Our first foray into the Finanzmesse
By Steve Rodgers CFA
The 22nd staging of Switzerland’s largest financial fair was held on January 21st and 22nd this year. The Finanz’20 event is combined with the real estate focused IMMO’20 event and thanks to more than 170 national and international exhibitors and 3’800 visitors, the event organizers managed to surpass last year’s figures.
This is the first year CFA Society Switzerland decided to participate in the event and we were honoured to have Margaret Franklin CFA, CEO of CFA Institute serve as a keynote speaker for the event the afternoon of January 21. She was interviewed by Eunice Zehnder-Lai, a member of the board of Julius Baer Group, among others.
Margaret shared her views on several important themes facing the finance industry today as well as into the future: low return environment, the impacts of digitalization and artificial intelligence, Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG), as well as changes in diversity and inclusion, including important efforts to increase the number of women in positions of influence. Margaret also referenced and highlighted some of the excellent work done by the CFA Research Institute including the Investment Professional of the Future, and the ESG Investing Guide for Investment Professionals. Margaret’s thoughts and insights were very well received and appreciated.
On the second day of the conference, Jian Shi Cortesi CFA, CFA Society Switzerland board member, and an expert on the Chinese technology sector who works as Investment Director at GAM Investment Management served on a very engaging two person panel titled Chinese vs. US tech – Who will win the loser’s game? She presented the case for Chinese tech based on the enormous size of the Chinese market alone, as well as the rapid recent and potential growth of China’s largest tech firms, including other factors. Her counterpart Julien Leegenhoek, a U.S. tech expert from UBP, made the case for the very strong competitive advantages Silicon Valley has historically and continues to have, as well as the truly global presence of U.S. tech firms vs their Chinese counterparts, among other factors.
CFA Society Switzerland as a sponsor of the Finanzmesse, also had a booth at the large event facility which was held at StageOne in Oerlikon. The booth was staffed full-time both days 10am to 5pm by the society staff members Chris Dreyer, Jeffrey Anhut, Sabine Feierabend, Michelle Knecht, and Mirjana Wojtal as well as on a part-time basis by several society board members, committee members and other CFA members and volunteers. There were a great number of visitors to the booth, with tremendous interest in the CFA charter program as well as on all ESG-related topics, including CFA Institutes publications and the new Certificate in ESG Investing being offered by CFA Society United Kingdom.
For a first time participant in Finanzmesse, CFA Switzerland achieved its main goals of raising awareness about the society and the CFA designation as well as highlighting the very strong industry expertise CFA Institute has both in its leadership as well as in its leading publications. We’re looking forward to next year’s event!