11, 2020 / 10:27AM / OpEd By CIS / Header Image Credit: Ecographics
Being the response from the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria (CIS), dated Monday October 05, 2020 to the letter from The Association of Corporate and Individual Investment Advisers (CIIA) on observations about the planned Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Management (CISIM) Bill.
The Proposed Bill on the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)
The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) hereby acknowledges receipt of your letter dated September 21, 2020 on the above-referenced subject and appreciates the Association of Corporate and Individual investment Advisers (CIIA) for reaching out to the Institute on the subject.
However, the CIS noticed from the content of your letter that the concept and intent of the CISI Bill (now renamed CISIM) seemed to have been grossly misconceived by the CIIA, and our response below seeks to clarify the issues raised therein. We do hope the CIIA will carefully and objectively review our response for a holistic view of the subject.
1. About CIS
CIS was established by Act 105 of 1992 as a not-for-profit professional institute providing certification and training for professionals in stockbroking, securities and investment, fund and portfolio management, asset management, investment management, and other related fields. It is also responsible for the regulation and discipline of members of the profession.
The ACS qualification is a postgraduate qualification, which is widely recognized for people working in the capital market, financial services industry, fund and investment management. Our qualification compares favorably with other foreign qualifications given its rigorous and practice-oriented content and examination. Holders of the ACS qualification are highly skilled personnel, eminently qualified by virtue of the qualitative, rich and relevant training they had undergone before achieving the certification, with many of them presently occupying lop positions in both the private and public sector of the economy.
The CIS has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, which conforms with international best practices. Members are expected to abide by the Codes and Standards and exhibit the highest level of ethical behavior and professional conduct in providing service to their clients, and discharge of obligation in whatever capacity they operate in the industry.
As provided by the Act that established it, the Institute has a disciplinary machinery which promptly attends to complaints on any member and metes out appropriate sanctions as deemed necessary on proven professional misconduct. The disciplinary scheme consists of an Investigating Panel and a Disciplinary Tribunal, which has a legal assessor in attendance at all times. The Rules of the Tribunal are approved by the Honorable Minister of Justice & Attorney General of the Federation.
CIS is a member of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), and Association of Certified International Investment Analysts (ACIIA) based in Switzerland. Our qualification (ACS) is approved for exemption from the foundation and National Examination levels of ACIIA like our counterparts in Europe. Asia and Americas. The affiliation not only affords us the opportunity to benchmark our qualifications with international standards, it also ensures that our members could compete favorably with their counterparts in foreign investment centers. Indeed, some of our members have achieved the CIIA certification, which is recognition of superior standard of applied common knowledge that is essential for working in domestic and international investment markets. Fellows and Associates of the CIS are also eligible for direct admission as members of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (UK).
Since its inception, the Institute has certified over 2500 qualified securities and investment professionals who are mostly top Managers and Executives in various organizations in different sectors of the economy including banks, insurance companies, stockbroking firms, issuing houses, pension fund administrators and regulatory agencies.
2. The CISIM Bill
The CISM Bill is a Bill for an Act to repeal the Chartered institute of Stockbrokers Act, Cap. C9 LFN 2004 and provide for the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Management to set standards of knowledge, ethical conduct & practice, certify, train, discipline and direct the practice of securities and investment profession and for related matters.
The following are the rationale for the CISIM Bill:
The need for a review of the existing structure for training and certification of professionals in the Nigerian Capital Market, as justified above, in response to significant changes that have taken place in the Nigerian Capital Market over the years, is the reason for promoting the CISIM Bill. The CIS considers this to be an auspicious moment for all stakeholders in the market to work together. review the structures and processes in the market with a view to effecting necessary adjustments so that the growth and development of the Capital Market can be sustained seamlessly as we all desire. It is crucial that we continue to maintain order in the market to ensure that the progress we have made over the years is not truncated.
