Canadian Securities Institute / Moody's Analytics

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Marc Flynn
Marc Flynn

Interview with:
Marc Flynn, Senior Director – Regulatory Relations and Credentialing for CSI-Moody's Analytics

1. Tell us about the work of CSI/Moody's Analytics.

    The Canadian Securities Institute is Canada's leading provider of professional credentials and education for the financial services industry. CSI delivers a comprehensive suite of financial education programs for financial services professionals and institutions, covering multiple areas of expertise ranging from securities to banking, insurance, portfolio management and wealth management. CSI strives to provide its learners from all backgrounds and at various stages in their careers with relevant education and professional development solutions. CSI is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada's, (Canada's Securities Self-Regulatory Organization overseeing the securities industry) exclusive proficiency partner for regulatory courses and examinations in this country. We work closely with IIROC in developing proficiency standards and ensuring that they evolve to meet industry needs. In addition, CSI helps financial services professionals and institutions in other parts of the world – including China, Pakistan, the Caribbean and the Middle East – succeed and prosper by providing quality financial education. Our licensing courses are recognized by regulators in the U.S., the U.K. and France.

    Since its establishment in 1970, CSI has supported over 800,000 financial services professionals in their career training and professional development aspirations. In 2007, CSI expanded its educational capabilities and services with the acquisition of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (ICB). Since late 2010, CSI has operated as a unit of Moody's Analytics, a global leader in helping financial services firms and professionals manage risk with research, analytics, software, education and credentials.

2. What is your role and how did you get involved with CSI-Moody's Analytics?

    I oversee CSI's relationship with IIROC and other Canadian and international regulators regarding licensing exams and courses. I also lead CSI's efforts in establishing programs leading to designations and certificates as well as oversee licensing exam design and development.

    I joined CSI in 2000. Previously I led international development projects in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia in the areas of capital markets and privatization. Most of the projects were focused on developing training programs for government officials involved in transitions to more market-based economies. The exposure to the role and functioning of capital markets in various international markets combined with my experience as an educator enabled me to join CSI. I hold a Bachelor of Economics from the Université de Montréal (Canada) and an MBA from the Ivey Business School (Canada).

3. How do you see CSI's role in FC/IE?

    In a couple of ways. First in the 1990s, CSI established and funded a charitable organization called the Investor Learning Center which offered books and seminars to the Canadian public on the basics of investments and financial planning. We also developed, in cooperation with industry regulators, textbooks targeted to high school students. The experience and expertise gained by working directly with investors was the main reason why CSI has been involved in IFIE since its foundation. While the ILC is no longer operational, all CSI courses are available to the public and we estimate that 5-10% of our introductory courses are purchased by investors for their own personal development.

    Second, CSI's primary mandate is to increase the proficiency and professionalism of financial advisors. As IFIE member well understand, one of the key components of a healthy capital markets is the competency and professionalism of advisors as they are at the critical juncture of the investor and the market. For many investors the key source of information and advice is their personal financial advisor. Therefore we believe that CSI strongly supports financial literacy by educating advisors not only on the technical skills but on managing client relationships and ethical behavior.

4. What plans does CSI/Moody's have going forward?

    In addition to our licensing courses and exams, CSI has always offered programs leading to designations to allow industry participants to increase their expertise. Going forward however we hope to expand our offerings of credentials to meet the changing needs of the industry and to continue to "raise the bar" of professionalism in the financial services industry. By leveraging the fact that some of our designations have been accredited by the International Standards Organization (ISO 17024) combined with Moody's Analytics presence in countries throughout the world, we hope to expand our presence in other markets where the level of financial advice may not be as accessible and robust as it should be to support the increasing numbers of investors seeking solid and unbiased advice and information.