In the Winter 2008-2009 issue ...

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE
FOCUS ON: IFIE REGIONAL SUBCOMMITTEES
INVESTOR EDUCATION AROUND THE GLOBE
IFIE MEMBER PROFILE

Chairman's message

I want to take this opportunity to update you on what has been a very busy and productive period for the International Forum for Investor Education:

  • Calendar year 2008 saw a major burst of new interest in IFIE membership, with five organizations either joining during the calendar year or in the process of doing so. The ranks of our organization now stand at 20 and could easily grow to 30 over the next six to 12 months.
  • On 4 December 2008, IFIE held its first Webinar, a session that focused on how investor education can help to rebuild investor trust and confidence in the wake of ongoing market turmoil. We plan to hold up to two additional Webinar sessions during 2009.
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  • During the second half of 2008, IFIE decided to expand its global efforts with a set of regional subcommittees to promote the more rapid spread of investor education programmes. The Egyptian CMA approached IFIE about making the Middle East North Africa (MENA) the first regional subcommittee and offered to spearhead this effort. The CMA was extremely successful in establishing the subcommittee and the formal creation was ratified at the IFIE Membership Meeting on 3 March 2009. (For more details on this see the "Focus On:" article below.)
  • Most recently, the 2nd joint investor education conference of IFIE and International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) took place on 2-3 March 2009. The extremely successful event in Washington, D.C. attracted more than 100 attendees from 31 nations. IFIE and IOSCO are now in discussions to hold a third joint conference during 2010.

IFIE members will shortly be receiving a survey requesting ideas for IFIE activities and soliciting your participation in organizing IFIE activities. We hope you will participate in the survey and generously commit your time, energies and ideas to our programme. Your IFIE organization is entirely reliant on the efforts of its members to operate a successful programme. The balance of 2009 promises to be busy for IFIE and we will need your help to make it a successful year. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback about the work of this organization.

Yours,

Steve Joachim
Chairman
International Forum for Investor Education

Focus on: IFIE regional subcommittees

In 2008, IFIE started to focus on the potential of creating regional subcommittees for investor education purposes. The goal of IFIE regional subcommittees is to leverage the strong cultural ties and common investor issues in regions to accelerate the development and delivery of investor education programmes.

IFIE's regional efforts bore their first fruit earlier this month. At the Membership Meeting on 3 March 2009, the IFIE membership created two new subcommittees. The IFIE Regional Subcommittee will be composed of the chairmen of a new group of regional subcommittees comprised of IFIE members with common regional interests. The IFIE Regional Subcommittee will send one representative to the IFIE Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee will send one member to each of the Regional Subcommittee's meetings.

The second subcommittee launched at the IFIE Membership Meeting was the IFIE MENA (Middle East North Africa) Subcommittee. The Egyptian CMA approached IFIE in the middle of 2008 with the idea to create an IFIE MENA Regional Subcommittee and offered to help organize such a group. The idea was met with enthusiasm by the IFIE Advisory Committee and the Egyptians were given authorization to commence their efforts. The concept has been received positively in the region. The Egyptians identified 13 potential members and all 13 have indicated interest in joining IFIE and the Subcommittee. Two of the organizations are already existing IFIE members, another two have been processed as new members in recent weeks and two more are expected to be enrolled as new members shortly.

The IFIE MENA Subcommittee was chartered to operate as follows:

  • All members of the subcommittee must be a member of IFIE;
  • The subcommittee agenda will be created in concert with and approved by the IFIE Advisory Committee; and
  • A member of the IFIE Advisory Committee will be invited to each subcommittee meeting; and

At the IFIE Membership Meeting on 3 March 2009, Steve Joachim, IFIE chairman, and Dr. Ahmed Saad, chairman of the Egyptian CMA, formally signed the documents creating the IFIE MENA Subcommittee. Dr. Saad was appointed chair of the IFIE MENA Subcommittee and chair of the newly formed IFIE Regional Subcommittee. He will also join the IFIE Advisory Committee as the Regional Subcommittee representative.

Investor education around the globe

Formed in 1989, the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation (ICIEF), the educational affiliate of the Investment Company Institute, partners with government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to help promote or enhance investor awareness on behalf of the mutual fund industry. Since 2000, the Foundation's primary focus has been the Investing for Success program and partnerships. Launched in May 2000 with the National Urban League (NUL), Investing for Success was initially designed to strengthen investor awareness in the African-American community. Workshops co-sponsored by these two organizations are presented by mutual fund industry professionals from Investment Company Institute member companies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Labor, and American Savings Education Council, among others, have all contributed materials used during the workshops. Neither the workshop presenters nor the materials promote any commercial products or services or specific professions, firms, or individuals. For those unable to attend a workshop, ICIEF launched an award-winning web course in May 2001 that integrates all the workshop materials in an interactive, multimedia format. The web course features 10 self-paced lessons that include interactive worksheets and calculators, animated illustrations, video clips of investors and investment professionals, related online resources, and quizzes that offer immediate feedback. Anyone who completes all 10 lessons can print a customized certificate of course completion.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission published the findings of mystery shopping research conducted into the suitability of advice provided by regulated investment advisers. The mystery shopping research was conducted on behalf of the Commission's Investment Business division by Deloitte & Touche LLP, supported by GfK Mystery Shopping. Mystery shoppers approached 13 local investment advisers seeking advice in relation to a lump sum investment of either £8,000 or £100,000. The appointments with each investment adviser were recorded and the advice was analysed against regulatory benchmarks. The analysis found that overall, the advice provided was appropriate but the report did highlight some areas of improvement. One particular highlighted finding was that a number of those shoppers seeking to invest £8,000 had difficulty in obtaining advice. The report does not name those firms involved in the research however, the Commission will be providing specific feedback to each firm sampled. A copy of the report can be viewed here.

IFIE member profile:

CAPITAL MARKET AUTHORITY OF EGYPT

Formed in 1979 as an independent regulator for the Egyptian Securities Market, the CMA is a government agency with the mission of: "protecting investors from non-commercial risks, developing the capital market, maintaining its integrity, minimizing market risks and applying the principles of fairness and transparency." With the aim of achieving this strategic mission, the CMA has identified main work plans and programs to be implemented which reflect their priorities in developing and regulating the Egyptian capital market and enhancing the efficiency of the regulatory performance. These plans are divided into four main principles:

  • Developing the Capital Market structure (primary and secondary markets);
  • Raising investors' awareness.
  • Providing technical support for Securities firms; and
  • Institutional Capacity building and improving CMA's regulatory capabilities.

This is in alignment with the CMA vision to enhance the market's efficiency and competitiveness in order to attract local and foreign savings to invest in Egypt. This vision is being realized through the application of the international standards and practices prevailing in advanced and emerging Capital Markets (such as IFRS, IOSCO principles, corporate governance principles, and FATF recommendation) so that the Egyptian Capital Market becomes a pioneer at the regional level among Middle East and African markets. For the CMA, the year 2008 focused on enhancing and strengthening its regulatory role. New auditing standards were issued in accordance to the international standards. In addition to this, Auditor's oversight board was established to auditors of the listed companies, securities companies, mutual funds and underwriting of IPO's companies. And in its efforts to educate the investors and raise their awareness about the capital market of Egypt, the CMA joined the IFIE as an active member on both the local and international aspects via launching its new educational website (www.iinvest.org.eg) and helped in creating the IFIE MENA subcommittee. And as a result of the efforts exerted by the CMA, it was chosen in 2008 as the second most innovative regulator in Africa.

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