This quest to drive needed changes for sustained market growth and development is the norm in progressive markets, and we should not aspire for less in Nigeria. For instance, in 2015, the South African Institute of Stockbrokers (SAIS), taking cognizance of evolving challenges in the South African financial markets took steps to reposition and transform the financial services industry by proposing major structural changes with education and ap capacity building at the heart of the process. Ultimately, in May 2015, the scope of operation of SAIS was widen by legislation to include the total Financial Markets Industry.
In the UK. the Securities and Investment Institute (SII) was changed to Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) by an act of parliament in 2009, and is now a leading professional body for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals. The CISIM has existed alongside the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) without any problem. in the US, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) exists alongside the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Similarly, in Nigeria, the CISIM would exist alongside the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulators with each body having its clear-cut responsibilities and boundaries.
Editor's Note: The CISI was formed in 1992 as the Securities and Investment Institute (SII) by the members of the London Stock Exchange. It changed its name to the Securities and Investment Institute in November 2004. On Friday October 09, 2009, Her Majesty the Queen signed the Charter formally creating the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). In November 2015 the Institute of Financial Planning was formally merged into the CISI. In 2017, CISI, the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland formed the Chartered Body Alliance.
It is worthy of emphasis that the role of CISIM will not in any way conflict with the role of regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). As it is applicable globally, a professional institute sets standards of knowledge to be attained by members of' the profession, certifies them and promotes the highest level of ethical conduct and professional behavior among its members. Any members who falls short of the required standard of conduct and behavior is sanctioned as appropriate by the institute. It is only in this sense that CISIM will 'regulate' the conduct of its members. The role of SEC and CBN as the apex regulator of the Capital Market and Money Market in Nigeria respectively has never been in doubt or contested, and will not be conflicted by the CISIM Bill.
Further, in most parts of the world, in professions like Medicine, Engineering, Accountancy, Law, etc. members are at liberty to specialize and practice in any given course/areas of their choice, thus giving room for the specialists to aggregate and articulate their interests as Associations/Trade groups in the industry but deriving powers from the originating Act of the Parliament. i.e. Nigerian Medical Council. Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants Nigeria, Council of Legal Education. etc. A similar structure will emerge with the passage of the CISIM Bill.
3. Advocacy Efforts for the CISIM Bill
The CIS' approach to the CISIM Bill over the years has been to engage key stakeholders extensively with a view to getting their buy-in and to achieve greater inclusiveness. However, it is important to reemphasize that CIS is a creation of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the current CIS Act 105 of 1992 already covers implicitly all the areas of securities dealing that the new CISIM Bill seeks to clearly highlight. For instance, the role of stockbrokers as investment Advisers in the Nigerian Capital Market has never been in doubt or contested. Even, the apex regulator. SEC accords stockbrokers this recognition.
Nevertheless, the CIS takes cognizance of the dynamic changes that have taken place in the Nigerian Capital Market over the years has continued to work with all stakeholders to maintain order in the market. For the avoidance of doubt. we would like to put on record that the CIS has had series of engagement with the underlisted groups and continues to be open to further engagement on this matter.
Specifically, starting from last year (2019) several meetings of the above-listed CISIM Stakeholders groups were held culminating in the formation of two sub-committees populated by members of groups and CIS to discuss and agree respectively on
All the parties were duly represented and contributed robustly to the discussions resulting in two reports that respectively presented a Governance Structure and a draft MOU to be signed by the parties. As you may be aware, four of the organizations have signed the agreed MOU - CIS, AHIN, FMAN and IAPM.
You may have read in the media some objections raised against the CISIM Bill by the FMDA and CFA Society, who were engaged in several meetings as part of the CISIM Stakeholder Group, and whose representatives were involved in drafting the MOU. A critical appraisal of their argument will show that it does not hold water.
Given the points highlighted above, and whilst the Institute remains open for discussions and engagement with any willing party, the CIS is convinced that the pursuit of the CISIM Bill is a noble course that should be pursued vigorously. Indeed, the CIS believes that to sustain development and progress in the Nigerian Capital Market, law and order must prevail.
We appreciate your good intention and cooperation. Please accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.
Related to CIS and the CISIM Bill