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CFA Institute's India Investment Conference

By Saneil Shah

11th January, 2013



The India Investment Conference 2013 was kicked off by John Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, CFA Institute. He spoke about the lost in trust in the markets to allocate capital and risk after the global financial crisis in 2008.


The CFA Institute has recently launched Claritas Investment Certificate (learn more), which is a comprehensive global education program designed to give employees in the investment industry a clear understanding of their industry and their responsibilities within it. (DG has started a new discussion thread on Claritas in the Forum)


The conference had an impressive line of speakers and had some very insightful panel discussions. The first speaker was Roger Urwin, Global Head of Investment Content, Towers Watson. This session was moderated by Navneet Munot, Fund Manager at SBI. Roger spoke about investing in the new financial order. The interesting part of his speech was the new way to calculate the cost of capital (the denominator in DCF models) keeping CAPM in the background and emphasizing on CPI.


The second speaker was renowned author Satyajit Das, an expert in quantitative finance. Though Satyajit didn’t have a positive outlook for the global economy, he was quite optimistic about the Indian economy. He spoke about its potential if we were past the self-inflicted political hurdles. The Q&A session was very interestingly conducted by Ajit Ranade, President and Chief Economist of the Aditya Birla Group with quite a few sharp questions.


The next speaker was Prof. Aswath Damodaran who is globally known for his books on Valuation. His session was the highlight of the conference. He put across some ideas that can help any investor. For example, he said that to be a decent investor you have to understand yourself well and not try to replicate Warren Buffet’s investment philosophy. Each person has different personality traits and a varied risk appetite. Prof. Damodaran also taught us a range of analytical tools and valuation metrics with a good emphasis on price.


The next session had some stalwarts from the financial industry like Raamdeo Agarwal, Ridham Desai, Sunil Sighania and Prashant Jain. It was a very lively session as the panelists were candid with their opinion about the current economic scenario. There also discussed about their investment strategies for this year.


Overall this edition of the CFA Institute’s India Investment Conference lived up to its reputation of being one of the best investment conferences in India. Most speakers seemed to agree that post the financial crisis, the investment industry needs to revisit the existing business models. The conference gave enough food for thought on how the financial industry can recover its reputation and instill confidence in the investor’s mind.

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