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  • 10 Oct 2017 6:30 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    Last week, CFA Association Russia launched a new ethics exam for students and young finance professionals. It was the first time professional ethics were brought to the forefront of students' education in Russia.

    The quiz was comprised of 20 questions from the Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct part of the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate. 

    The CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate, formerly known as Claritas, is a new program developed by CFA Institute that covers the essentials of finance, ethics, and investment roles, providing a clear understanding of the global investment industry.


    Although more than 200 participants took the test three dozen of them successfully passed it and received the certificates of completion. This goes to show that the ethics course isn't as easy as some may think.


    For Russian students, an ethics course may be a new thing, but it's crucial for the young generation of professionals to learn the moral principles of the financial industry. CFA Russia believes that a greater emphasis on ethical awareness and ability to identify moral and ethical concepts will improve the overall functioning of the Russian economy in the future.


    The ethics quiz itself was held during a career fair, geared toward students and recent grads, seeking employment in the finance industry. The event, ProFinance, was organized by the Russian employment agency Future Today and was specifically designed to target the problem of youth unemployment and under-employment.

    Over 700 students from Moscow's leading universities attended the career fair, which beside CFA Russia invited 10 largest financial companies, including EY, PwC, Moscow Exchange, KPMG, and the Central Bank of Russia, among others.

  • 05 Oct 2017 5:04 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    This week CFA Association Russia invited French finance expert Philippe Delmotte to focus on risk management in emerging capital markets. The event took place at the Mazars Moscow office in the form of a business breakfast that gathered around 40 guests.

    A guest-speaker, Mr. Delmotte, a CEO of POD Consulting FFF, discussed crises management in emerging capital markets and told what steps companies, working in developing economies, could take to avoid financial disasters. Over the past 25 years, there were several major financial crises in the emerging markets. Although they all had various causes, the similar pattern of a dramatic surge in the forex index prices and interest rates before the crisis could be observed. To prove this, Mr. Delmotte brought up the examples of the 1995 Tequila crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian crisis, and the two Russian crises of 1998 and 2014, among others.


    When doing business in emerging markets, managers should be prepared to face a crisis in a strong position. Thus, communication and proper preparation are key factors here, the speaker explained. Two ways to prepare is to have accurate, verified figures and put in place right hedges in the forex and interest rates.

    “Reviewing your financial needs and securing them could mean the difference between failure and success,” Mr. Delmotte said.

    When a crisis has already taken place and there is nothing one can do to avoid it, it’s crucial to stay calm. Decisions made in panic will most likely worsen a situation. During a crisis, companies should have a series of well-practiced action plans and a clear communication strategy, the French expert stressed.


    The guest speaker also talked about the use of private placements, as the effective instruments of risk management. As any investment tools, private placements have both pros and cons, which Mr. Delmotte discussed at the end of his presentation.

    CFA Association Russia invites everyone to get a dose of morning espresso and listen to finance experts during our business breakfast events. Follow our website and a Facebook page to stay informed about future events.

  • 03 Oct 2017 6:26 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    CFA Association Russia continues its professional training programs. A new two-day advanced course on the alternative analysis of credit risks, designed specifically for credit managers, was held this past weekend.

    The course was designed in partnership with Evgeny Ivkin, an expert in crisis management. During the intensive two-day training, the crisis manager told how to spot potentially bad debtors and avoid giving them financial loans.

    Banks and other investors regularly lose their money after borrowers go bankrupt and fail to pay back their debt. Partially, this happens due to a poor credit evaluation process, as loans are given out without properly checking the background information on borrowers.


    During the training, Evgeny told about comprehensive methodologies and specific techniques that weed out risky businesses, as well as told about numerous red flags and warning signs that creditors must always look for.

    15 credit managers from Sberbank and two other large Russian banks attended the training, which turned out to be a success. More trainings on the same topic will be organized in the future. Stay informed about all of our trainings by checking out the events section of our Facebook page.

  • 27 Sep 2017 7:54 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    CFA Association Russia began a new season of its professional training sessions. On September 23-24, in cooperation with the Alt-Invest Group, CFA Russia held a two-day financial modeling course that became popular among financial professionals from all across Russia.

