UCCI launching investment intro certificate

Have you ever called for technical information about a service or product and realised that the person charged with handling your inquiries knows less about the thing than you do? You know the image the firm has thus given you. You can imagine the frustration of eager employees who would like to have deeper knowledge of the things and services the firm is providing.

This is particularly true for the financial services industry.

Employers in the financial services industries in the Cayman Islands have expressed a desire to upgrade the knowledge base of the employees who do not have university business degrees but who, nonetheless, are worth investing tuition and their employees’ Friday afternoons (and Saturdays) towards their human resources capital.

It seems that many employees are quite efficient at performing the narrow tasks required by financial managers but have little knowledge of, e.g., what the various securities actually are, how markets work, the concepts of risk and return to individual investments and portfolios, etc..

The University College of the Cayman Islands has teamed up with The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment to provide a set of four certificates, (a) Introduction to Investment—International, (b) Investment Management—International, (c) Risk in Financial Services, and (d) Wealth Management—International. Each course allows the finance student to take the London-based CISI exam for that certificate at the college’s approved secure online testing facility. Anyone who earns certificates for all four of the courses offered via UCCI will be additionally awarded a diploma by the college.

The foundation course, Introduction to Investment, will commence 4 February and continues until 14 May for 104 contact hours. The student will be introduced to (a) the financial services industries, (b) economic environment, (c) financial assets and markets, (d) equities, (e) bonds, (f) derivatives, (g) investment funds, (h) financial services regulation, (i) other financial products, and (j) taxation and trusts.

How many of our financial services employees could pass the following quiz?

Gincom plc has 20p nominal value shares trading @ £5.54, current year earnings of £1.05, and a dividend of 15p. What is Gincom’s dividend yield?

What is inflation?

How does The People’s Bank of China differ from The Federal Reserve (US)?

What does the BSE Sensex measure?

What must the price of the underlying asset do for a put to decrease in value?

What is systematic risk?

On what day would a share price normally be expected to fall by the amount of the dividend?

What is an interest in possession trust?

What aspect of lending did early Christians and today’s Muslims find not “kosher” and how do banks accommodate clients needing an ijara arrangement?

Which type of life insurance policies contains a savings vehicle?

What is the relationship between yields and prices of bonds?

What’s the difference between GDP and GNP?

What is an ETF?

What is a Fonds Commun de Placement?

What, if any, effect on its balance sheet does the doubling of a firm’s stock price have?

From a career development perspective, employees in the financial services sector, as in many others of sophistication, are required to have increasing amounts of general knowledge of securities, markets, economics, law and accounting. They are acutely aware that the global competitiveness in the industry will put greater demands on their education. The CISI certificates are portable as they are internationally recognised.

From a marketing perspective, customers of high-end products or services demand each person with whom they interact, have greater familiarity across functions. For example, the best hospitals employ nurses who know something of the contraindications of medicines regularly prescribed by the doctors. Obviously a patient who can go on the world market for health care does not expect to encounter employees with a “not-my-job” attitude. The Introduction to Investment course could be required of all employees of the Cayman Islands who have contact with external investors, fund managers, regulators and others.

From a human resources perspective, firms of excellence look for ways to help keep their employees current and to improve their human capital, whether in times of expansion or when faced with selective retention. UCCI is proud to meet such needs of local firms in the financial services industry.

Class times are conveniently scheduled for Saturdays and Friday afternoons in the Executive Training Center above the UCCI Library. Nearly all of the sessions will be taught by seasoned college instructors and professors of finance, economics, law, and accounting. A few sessions of regulatory specialisation will be covered by recognised professionals in the field.

For details, contact Diane Campbell, deputy registrar-Executive Training Programs; 
623-0546; dcampbell@ucci.edu.ky

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