What businesses thought of Claritas

Firms piloting the CFA Institute’s latest offering share their views on the impact it has made


ALISON Naylor is learning and development business partner at Aviva Investors. Although the firm already provides a lot of internal training, Naylor says the business saw in Claritas an opportunity to “top up” the financial knowledge of some of its non-investment staff. The course was piloted with employees from the UK, Dubai and Luxembourg across a broad range of investment support roles within the human resources, operations, legal and finance departments. “Working in human resources myself, I also took part in the pilot course,” says Naylor. “I experienced first-hand an enhanced level of communication and an improved ability to understand what’s going on in the business. It’s certainly added to my professional credibility.” She adds that Aviva Investors would be happy to support other staff through the programme, if it fitted in with their personal development plan. “But it’s not right for everyone,” she says. Claritas falls short of providing the prerequisite knowledge required for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam, so the IMC would be more appropriate for professionals looking to reach this standard.


ABRAHAM Harris is an analyst in the global talent management team at BlackRock. He says that the reputation of the CFA Institute was a key factor in its decision to pilot the programme. “We work very closely with the Institute, given the importance of the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification to our business,” he says. “The backing of the Institute gives Claritas an additional level of global credibility that made it very attractive to our firm.” The programme was piloted on staff in areas like human resources, technology, operations and global communications, and Harris says the business is now hoping to make it widely available. While formal feedback results haven’t been collected yet, Harris says that, anecdotally, he’s noticed an improvement in internal communication and a better understanding among support staff of what BlackRock does and how their role fits in. When asked if he thought Claritas would be appropriate for smaller companies, Harris answered, “Definitely – it’s not just companies of BlackRock’s size that would benefit from a foundation level of knowledge. It’s important for the entire investment industry.”


ALEX Nicholson is senior learning and development adviser at Legal & General Investment Management. His business piloted the programme on staff working in IT, operations, human resources and corporate governance. Nicholson notes that the programme would be a good supplement or precursor to the Investment Management Certificate (IMC), which is typically taken before the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I qualification. “The IMC is geared more towards understanding the current regulations,” he says, “whereas Claritas has a broader scope and helps professionals new to the industry understand the jargon. I think they work well together.” Legal & General supports all of its investment graduates through the IMC and CFA exams, but Nicholson says he could envision Claritas being taught to apprentices or graduates going into roles outside of the front office. Nicholson says that a key improvement since piloting the programme is a better understanding among employees of the industry. “Front line professionals are now able to delegate with confidence, freeing their minds up to generate revenue.”