    The course focuses on building financial models using MS Excel. Since all businesses are unique and have a specific set of characteristics, it can be quite challenging to calculate their assumptions, risks, and forecast their operations in the future.

    That is why financial modeling is one of the most valued skills in finance. It can take years of practice to become an expert at building financial models. Besides a hands-on experience, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of theoretical knowledge that can be learned at CFA Russia’s trainings.


    Our financial modeling course follows best practices in the industry. CFA Russia instructors will teach you how to build accurate, well-structured, and easy-to-understand models in Excel. During the course, you will receive a break-down of the most important aspects of financial modeling and learn tips from one of the finest experts in the Russian finance industry.

    CFA Russia will repeat the financial modeling course in November and December. Stay tuned for more information, we’ll be happy to help you improve your financial modeling skills.

  • 25 Sep 2017 2:45 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    Last week, the representatives of CFA Association Russia, Vladimir Tutkevich, the organization’s executive director, and Nikolai Pavlov, a relationship manager, visited the city of Samara, as part of the ongoing outreach program.

    For a long time, CFA Russia focused most of its activity in Moscow, the country’s financial and political center. However, since last year the association realized there is a need to build closer ties with financial professionals and universities all across Russia and the CIS.

    Within one year, CFA Russia representatives made business trips to the cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Saint Petersburg, Minsk (Belarus), Ufa, Rostov-on-Don, Perm, and now Samara.


    Vladimir Tutkevich giving a presentation at the Finam office in Samara

    In Samara, one of the major financial hubs in the Volga Region, the CFA Russia representatives met with a group of bankers, private investors, and members of the city’s top universities during the two-day visit. Vladimir Tutkevich gave a detailed overview of the CFA Exam, including an application process, the curriculum and knowledge required to successfully pass the exam, as well as the benefits one would get after obtaining the CFA charter.

    Moreover, the CFA Russia representatives focused on the code of ethics developed by CFA Institute. Practicing ethical norms that promote integrity and fairness benefit everyone involved in the investment industry, Vladimir emphasized that a few times during his presentations in Samara.


    The members of Samara’s financial community, in turn, told about the city’s future economic prospects. According to some of them, the city has a few good opportunities that, if implemented correctly, will bring a significant economic growth not only to Samara, but to the entire Volga Region. One of them is the Chinese-led Silk Road Economic Belt, a transportation corridor that would connect China and Europe through Russia and the countries of Central Asia. Samara’s geographical location could turn the city into an important transportation hub that connects north and south, as well as east and west.


    CFA Russia engaging with students at the Samara National Research University.

    The outreach program is set to continue this fall and winter to other Russian cities.

  • 19 Sep 2017 11:40 AM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    On September 14-15, members of CFA Association Russia’s board of directors went to London to meet with their UK colleagues and discuss issues that are currently being developed between CFA Institute and its local societies.

    The Russian delegation spent a full day at a meeting organized by the CFA Institute’s London office. 

    During the meeting several key issues were discussed, including services delivered by CFA Institute and its societies, membership and its value, advocacy, business planning, and future institutional partnerships.


    CFA Russia was represented by the following board of directors (from left to right): Ivan Belyaev, Maria Kharlashkina, Dmitry Ryabykh, Alexander Gorshenin, Marina Shestakova, Vladimir Tutkevich, Sofia Donets, Neil Withers, and Boris Tawakkoli.

    It was the first time the entire CFA Russia board of directors was invited to visit the CFA Institute office. Meetings like this build trust and improve cooperation between colleagues, especially when they work in different countries and communicate via emails and telephone calls most of the time.

    During the meeting CFA Institute estimated that the size of the local society in Russia could reach over 700 members within the next few years. According to the office in London, CFA Russia should focus on providing value to its existing members, encourage candidates to become future members, and try to get lapsed members back on board.


    CFA Institute's managing director for the EMEA Region, Gary Baker, attended the meeting as well

    Among other goals mentioned was a better focus on social media, considering that 50 percent of all CFA Russia members are under the age of 35, who are naturally a perfect target for social media interactions.

    Overall, representatives of CFA Institute in London recognized CFA Russia’s good work and praised its achievements. A good working relationship and rapport was built between CFA Russia’s board of directors and the institute’s head office in the UK.

