Chief Executive's report
(pre Sep 2022)
Qualifications & Education
Technology & Innovation
Other projects & achievements
Financial results & trustee's report
This was an excellent year for membership numbers in the UK, with nearly 2,500 new members joining, all of whom gain access to a wealth of online learning,
opportunities and opportunities
to discuss and debate common issues through our local continuing professional development (CPD) events programme.
Our regional presidents are a hugely important part of CISI’s work, helping to develop and
offer and events programme for members throughout the UK. Circumstances precluded the usual annual
London for Presidents’
Day, but virtual sessions were a useful way to communicate and share ideas.
Professional Assessments – our new product part way between a short Professional Refresher and
– have proved a particular success in the UK and represent CISI’s long-term move towards
flexible and digital learning.
Our Sustainable & Responsible Investment module was launched in the year with around 1,000
in the UK, reflecting the importance of these topics for our UK clients and the accessibility of the
We continue to work in a number of countries across Europe, where this year we have seen particular
interest in and take-up of our UK regulatory exams. This reflects practitioners’ need for
relevant qualifications post-Brexit, as well as the quality and depth of our content coverage.
The ongoing impact of Covid restrictions across the continent has constrained the capacity for travel
and in-person events, although we have been pleased to run a number of virtual events for members.
We are particularly grateful for the ongoing support of our National Advisory Councils in Gibraltar,
Switzerland and Cyprus, who provide valuable local expertise and advice to help maintain an
interesting, up-to-date and relevant offer for our European members.
We have continued to build strong relationships with our academic partners, including: the
IÉSEG School of Management in France; the International Management School Geneva; Riga
University in Romania; and the University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus campus. We were delighted to
sign a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2021 with our first academic partner in Poland, Poznan
University of Economics and Business (PUEB). This offers PUEB students the opportunity to complement
their academic qualifications with a CISI vocational qualification, giving them a competitive edge
in the global financial services market.
Following the launch of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) we produced a CISI IDD assessment
for our Spanish candidates, which allows professionals to comply with the requirements of the IDD.
Subsequent to the implementation of the IDD by the Spanish regulator, we launched this to the
Spanish market and in September 2021 our Bilbao training partner FIKAI Finance School trained a
cohort from Credendo, the European credit insurance group, on the module.
We have also developed our presence in Latin America from our Spanish office, and have been pleased
to begin a number of new partnerships in the region. Our long-standing training partner IFA has
agreed to offer elearning and virtual training courses in Latin America in collaboration with a
local partner, Vertice Business School, with offices in Colombia and Ecuador. In December 2021 we
accredited INTEFI in Valencia, which will offer Spanish and Latin American practitioners access to
our wealth management exams, and in February 2022 we signed an MoU with Grupo BVL Bursen in Peru to
promote our wealth management and introductory qualifications.
We continue to work with countries across Asia Pacific from our headquarters in Manila. This year we
were delighted to form a partnership with the Thailand Stock Exchange, who have now recognised our
elearning, including our Sustainable and Responsible Investment module, as well as promoting the
benefits of CISI membership.
The growing importance of high-quality and flexible online learning for our members and the firms we
work with has been an important theme throughout our work. In addition to our recognition in
Thailand, we have launched a new online module on Anti-Money Laundering in Hong Kong which is being
offered through the Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute. We are also working with the
Bankers Association of the Philippines, which is promoting our elearning, including our Anti-Money
Laundering module, in its learning portal.
We have continued to work closely with schools and universities across the region to help provide
relevant vocational qualifications to young people, and in the Philippines we formalised new
partnerships with three universities this year: University of San Jose-Recoletos, Far Eastern
University and Trinity University of Asia. In Singapore, our long-standing Accredited Training
Partner, Five Pillars, has partnered with Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah school to offer their
students the opportunity to take our Islamic Finance exam.
We were delighted that, following the announcement of the Securities Association of China on 16
February 2022, the CISI has received recognition for its Certificate in Securities, Investment
Advice Diploma (Securities), and Chartered Wealth Manager qualification in six cities across China.
This is an exciting milestone for the CISI in China. We were proud to gain formal recognition for our
wealth management pathway in Qingdao in 2017, and for this to be expanded to six more cities for all
of our securities qualifications demonstrates the value of CISI qualifications in supporting the
development and professionalism of human capital. Listening to the calls from our local partners, we
have now also created a Mandarin China microsite and WeChat account for China audiences to learn
about CISI and our qualifications more easily.
In November 2021 we ran a CISI Global Wealth Summit, which was designed to bring together a global
community of professionals working in wealth, investment management and financial services. We
hosted this online in three places – UK, Africa and China – drawing in world-class
speakers and members from different countries. The China Wealth Summit was a success and included a
panel discussion with senior speakers from UBS, Deloitte, SJP and others, with more than 1,000
attendees at the online event.
Reflecting the emphasis that companies are increasingly placing on sustainability at the heart of
their investment and business strategies, we now offer a suite of responsible finance based
qualifications which launched a year ago and is attracting significant attention. We are working
with the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), with whom we were pleased to sign a
Memorandum of Agreement in December 2021. Under this MoA, CISI and CUFE will work closely to promote
responsible finance literacy to the financial sector and students; and will start with a
UK–China Green Finance Development Forum in the second quarter.
The ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic in India meant that 2021/22 was a year with very little
travel and many of our members and firms have continued to see significant disruption to their
operations. We have continued to focus on offering our members and students a strong online offer
including a programme of webinars and live YouTube sessions, with members benefiting from the
experience of many industry speakers with expert knowledge.
We continue to work closely with the university sector in India and were delighted to sign a
tripartite MoU with our long-standing university partner Christ University and our Accredited
Training Partner Kerala-Finmark for our online Professional Refresher modules. Demonstrating the
value and high standards of the Christ University and CISI partnership, a student at Christ
university was one of two CISI global award winners this year from India, with the other a senior
compliance manager at FIS Global.
We have continued to support capacity building elsewhere in India, and now have mandates with firms
including Eclerx, Atos and others. This includes a ‘train and hire’ model, managed
through our Accredited Training Partners, which allows us to support some of our corporate supporter
firms with students who have completed one of our Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) exams and
have relevant sector knowledge. We also held our first virtual ‘Rewards and recognition’
event with DST Worldwide Services where we were proud to acknowledge achievers and merit holders for
our IOC exams.
It was a busy year for us in Africa. We worked closely with our existing partners as well as signing
several new Memorandums of Understanding to form new partnerships, which will help to support the
development and professionalism of human capital across the continent.
In Tanzania we have maintained our successful partnership with the Capital Market and Securities
Authority, with one local candidate winning a CISI global award for their exam result – the
first time we have had a winner from Tanzania. Two students from Ghana were also amongst the CISI
global award winners, and we celebrated the inaugural cohort of students completing the licensing
programme developed by the Ghana Investment and Securities Institute in February 2022.
In Nigeria we have continued our strong partnership with the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and
the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and we have seen the first new members joining through our
partnership with the Association of Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers. In Kenya we have
strengthened our partnerships with various key players, including the Kenya Institute of Bankers,
who are running CISI programmes across the banking sector, particularly the Fundamentals of Credit
Risk Management programme, which has also been supported by the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.
In June 2021 we launched the CISI and Mauritius Finance Partnership aiming to increase practitioner
knowledge on integrity. Mauritius was also the first African country to launch the CISI Professional
Assessment module on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, supporting the provision
of robust training for staff working in the Mauritius financial services sector.
We continued to build on the 2020 MoU signed with the Financial Services Authority in the Seychelles
to enhance professional standards in the region, with the initial cohort of students completing
their training for our introductory exam. Enhancing professional standards has been a key theme of
our work throughout Africa, and in Uganda we were pleased to hold a roundtable event with the
Capital Markets Authority Uganda on ‘Building professionalism within financial
In Ethiopia we ran a Capital Markets Scholarship Programme alongside the National Bank of Ethiopia
and funded by Financial Sector Deepening Africa. The programme supported early-stage capital market
development in Ethiopia, training over 200 participants for our exams.
The Middle East and North Africa business remains a key element of the CISI global strategy, with
continuing growth during 2021. This growth is largely driven by strong regulatory relationships and
mandatory exams for licensed individuals, but with significant demand from corporate and private
businesses outside the regulatory framework. The United Arab Emirates, where our office is located,
remains our largest market in absolute terms. It is also particularly pleasing to see our recent
partnership agreement in Saudi Arabia begin to make a positive impact for professionals, with over
1,800 exam sittings taken throughout the year. During the course of 2021, over 6,500 examinations
were sat across the Middle East and North Africa, with contributions from right across the region.
Membership of the CISI is also growing as regulators introduce minimum requirements for CPD. This is
a welcome development and individuals and firms have chosen to obtain CISI membership and access its
learning resources to fulfil this regulatory requirement and publicly demonstrate they are
maintaining their knowledge. We now have over 600 members of the CISI from the MENA region with
ongoing growth expected. We are very fortunate in having a supportive National Advisory Council
(NAC), chaired by Peter Smith, managing director at the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Our NAC,
like its counterparts worldwide, provides local expertise and knowledge to guide CISI’s
The CISI saw an excellent membership retention rate of 91% this year, reflecting the value of CISI
membership in helping
practitioners to learn, develop and progress in their careers.
This was also an exciting year in terms of events. Having moved from in-person events to webinars
during the pandemic,
we found ourselves again in a changing world. In addition to continuing with our programme of online
events, we have
reinstated our social and in-person events with a focus on networking and interactivity and have
also introduced hybrid
events, which are proving very successful and allow us to create an even more global offer.
For example, our Annual Integrity Event, which took place in October 2021, saw many members attend in
person and over
1,000 members join online from 40 different countries. The event was interactive and gave members
the ability to vote
and ask questions, wherever they were based in the world. We also ran a Global Wealth Summit in
three continents, with
an international panel of speakers. We will be running this event again this year.
Looking ahead to next year, we are focusing on widening our offer to our international members and
community of members access to a mentoring scheme to support them with their career development.
Watch below the Chief Executive's report for 2021/2022 from our immediate past CEO, Simon Culhane, who stood down as CEO on 2 September 2022.