Saudi Arabia 2021 | FINANCE | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Kholoud Al Dosari, Executive Manager of CFA Society Saudi Arabia, on the organization's mandate, fiscal sustainability, and strategies for the year ahead.

What are CFA Society's main mandate and programs in the Kingdom?

CFA Society Saudi Arabia is a nonprofit organization, and we aim to promote the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence in the investment industry. We also work on building an active community of investment professionals through engaging the intellect and insights of our shared membership to achieve our mission. To do this, we start by providing our member base access to continued professional learning opportunities through workshops and seminars, networking events and conferences. As well as to access up to date industry research and informative reports. In addition, we work closely with the support of regulators to bridge the gap between objectives and implantation.

How does CFA contribute to the development of the young talent that is rising in the sector today?

The demand of local talent is casting light on the Importance of professional education and certificates that give practical knowledge and needed skills to the job market that go beyond formal higher education. What differentiates these certifications from university degrees, is that candidates' interest is usually ignited by practical experience rather than theorizing only. We support candidates in Saudi with access to discounted study martials, study groups and mentorship programs. One of our flagship programs is The CFA Institute Research Challenge, which is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. Participating students are tested on their analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills. They gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst. Local competitions are hosted by CFA Society Saudi Arabia. The winning university team from the local competition advances to middle east regional competitions then advance to the Global Final, where one team emerges as the global champion.

What will be the key factors in driving Saudi Arabia towards sustainable economic growth, lower unemployment rates, and fiscal sustainability in the short term?

I would say that theollaboration of stakeholders is key to the development of any ecosystem. Great initiatives and efforts are being deployed in the mission of developing the Financial sector in Saudi Arabia as part of the main pillars of Vision 2030. It is paramount that different stakeholders are communicating to avoid duplication of efforts. We are not reinventing the wheel; we are simply enhancing its efficiency. This leads to accelerated progress and innovation.

What will be the major trends driving the evolution of the Kingdom's fiscal sector in the medium term?

In today's dynamic and ever-changing economic climate, innovation is less of a choice and more of business imperative. Similar to entrepreneurship, innovation requires a context of engagement and interconnection between people, stakeholders, and ecosystems in order to flourish – in other words an innovation ecosystem. A life example of this would be the agreement between CFA Society Saudi Arabia and TAQEEM, which grants CFA Charterholders a waiver for the TAQEEM examinations.

What are CFA Society's next strategic steps for the year ahead?

As a stakeholder of the investment industry, while being a nonprofit gives us a unique vantage point and position us to achieve our vision of an elevated financial industry. We look forward to continuing our efforts with the support of all industry stakeholders from regulators, employers and universities to actively contribute to the ultimate benefit of society.