Colombo, 17 July 2021:CFA Society Sri Lanka is honoured to be conferred the CFA Society Excellence Award for Impact and Innovation (APAC Region), which recognizes high impact and highly innovative initiatives that have potential for development, with the local chapter winning the award for its innovative solutions to aid students during the pandemic period.

While the Candidate Council (CC) of the CFA Society Sri Lanka was established to assist local CFA Program candidates in their exam preparation, and to help grow and build a sense of community, amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and an ensuing nationwide lockdown, activities were disrupted, with no readily available contingency plan. As such, key challenges included the delivery of exam preparation activities, as well as increased financial challenges, and anxiety faced by candidates.

In a bid to address these challenges, the CC swiftly restructured its activities by converting exam preparation sessions to webinars within a week of health restrictions being imposed, to provide uninterrupted support, which was deemed to be a top priority since the June 2020 examination was not expected to be deferred.

It also set up an easy payment scheme with a leading bank in Sri Lanka – which converted CFA Program enrolment and exam fees to a 0% interest instalment plan, considered a first among CFA societies – along with responding to soaring candidate inquiries through multiple channels, including social media and WhatsApp.

Notably, the CC was able to organise the highest number of events in its history during the year, and offered benefits and services beyond its usual offerings to assist local candidates navigate their way through a difficult period.

With the experience gained through conducting online events, the CC also led other committees to conduct key society virtual events including the first ever livestreamed local Research Challenge finals confidently. The positive impact of such initiatives was made evident through a marked increase in the Candidate Council membership uptake, which reached an all-time high during the period with membership registrations increasing by 20% YoY by the end of FY20 and further increasing to 58% YoY for FY21 YTD.

Managing Director of Global Society Relations at CFA Institute Randi Tolber, CFA, , commented that the judges felt these innovations “were outstanding and unique, and extremely helpful for your goal of developing future investment management professionals” . CFA Society Sri Lanka plays an integral role in helping us fulfil our shared mission and we are proud you are part of our community.”

CFA Society Sri Lanka President Dinesh Warusavitharana further highlighted the significance of the award, stating that “this accolade recognizes the commitment of our Charterholders, staff members and volunteers to give back to society by assisting CC members in a pressing time of need, and reaffirms our continued focus on creating an ever-stronger sense of community among Charterholders and candidates.”

Moreover, CFA Society Sri Lanka CEO Aruna Alwis noted: “At the very outset, I wish to thank Director and Candidate Council Chair Travis Gomez, CFA, Coordinator Sandunika Perera and the team of the CFA Society Sri Lanka, for their tireless efforts in supporting and guiding future CFA charterholders. This award recognizes their dedication and commitment towards the professional development of our society and the country.”

The Society Awards Programme is conducted annually by CFA Institute to recognize the achievements of CFA societies worldwide and charterholder volunteers.

The Impact and Innovation award category is focused on recognizing societies executing high impact and highly innovative initiatives that have strong potential for widespread society interest and further development. Society initiatives are evaluated based on the impact of the initiative, its uniqueness, innovativeness, potential to replicate and success measurement.