CFA Institute is the largest association of investment professionals in the world. They have more than 135,000 members in 150 countries/territories. Therefore, one can imagine when they host a conference, it will have the most celebrated speakers. When FLAME University offered to send selected students to attend the conference hosted by CFA Institute, we were jubilant. We could not contain our enthusiasm when we saw the list of speakers, whom we would be meeting up close and personal. There were prominent speakers such as Mr. Jayesh Gandhi (Portfolio Manager, Birla Sun Life), Mr. Sunil Singhania (CIO, Reliance Mutual Fund), renowned valuation guru Prof. Aswath Damodaran (NYU Stern School of Business), Mr. Manoj Pradhan (Global Economist, Morgan Stanley) and many more eminent personalities from around the globe.
Thousands of people wanted to attend, but the event capacity was of 500 people. We were lucky to be among them, thanks to FLAME University.
The main event speakers were leading industry experts who provided incredible insights and wisdom.
- Robert P. Browne, CFA, CIO with Northern Trust, gave key insights on global asset allocation, his past investing mistakes and what would the investment theme be in 2016 and beyond.
- Ashvin B. Chhabra, President Euclidean and author of the famous book ‘The Aspirational Investor’ highlighted what the nature of an investor’s portfolio should be. He explained it should have ‘three baskets’, safety, keeping up, and aspiring. He also spoke on careful allocation of risk in an individual’s portfolio and stressed on its importance.
- John Kay, visiting professor of Economics, LSE, provided an overview on the need for ethical and swift corporate culture. He emphasized on the importance of having a lean financial system in an economy to attract investors from around the globe. This helps the financial chain to run smoothly by providing cheap resources to the most efficient organizations.
- Manoj Pradhan, Senior Economist, Morgan Stanley focused his talks on the analysis that he had conducted recently. It concluded that the future 30 years are not going to be like the past 30, in terms of the economic structure as well as the business themes around the globe.
- The most awaited event of the day was the speech given by Prof. Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance, Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He presented his views on the corporate lifecycle. He had the most interesting views on how to value and analyze a new and young company such as Uber and Twitter as well as mature companies such as Apple and Microsoft. “Every business is born, matures and declines. Every number should tell a story and every story should relate to a number. Number crunchers shouldn’t diminish the value of storytelling; let’s go, tell stories!” Damodaran said during his speech.
- Pranay Gupta, CFA, Director, Curriculum Projects, CFA Institute was the final speaker. He methodically provided guidance on the framework that an investor could use on multi asset allocation.
The speakers were a power house of investment knowledge. The knowledge gained from them, will remain with the listeners till their life time. The fluidity in which they explained, the practical examples and anecdotes they gave made it so simple. We understood the most complex theories in a matter of an hour. Extremely grateful to FLAME University for providing this opportunity to their students.