The convocation featured speakers with deep expertise and rich experience in the finance domain. The speakers included Mr. ISN Prasad, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, Finance Dept., Government of Karnataka, Dr. Emandi Sankara Rao, MD & CEO, IFCI Limited, Mr. Raja Kumar IRS, Founder & CEO, Ascent Capital Advisors, Prof. KRS Murthy, Advisor, Brickwork Finance Academy and former Director of IIMB, Mr. Vivek Kulkarni, IAS (Retd), President of Brickwork Finance Academy and Mr. D Ravishankar, Founder Director of Brickwork Ratings.
Welcoming the gathering, Mr. Vivek Kulkarni, gave an overview of the Academy’s activities - a non-profit organization intending to develop leaders with a deep understanding of finance. He said, “The Academy has completed seven successful years of the certification program and has stepped into the eighth year. The professional value of the program has helped attract students and professionals from reputed backgrounds. Only 5% of the applicants secured admission into the program this year. Many students have joined reputed organizations after graduating from here”
Delivering the Inaugural Address, Prof. KRS Murthy, widely respected as a doyen of academia, highlighted the implications of the current turbulence in the financial sector for rating agencies. He emphasized the need for developing intelligence backed by facts that could promote a high order intellect and foster wisdom in decision making. The Banking and Financial Analyst program is a focused way to fulfill the needs of aspiring finance professionals. Over the years, this program has developed concise and precise materials focused on emerging requirements. It has developed a tested methodology to provide working executives and young analysts the essentials of the art of finance and practical application through case studies in credit and equity markets.
In his Keynote Address, Mr. Raja Kumar IRS, quoting from his vast accomplished exposure, cautioned the young minds of the surprises that might humble the confidence level, despite the decorated qualifications that one might possess. He said that only a small percentage of highly accredited fund managers have been successful notwithstanding the wherewithal knowledge level. He made a passionate appeal highlighting importance of fact based approach to life that would keep at good stead, come what may. Drawing analogy from the medical profession, he highlighted the importance of data integrity for Rating decisions just as the diagnosis reports helps the doctors to give the right prescription.
Delivering the Convocation Address, Dr. Emandi Sankara Rao, gave an incisive account of the Dynamic and competitive trends in the financial markets. He said, "Integrated risk focused processes & policies to be adopted with great emphasis on analytical simulations, develop dynamic and flexible corporate planning in line with the market conditions, and prevailing policies & regulations, constant innovation and planned execution are the keys to navigating the current turbulence with a success. Young finance graduates should master ways to effectively use technology and AI to simulate meaningful business and risk scenarios and generate insights that support sound, informed decisions."
Mr. ISN Prasad IAS, in his Presidential Address, drew attention to the sensitive role played by Rating Agencies that has far reaching impact on the economy and investors. He made a passionate appeal to the young budding Analysts, to uphold utmost integrity and work ethics and to be honest to themselves as well as with others.
According to Mr. D Ravishankar, “The Banking and Financial Analyst program focuses on Credit, Investment and Risk Management and other areas of finance for building domain knowledge in the practical aspects that are required for a financial analyst. The pass outs helps students to take up a career in the financial services industry, such as Banks, Mutual Funds, Investment Banks, Insurance companies and other financial intermediaries".
Mr. Saurabh Agarwal, the topper of the Class of 2019, formerly Senior Manager & Branch Head with Federal Bank said, ”I resigned from my previous organization, where I was working on SME credit proposals, to join the Banking and Financial Analyst program of Brickwork Finance Academy. This program provided me exposure to nuances of Corporate Finance, Derivatives, Public Finance, Risk Management and Economics. After getting through the rigorous yet fruitful year long program, I now feel confident of working on large corporate proposals and can efficiently relate myself to the ever growing and fast changing world of Finance.”
The Class of 2019 comprised of, primarily Postgraduates - CA, CFA, MBA, etc. from reputed B-Schools such as XLRI Jamshedpur, IIM Kozhikode, NIT – Suratkal, Symbiosis–Pune and SP Jain (Dubai). About 78% of the candidates are MBAs/Post Graduates, 18% have passed various levels of CA, CFA-US and the remaining 5% are undergraduates. These students are from reputed organizations such as Bank of Baroda, Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, Wipro, Emirates National Bank, Barclays etc.
The current Class of 2020 also has enrolments of experienced finance professionals from reputed organizations such as State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Federal Bank, ICICI, S&P etc. The student community comprised of CAs, CFA-US and MBAs from top B-Schools such as Xavier Institute, NMIMS, Christ University, Manipal Institute Great Lakes, and University of Bath, UK - 67% are MBAs, 30% are CA/CFA–US and 3% are undergraduates.