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Fintech Education Series: Business models and Opportunity assessment

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 6:00 pm
CIC, 5th Floor, Havana Room, Cambridge, MA

Fintech is becoming popular and investment managers and the financial industry is taking notice. With so many interesting business models and opportunities in Fintech, entrepreneurs and financial companies are wondering how to assess the various business opportunities that are out there. QuantUniversity has reviewed and summarized 8 key areas of Fintech. In this lecture, we will review how to assess business models and opportunities in Fintech. We will review:
  • The evolution of Fintech and the current state of the art
  • Case studies of successful business models in Fintech startups
  • Key things that differentiates a successful Fintech company
  • Best practices and tips when working on a Fintech idea

This is a preview of one of the lectures from the Fintech Certificate program offered in October by QuantUniversity!

Speaker Bio
Sri Krishnamurthy, CFA, CAP is the founder of QuantUniversity, a data and Quantitative Analysis Company and the creator of the Analytics Certificate program ( and Fintech Certificate program ( ). Sri has more than 15 years of experience in analytics, quantitative analysis, statistical modeling and designing large-scale applications. Prior to starting QuantUniversity, Sri has worked at Citigroup, Endeca, Mathworks and with more than 25 customers in the financial services and energy industries.

He has trained more than 1000 students in quantitative methods, analytics and big data in the industry and at Babson College, Northeastern University and Hult International Business School. Sri is leading development efforts in creating a platform called QuSandbox for adopting open source and analytics solutions within regulated industries.

This event is organized by QuantUniversity.



FREE, Live CFA Institute Audio Webinar

The World of Derivatives and Valuation Control
September 13, 2017
6:00–7:00 p.m. India Standard Time. Convert to your time zone.
Speaker: Karthik Ramamurthy, Standard Chartered GBS, Bangalore
CE Credit: 1 CE credit


Cash and derivatives trading constitute core front office activities for most leading financial services firms, and the Valuation Control (VC) group plays a critical role in controlling and supporting these activities. The group formulates and implements valuation adjustment and price testing policies to ensure that the valuation of the Bank’s positions are appropriately recorded. In addition, the group is responsible for operating the controls around the daily benchmark rate setting and for the quarterly submission of the Bank’s Prudential Valuation Adjustments to the relevant financial regulators. For reference, the cumulative book size (by Total Asset) across major banks is estimated to be USD 12 trillion. The VC group across leading banks employs around 100-200 personnel and are expected to be well versed in both the analytical and numerical techniques relating to the valuation of a variety of financial instruments, including bonds, loans, derivatives as well as more bespoke, private equity related positions. The purpose of this webinar is to give a broad understanding of the Valuation Control process, including practitioner insights into best practices and current challenges.

Karthik Ramamurthy heads the Valuation Control team at Standard Chartered GBS, Bangalore. Prior to working at Standard Chartered he worked at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Barclays and CIBC in London, covering Valuation Control, Market Risk Management and IT. In his previous role at CIBC, he was Executive Director of Market Risk Management, overseeing European risk for all asset classes. He holds a Master's degree in Finance from London Business School.

Continuing Education for CFA Institute members: Provide your CFA Institute ID number upon registration to facilitate the automatic entry of CE credit into your record at the close of the live webinar.



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FREE, Live CFA Institute Audio Webinar

Unpacking the Alphabet: Do ESG Reporting Initiatives Meet Investor Needs? 

September 19, 2017, 10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Speakers: Simon Messenger, Andrew Jones, CFA, Nicolai Lundy, and Bastian Buck
CE credit: 1.0 CE


Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are increasingly seen as relevant for financial analysis, security selection, and asset allocation and are applied by investors with global, cross-sectoral portfolios (universal owners) as well as those who pursue dedicated “responsible investment” strategies. These factors can be applied either for negative, positive exclusionary screening or they can be, and are often implicitly integrated into, mainstream investment analysis. ESG information is also relevant for risk assessment across multiple horizons (short, medium, and long term).
The effectiveness of ESG integration into investment strategies depends on the extent to which companies’ disclosures effectively convey useful (i.e. material for investment decision making, reliable and unbiased, accessible, comparable) information. There is a general recognition that one of the impediments to the use of ESG is the current poor quality of reporting these factors and especially the Environment (e.g. climate change) and Social (e.g. human capital) factors.

To address shortfall in companies’ ESG reporting, various country, regional, and international initiatives have focused on enhancing ESG reporting, including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Climate Disclosures Standard Board (CDSB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force for Climate Disclosures. The European Union has also issued the Non-Financial Information Directive.

This 75-minute webcast is aimed at investors and interested parties and will feature speakers from influential organizations on ESG reporting. The webcast will have the following primary objectives:

  • To discuss principal investor needs for ESG information and practical examples of what good ESG reporting for investors would look like
  • To highlight similarities and differences across the main ESG reporting frameworks
  • To provide an implementation progress update including the level of adoption of the main ESG reporting frameworks including SASB, GRI, IIRC, and FSB recommendations and how these tally up with the EU Non-financial directive
Simon Messenger joined the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) as Interim Managing Director in 2017, with over 10 years of academic and professional experience in sustainability and non-financial reporting. Previously, Simon was Head of Consulting at the Energy Saving Trust, leading on the commercialization of projects related to energy-efficiency policy. In his roles at PwC and Deloitte, he focused on a wide range of sustainability, risk management and non-financial reporting issues, working across multiple countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America in a range of sectors. Simon was also the author of CDP Global 500 and FTSE 350 reports from 2011 to 2013 and contributed to the development of core methodology, auditing about 1,500 companies on an annual basis. Simon holds two first-class degrees in environmental and climate change science.

