Gulf Insider interviews Noorhan Al-Zan, Director and Habib Bushihri, Chair of Programs Committee of the CFA Society Bahrain.
What are the three most significant initiatives undertaken by the CFA Society to support members during this time?
Our existing programs were digitally transformed. We ran Zoom conferences, Instagram live sessions and collaborated with several e-learning platforms to allow continued learning, albeit virtually.Our members have access to some of the regions’ most renowned speakers addressing trending topics in finance, investment and career advancement.
Career mentorship is a big part of the Society’s work. How is that being continued?
Our flagship mentorship program ‘Qodwa’ (Arabic for role model), which puts into practice the philosophy of “Paying it forward” leverages the strength of our local community by pairing experienced CFA Charter holders with aspiring CFA candidates. The program has now been fully digitalized.
Is it challenging to lead when most things are being done virtually, and for most part, from home?
For many years now, we have been carrying out our administration and communication tasks virtually so our transformation here has not been drastic. Nonetheless, shifting our events and conferences to digital platforms has been a challenging aspect, but the team managed to successfully adapt to this shift.
To what extent would you say has COVID-19 affected the banking and finance industry?
The banking and finance industry has been affected due to the relief measures that include deferrals on credit facilities and lockdowns due to COVID-19. However, most of the banks and financial institutions were able to capitalize on their existing digital platforms to continue to serve the clients and support the economy.
What plans are you working on, currently?
The situation has really highlighted the value of collaboration, whether locally or cross border. We continue to leverage opportunities to partner and collaborate with some of the region’s finest providers to support our members with the latest learning, research and technical tools and platforms