  • 15 Aug 2017 4:12 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    After a short summer break CFA Association Russia returned to its business schedule and held a morning seminar in the form of a business breakfast. The event took place at the Mazars Moscow office, CFA Russia’s new partner, and featured Evgeny Ivkin, an expert in crisis management, as a guest speaker.

    Earlier this summer Evgeny already spoke at a CFA Russia event, focusing on common organizational mistakes that Russian companies make which result in poor business outcomes. This time the crisis manager brought attention to the issue of financial loans and told an audience what kind of companies banks should avoid giving loans to.


    Investors regularly lose money after companies and entrepreneurs go out of business or fail to pay back their debt. Oftentimes, a number of Russian banks give out credit loans without properly checking the background information on borrowers, Evgeny said.

    In search of profits, lending parties take risks giving out huge financial loans to companies that normally should never receive them.

    “Lenders sometimes have no idea about an industry in which a borrower works nor have a clear understanding of how a company’s business model operates,” Evgeny said.


    To spot potentially bad debtors, Evgeny and his team came up with a comprehensive methodology that allows them to weed out risky businesses in the first stage of an interview. The speaker told about numerous red flags and warning signs that creditors must always look for in addition to standard pre-loan procedures.

    To find out more about Evgeny’s pre-loan evaluation methodology and his crisis management strategies check out CFA Russia’s two upcoming trainings this fall. CFA Russia partnered up with Evgeny and his team of crisis management experts to produce a series of professional trainings specifically designed to cover these issues. Similar to other CFA Russia training courses, the new course will include the combination of essential theoretical information and a hands-on practical training. Additional information can be found at our upcoming events section on the website. 

  • 29 Jun 2017 5:57 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    On the sunny morning of June 29, CFA Association Russia held a business breakfast in partnership with the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF). CFA Russia continued to explore the hot topic of fintech, inviting two experts from Russia’s Otkrytie bank and the software company Nekst.

    The event was held at the new office of IIDF and featured Pavel Revo, the vice-president of Otkrytie, and Alexey Degtyarev, the business development director of Nekst, as the two invited experts.

    Below: Pavel Revo giving a presentation


    Pavel Revo focused on the essentials of the E-commerce payment system without a solid knowledge of which one cannot effectively understand Internet banking and shopping for that matter. He expanded on the details and roles of interchange, the component of fees that businesses must pay to accept credit cards.

    Since interchange fees in Russia can be over 2 percent, merchants dream about solutions to cut transaction costs. According to Pavel, with the current interchange rates, the payment system is losing 100 billion rubles (around USD $1.7 billion) a year on interchange fees alone.

    To sum up Pavel pointed out that to create a new payment system (the one with 0.1 percent interchange fees, for example) one needs to increase the use of non-cash transactions and get rid of ATMs, as they’re too costly to operate.


    During his presentation Alexey Degtyarev, who is a former director of B&N Bank's digital services department, said the role of peer-to-peer payment transactions and other non-traditional methods of payment are overblown. He added that the use of bank issued payment cards won’t decrease with the increase of smartphones.

    Although new fintech startups are trying to push out payment cards, so far they have not been successful. All these new fintech, like QR-codes and other E-wallet type systems, sounds fancy and the idea behind them may be genius, but currently they cannot effectively compete with the cards, Alexey said.

    Below: Alexey Degtyarev doesn't believe E-wallets are replacing payment cards any time soon


    “In Russian provinces there are many places without Internet. What kind of E-wallets are you talking about?” – Alexey asked a reasonable question and concluded that the payment cards are here to stay. The saying the old ox plows a straight furrow couldn’t be more true in this case.

    Following the main speakers, Pavel Nikonov, an investment manager from IIDF, gave a short presentation. Nikonov briefly told about IIDF, which is a Russian venture capital fund that invests in potentially successful new tech startups, and said how successful the company has been. On a final note, he invited guests to send in applications if they have any bright startup ideas and see how IIDF can help realize them.

  • 26 Jun 2017 4:05 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    As the saying goes, money drives development and makes the world go round. Throughout history, humans went from exchanging sea shells, stone tools, coins made of rare metals to eventually using banknotes attached to the gold standard. And since the recent development of fintech, humanity might be on the verge of yet another history-changing moment. As the number of fintech startups continues to grow, the world of financial services is experiencing the never-before-seen level of evolution.

