As part of its drive to enhance the positioning of Kenya as a premier investment destination, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has launched international certification standards for practitioners in the capital markets industry. The launch is the product of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) in September 2014.
Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) has provided funding for the development of the curriculum and examination for the International Introduction to Securities and Investment (Kenya) (IISI- K) certification to be awarded by CISI. This is part of a strategic partnership between FSD Africa and the CMA in which FSD Africa will invest £1.1 million (Sh100 million) in a technical assistance programme to strengthen the CMA’s institutional capacity and support the development of Kenya’s capital markets.
The curriculum for Stage One, IISI (Kenya), has already been developed. The first cohort of market candidates went through training and sat for the examination in November 2015. This included thirteen CMA staff members and eight officials from various training institutions in Kenya. The curriculum for Stage Two, which will cover local conduct of business standards and market regulations, under the Kenyan regulatory framework, will be completed by June 2016.
Speaking during the launch event, the CMA Acting Chief Executive, Mr Paul Muthaura said “The, certification programme will ensure that practitioners in the capital markets industry have the requisite skills and apply best practice as Kenya takes its position as the hub for the African capital markets.”
For Kenya to be competitive and attract international flow of funds, he said, client facing staff within capital market intermediaries need to adopt international certification standards to support the introduction of more diversified products in the market, as well as to ensure that engagement with investors is consistent and meets the highest possible professional and ethical standards.
The introduction of certification standards, aimed at creating a highly skilled talent pool, is aligned to the Capital Market Master Plan, the ten-year blue print for the Kenyan capital markets industry, and the ambition of the country to become a regional and International Financial Centre.
Mr Muthaura said that the adoption of CISI’s International Introduction to Securities and Investment (IISI) program, as an industry recognised certification standard for Kenya is underpinned by the intention to support its adoption within the wider East African Community (EAC) region, with the recognition that capital market players are increasingly operating across borders.
“We are delighted to provide assistance for this certification programme which is an important step for Kenya towards boosting the professionalism of its capital markets and enhancing its attractiveness as an investment destination in sub- Saharan Africa,’’ said Julias Alego, director of Professional Education, FSD Africa.
On his part, Mr. Kevin Moore Chartered MCSI, director of Global Business Development of CISI said they are pleased to work with CMA to enhance and promote professionalism and professional standards in the capital markets industry in Kenya. “CISI has already established a Computer Based Testing (CBT) Center at the ICEA building in Nairobi’s Kenyatta Avenue. The cost of registration and undertaking Stage One exams has also been set at a subsidized rate to support market uptake,” he said.
The Authority issued a circular to all market licensees on Monday November 9th, 2015 informing them of the market certification and competency standards to be adopted pursuant to Regulation (19) 3 of the Capital Markets (Corporate Governance) (Market Intermediaries) Regulations 2011.