Promoting pooled funds: CFA Capital Market Awards propel unit trust fund management to the forefront

As the ninth annual CFA Capital Market Awards scheduled for 29 June 2022 draws nearer, CFA Society Sri Lanka takes the opportunity to review the award winners from last year.

The Best Unit Trust Fund Award is among five major accolades presented at the CFA Capital Market Awards, with the objective of recognizing and rewarding fund management companies that place unit holders’ interests first, promote better compliance and transparency for investors, and encourage the adoption of best practices in asset management. JB Vantage Value Equity Fund was conferred the title of Best Unit Trust Fund at the 2021 CFA Capital Market Awards.

The past decade has seen unit trusts come to the very forefront, set against a backdrop of improved financial literacy around the industry, more knowledgeable fund managers and better reporting.

Christine Dias Bandaranaike, CEO and Portfolio Manager at JB Financial, comments: “Over the last 10 years, there has been a much greater increase in the number of firms in the industry offering unit trusts in Sri Lanka, the number of funds available and the level of competition in delivering returns to investors.”

JB Financial entered the space in 2011, and is also the first and so far only unit trust manager in the country to be Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) compliant.

Dias Bandaranaike notes that the CFA Society Sri Lanka has also played an active role in striving to improve governance, particularly with regard to corporate reporting, disclosures and the external relations companies maintain with investors in the market.

The JB Financial team’s triumph at the CFA Capital Market Awards – on three occasions including in 2021 – is a reflection of its belief that apart from providing sound returns to investors, going the extra mile with transparency, governance and the like, enabled it to win Gold in the Best Unit Trust Fund category.

Dias Bandaranaike explains that “the annual CFA Capital Market Awards offers firms an opportunity to be introspective, to look at what we are doing right and what we can improve; it provides those who participate with an incentive to strive to be better.”

She concludes by identifying areas where CFA can do more to improve the standards of the unit trust industry: “Globally, pooled funds, whether in the form of unit trusts or mutual funds, have prospered due to being tied to two elements: the retirement savings industry and some form of tax sheltering. But in Sri Lanka, we have neither. This is something that CFA Sri Lanka must advocate for, where there is a locked retirement planning system in place.”

CFA Institute is a global association of investment professionals offering the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Its Sri Lankan membership of over 240 members consists of CEOs, CFOs, portfolio managers, equity analysts, banking professionals, investment advisors, and other senior-ranking financial practitioners.


Author: shehan

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