Andrew Jones, CFA, leads the IIRC’s investor engagement programme, which aims to help investors to understand the IIRC’s aims and the benefits of a broader more integrated approach to reporting and to encourage them to support or encourage this in their investee companies. Andrew is on a 50% secondment to the IIRC from KPMG Makinson Cowell. He has over twenty years of experience with Makinson Cowell (now part of KPMG) and leads Makinson Cowell’s research team, which advises stock market listed businesses on how institutional shareholders assess their investments and make investment decisions and the performance and valuation measures they use. Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a CFA® charterholder, and has long-standing experience on committees and panels involved in application of accounting standards and corporate reporting including: the UK’s UITF, the FRC’s narrative reporting panel and tax accounting panel. He also chaired the ICAEW’s Research Advisory Board until recently.

Nicolai Lundy is SASB’s Director of Education and Partnerships where he oversees the membership, educational, and partnership programs, in addition to the SASB Navigator. Chaired by Michael Bloomberg, SASB standardizes the measurement of sustainability topics that have financial impacts on company value, such as safety-related defects for automobile companies, data security for software companies, and water scarcity for agricultural companies. In his role, Nicolai identifies opportunities for investment analysts, financial reporting and sustainability professionals, and securities lawyers to benefit from SASB’s research on material ESG factors across 79 industries. Previously, he led the development of SASB’s FSA Credential (a CFA Institute-approved source of CE credit), which helps candidates identify the sustainability factors that impact corporate value. Before joining SASB, he held various client management and operations roles in the private sector and higher education.

Bastian Buck is the Director, Standards within Global Reporting Initiative, and responsible for all standard-setting activities at GRI. Bastian has extensive experience with the development of the GRI reporting guidance and the ins and outs of global multi-stakeholder processes, having been with GRI for more than a decade.


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CFA Institute Conference: Fixed-Income Management 2017

CFA Society Boston members save $100 by using discount code BOSFIM-17. 

Finding Opportunity through Differentiation
October 12–13, 2017
Westin Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts 

Conference Details and Registration


After years of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), what will be the pace and path to interest rate normalization? Is the neutral rate likely to be lower in the future given secular headwinds from such issues as aging populations in major economies, globalization, technology disrupters, and the debt supercycle? How will the blending of politics and policies in the United States alter the economic and financial market landscape? Do investment managers need to be more flexible and opportunistic to succeed in the new environment? With myriad fundamental questions lingering in today’s global debt markets comes an increased need for savvy bond investors who have the skills and insights to find opportunity through differentiation and deliver value to investors.

At Fixed-Income Management 2017, leading practitioners will navigate what is happening in global bond markets, take a closer look at the path of growth in developed and emerging economies, and discover where leading investors are finding opportunities, value, and protection against uncertainty.

Covering practical topics that focus on fixed-income sectors, security selection, and portfolio construction, this year’s conference brings together researchers, analysts, portfolio managers, and top strategists to focus on:

  • The sustainability of economic growth: What is the outlook for global economic growth? Are there upside and downside risks to this current period of economic stability? What is the outlook for inflation?

  • Lower-for-longer or rising rates? What is the path to rate normalization? How can investors prepare for the uncertainties surrounding a reversal of unconventional monetary policy? How and when will the US Federal Reserve be able to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet?

  • Politics and policy: What will be the effects of politics and policies (including monetary, fiscal, trade, and exchange rates) on world economic growth and financial markets?

  • The active vs. passive debate in bond management: With trillions invested in passive-indexed bond funds, what is the future for active-bond management?

  • Credit and high-yield strategies: Are there still opportunities in investment-grade corporate and high-yield bonds, or have markets moved ahead of the fundamentals?

  • Impact of China: What will be the effects on markets of slower growth and high debt levels (including the rise of shadow bank lending) in China?

  • Emerging markets: Are emerging markets the global bright spot in terms of growth and opportunity? What are the downside risks? What are the most attractive emerging sovereign debt, credit, and currency markets?

  • Currencies: What effects will trade policy have on the US dollar and other currencies?

  • Portfolio management: Where will investors find the greatest value and opportunities in a range of fixed-income securities and sectors?

  • Future sources of volatility: After a long period of low market volatility, have investors become too complacent?

CFA Institute CE Credit

Qualifies for 12 credit hours. For CFA Institute members, these credit hours will be updated automatically in your online CE tracking tool.

This conference will be submitted to NASBA for credit review and may also qualify for continuing education credit from other organizations (e.g., the CFP Board and IIROC). Please contact your relevant organization for details on self-documenting credit for your participation.

Read more about Fixed-Income Management on Enterprising Investor.

 CFA Society Boston members save $100 by using discount code BOSFIM-17.

Conference Details and Registration