    To keep up with the times CFA Association Russia and EY held a four-hour seminar themed around fintech and the future of banks. Four speakers were invited to the EY office on Saturday to share their expertise on the issues of fintech.

    Alexander Filatov, a member of B&N Bank’s board of directors, and Dmitry Khamrakulov, a managing director of VTB Bank, gave the first presentation of the seminar. Alexander and Dmitry dove into the details of cryptocurrency and explained how the digital payment system could affect the traditional banking sector.


    Above: Alexander Filatov (on the left) and Dmitry Khamrakulov

    According to the speakers, with the development of fintech companies, the banking sector in the future is expected to take a hit. Only a small fraction of banks will be able to compete with new technology, and even then they would be extremely specialized only in certain areas of the industry

    “That’s why banks should be trying to come up with new technological solutions even faster than Google,” said Alexander, questioning whether it is even possible to think that banks could outmatch the global Internet giant.

    Next was Yuri Gusev, CFA, from EY Russia's Valuation and Advisory team. In his presentation, Yuri talked about the results of a study that focused on the development of the fintech industry in Russia. The audience was eager to hear about the findings of EY experts.


    Above: Yuri Gusev, CFA

    In contrast with other countries, large Russian banks, such as Sberbank, Alfabank, Otkrytie and Tinkoff, are actively involved in the development of fintech and often are first to provide cutting-edge services to their clients. For example, the EY study revealed that last year 20.6 million people were using Sberbank’s online banking app. To put this into perspective, 20 million is the population of Sweden, Norway, and Finland put together.

    “We probably won’t have plastic [cards] in 10 years, because everything will be in our phones,” Yuri quoted Oleg Tinkov, a famous Russian entrepreneur and the founder of Tinkoff Bank. Indeed, the data from the study shows that the global society is quickly moving toward this idea.

    Last but not least, Dmitry Kalaev from the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) told how emerging tech companies could receive financial help from his company. Founded in 2013, IIDF is a Russian capital venture fund that invests in tech start-ups in the early stages of development, thus helping young and talented IT-entrepreneurs develop their ideas.


    Above: Dmitry Kalaev

    Overall, the seminar turned out to be a success. Considering the amount of people that wanted to attend the seminar, CFA Russia is planning to put together a longer and more detailed two-day training course on fintech. Stay tuned for more information.

  • 22 Jun 2017 7:16 PM | Nikolai Pavlov (Administrator)

    Thomson-Reuters in cooperation with CFA Association Russia held a morning seminar on the company’s existing products, their proper use, and how financial analysts could benefit from using them.

    During the event CFA Russia also broke the news that it has worked out an agreement with Thomson-Reuters based on which the members of CFA Russia will get a one-month free trial access to some of the company’s databases. 

    Furthermore, all companies that hire CFA Russia members will also receive discounts when purchasing Thomson-Reuters data analysis tools.


    The morning event, held at the Thomson-Reuters office, gathered over 30 financial professionals. There were three speakers from Thomson-Reuters at the seminar: Nikita Pavlov, the head of the capital and FX markets department, Ilya Parfenov, an AIM client specialist advisor, and Ekaterina Morozova, a business development manager.

    Following a brief introduction by Vladimir Tutkevich, CFA Russia’s executive director, Nikita Pavlov took the floor. He began with an overview of the company and told a bit about the work of Thomson-Reuters’ office in Russia.

    “I’m very proud that the team from Russia creates products that are relevant for everyone in the world,” said Nikita.

    Ilya Parfenov was up next and focused on Datasteam, powerful Thomson-Reuters-built software that combines economic research and strategy development with analysis. According to Ilya, the program allows to bring together the “top-down” and “bottom-up” aspects of the investment workflow. Software also has strong analytical tools that provide critical data sources.


    After a short coffee-break, Ekaterina Morozova gave a short presentation on how to analyze the foreign exchange markets and effectively trade using Thomson-Reuters databases.

    On a final note, Vladimir Tutkevich said that the final details of the agreement between CFA Russia and Thomson-Reuters are currently being finalized and CFA Russia will disclose them within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more information. 

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