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
Mr. 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.
Mr. 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.
Mr. 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.
Mr. 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!” Prof. Damodaran said during his
Mr. 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
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.
– Vikas Gupta.