Neil Withers, CFA, Consultant, President CFA Association Russia.
Neil’s long career in investment and commercial banking spans both Canada and Russia. My earliest jobs were all about domestic and international equity investments and I obtained my CFA designation in 1979 to improve my ability to analyze equities and to improve my credibility with investing clients. This was essential to my career opportunities (my boss said I had to do it). As well as being a research analyst with two Canadian brokerage companies, I spent a dozen years with each of Canada’s two largest commercial banks (Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) including time in investor relations, controllership, financial strategy, and marketing.
A 3 year World Bank project brought me to Russia twenty years ago, but after the crisis of 1998 (and the project’s collapse), I stayed in Moscow, working with Bank Vozrozhdenie for 10 years. As Senior VP at VTB and VP at Promsvyazbank, I headed their Investor Relations teams in both equity and debt issuance. I have also worked on the investment banking side as Vice Chairman of Silkroutefinancial and Senior Advisor Russia at STJ Advisors. In recent years I have been an independent consultant in investor relations and corporate governance. I became President of CFA Russia 4 years ago.
Statement of Intention:
My intention is to work with the Board to provide guidance and assistance to the Executive Director of the Association as we enhance CFA as a well-recognized brand in Russia and establish a sense of community among CFA members and others who work in the financial sphere. We must encourage CFA candidates and graduates to become part of this community. The establishment of a comprehensive and stable financial market in Russia is essential for the country, its businesses and its people to achieve the potential prosperity and sound society which should flow from its natural and human resources. Professionalism and strong ethics are essential to this task. By becoming a larger CFA society, we can collectively make a significant difference.