CFA Institute Prepares For First Middle East Investment Conference in UAE (22-23 March 2011) Sponsored by Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

Media Contacts

Nicole Haroutunian
Director, Corporate Communications EMEA
+ 44 (0) 20-7330-9551

Dubai , , United Arab Emirates, 16 March 2011

First CFA Societies Middle East Market Sentiment Survey to be unveiled next week:

  • 61 percent of respondents believe trust has been lost within the investment industry
  • 91 percent of respondents believe that a corporate code of professional conduct for asset management companies should be adopted by firms in the UAE and GCC region
  • Call for more GCC nationals and investment professionals to secure highest levels of professional excellence

As CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals prepares for the first Middle East Investment Conference to be held in the United Arab Emirates, the region’s affiliated member CFA societies have unveiled some initial findings from their inaugural pan-regional Middle East Market Sentiment Survey. The survey findings will be released in full next week to coincide with the conference.

With responses from nearly 200 charterholders and members from nine Middle Eastern countries, the survey reflects the current thoughts and opinions of some of the most senior financial professionals working in the region. This includes portfolio managers, analysts, chief investment officers, chief executive officers, investment advisers, pension plan investment officers, and other senior financial consultants. Conducted over the past few weeks the survey also provides an interesting insight into market sentiment following recent economic challenges.

Split into three distinct categories which look at trust and professional ethics, education, professional excellence, and core market analysis, the feedback highlights the various sentiments and views of senior professionals from across the GCC as well as Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Nitin Mehta, CFA, managing director, EMEA, CFA Institute, said: “The survey reveals interesting viewpoints from some of the leading investment professionals in the Middle East. The feedback is worth reviewing and reflecting upon. The CFA Emirates Society will provide the findings in full next week.”  

The findings include:

  • Professional conduct: 91 percent of respondents believe that a corporate code of professional conduct for asset management companies should be adopted by firms in the UAE and GCC region
  • Employment: 48 percent believe that opportunities will increase, 37 percent that it will stay the same
  • CFA Program: 72 percent of respondents believe the CFA qualification assisted them with their employment opportunities, promotion, or salary, of which 83 percent secured the designation either at the start or midway through their careers
  • Nationals: 89 percent of respondents believe more nationals should secure higher professional qualifications, such as the CFA charter
  • The wider analysis, looking at key market and investment trends, together with some forecasting for the year ahead, will be unveiled at the conference in Abu Dhabi.

Nitin Mehta added: “CFA Institute also recently concluded its annual Global Financial Market Integrity survey. As with the survey in the Middle East there was a confirmation of the erosion of trust in financial markets due to the recent crisis.

"The feedback highlights the need for investment professionals to rebuild trust by adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct. CFA Institute has always promoted ethical standards for its members which places the interests of clients first and foremost. In addition, the survey highlighted concerns with derivative instruments, market fraud, and financial reporting as the main global concerns for investment professionals.”

Nitin Mehta concluded that the Middle East is developing quickly and the regional economy and its financial markets are witnessing rapid change. In such an environment, there is a growing demand for well-qualified investment professionals, as well as for codes and standards which represent global best practice. In particular, the CFA Program and the CFA charter are now becoming widely accepted as representing a “global gold standard” in professional qualifications, providing sound training in ethical behaviour and technical knowhow.  He continued: "In response, we are exploring the opportunity to establish a regional office to serve the region, likely based in the Emirates. Such a local presence would allow CFA Institute to contribute further to the development of the investment profession in the Middle East.”

Sponsored by Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference event will include a comprehensive lineup of international speakers from some of the world’s top financial organisations and educational institutions. Held in Abu Dhabi from 22 to 23 March, it is being hosted in association with CFA Emirates. The flagship conference is expected to attract approximately 300 of the foremost investment professionals from across the Middle East, further promoting the UAE as the region’s leading financial and investment centre. The event will be held at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi and is open to all CFA charterholders and investment professionals. For more information visit the Middle East Investment Conference website

Follow proceedings on Twitter (hashtag: #MEIC11) or catch regular updates on the CFA Institute’s dedicated blogsite. In addition CFA Institute will streamline its content on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages. It will also be syndicating all its blog posts to the Financial Times Alchemy and Long Room online communities, as well as to Seeking Alpha, the investment blog.

A press conference to unveil the full findings of the CFA Middle East Market Sentiment Survey will be held at Emirates Towers in Dubai at 1000 hrs on Monday 21 March.  All media are invited to attend this press conference.

CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has over 145,000 members in 163 countries and territories, including 140,000 CFA charterholders, and 148 member societies. For more information, visit