.

CFA Society Pakistan President Ashraf Bava said that they had made many efforts to promote investor protection and had also conducted sessions, in collaboration with SECP, to help develop awareness on investment products and market developments.

“The MOU is a major step forward for the capital markets of our country and ultimately, in gaining the trust of investors,” said Bava.

The MoU builds on an already strong relationship dating back to 2008 with the implementation of the Analyst Certification Programme, designed to develop requisite minimum standards of knowledge and professional practice for analysts working in the financial sector.

The CFASP is a member society of CFA Institute, which is a global association of investment professionals in 145 countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th,  2016.

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