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Regulator names 531 financial analysts to weed out quacks

Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo who is among the 531 Icifa members. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo who is among the 531 Icifa members. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (Icifa) has gazetted the names of 531 members as it moves to tighten professionalism in the financial services industry.

The members include financial analysts, dealers, fund managers and owners of brokerage and advisory firms, including industry veterans such as Jimnah Mbaru of Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Bob Karina of Faida Investment Bank, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo and Kenya School of Monetary Studies executive director Prof Kinandu Muragu.

The professional body was mooted in a bid to rein in rogue advisors and dealers, who are a threat to investors’ wealth entrusted to their respective firms. 

The registration as members now opens the door for more financial and investment analysts to apply for practising licences.

The uptake of the licences had started off on a slow note after the law commenced in December 2015, with Icifa saying that just one in five analysts had applied for a licence by April this year.

“No person shall practise as a certified investment and financial analyst unless the person is registered as a certified investment and financial analyst and holds a practising certificate or an annual licence,” reads the Investment and Financial Analysts Act in part.

Those found guilty of serving as financial analysts without a licence face a Sh500,000 fine and two-year jail term for first-time offenders.

Repeat offenders will be hit with a Sh1 million fine and a public reprimand in the Kenya Gazette and newspapers.

Icifa is also empowered to take disciplinary action against rogue financial analysts found in breach of fiduciary duty.

However, government employees engaged in investment and financial analysts such as those at the Treasury and Central Bank of Kenya are exempted from seeking a practising certificate.

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