Only one out of five financial and investment analysts in Kenya have been licensed to ply the trade by the industry regulator ahead of the June 7 deadline.
The Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (Icifa) says it has so far only issued 170 persons with practicing certificates out of the estimated 1,000 professionals in the industry.
“Upon expiry of the transition period on June 7, 2017, a list of persons registered as certified investment and financial analysts and holders of practicing certificates together with the names of practicing firms with authorised practitioners will be published,” the institute said in a notice.
Those found guilty of serving as financial analysts without a licence face a Sh500,000 fine and a two-year jail term for first-time offenders, while repeat offenders will be hit with a Sh1 million fine and a public reprimand in the Kenya Gazette and newspapers, the regulator warned.
The Investment and Financial Analysts Act (2015) — which came into operation on December 8, 2015 — was enacted to rein in rogue financial analysts, eliminate quacks and protect investor wealth.
Job Kihumba, Icifa chairman, called on securities analysts, research analysts, equity analysts, portfolio managers and investment advisers to take advantage of the lax requirements during this transitional period to apply for licences.
“We expect to register about 1,000 in the next one year,” Mr Kihumba told the Business Daily.
Currently, all those holding qualifications such as, Certified International Investment Analysts, Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Investment and Financial Analysts, regardless of experience, can be admitted as members.
Applicants must undergo integrity test and pay Sh10,000 in membership fees and a further Sh15,000 in annual practicing fee, according to the regulator.