FCA CEO confirms CISI’s “incredibly important role” & CISI CEO says “act like a charity, think like a business” is secret of success

by | May 9, 2022

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The CISI plays an incredibly important role, often below the radar, in helping to boost the development of financial services education and skills, both in the UK and emerging markets, says Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the FCA.

Mr Rathi (pictured) was speaking at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) 30th anniversary dinner at Guildhall, London 5 May 2022.

Nikhil Rathi – CEO of the FCA

Mr Rathi confirmed the importance of digital skills for both CISI members and FCA staff, promising that every module of FCA staff training, will contain a digital upskilling element.

He also mentioned ESG training and the FCA’s focus on diversity and inclusion across financial services, saying: “Too often, financial services organisations and leaders hire in their own image. We are changing at the FCA. And we have warned this sector that firms that do not embrace diversity of thought will struggle to serve the needs of a diverse customer base and manage conduct risk effectively.”


In his concluding remarks, Mr Rathi stated that both “the CISI and the FCA have a similar function: to boost knowledge, skills and steer professionals towards acting with integrity.”

Founded from the London Stock Exchange in 1992, 330 CISI members and dignitaries joined the in-person event from throughout the UK, the Gulf, Sri Lanka, Africa and Asia.

CISI CEO Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI, standing down in September this year, outlined some of the key highlights from his 18 years as Chief Executive. He recognised the important contribution from the professional body’s first ever Chair Graham Ross Russell, and Clare Gore-Langton, an original trustee.


Highlights in the not-for-profit professional body’s last 30 years include its Colombo office opening in 2011, the introduction of integrity tests for members in 2012 which over 80,000 professionals have now taken, becoming part of the tri-partite Chartered Body Alliance (CBA) and launching its first joint qualification Certificate in Climate Risk in 2019, introducing remote exam invigilation in 2021, launching a member App in 2021 with over 13,000 downloads and having 73 global jurisdictions recognise CISI’s exams.

Mr Culhane said: “After 18 years, in a few months’ time I step down as CEO and a number of people have asked me what the secret of the Institute’s success is? Firstly, I would say “Act like a charity but think like a business”, always remembering that the Institute is an objective maximising, not a profit maximising, organisation.

Our people have been a major part of our success over the years. We have over 1,000 volunteer practitioners who play a critical role in providing crucial, relevant and topical knowledge transfer, tested in our exams, and written in our workbooks. Others run regions, organise talks, provide the glue of fellowship, whilst others sit on our committees and forums. All are critical parts of our infrastructure, and all donate their time voluntarily.


“Our 200 hundred staff, of whom half work outside the UK, are integral to our success. It is their professionalism, their energy, their nimbleness and their creativity, which have enabled the Institute to adapt, respond, grow and flourish. It’s been a privilege to have worked with both groups for almost two decades.”

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