Starting June 2010, the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), a division of the Securities & Exchanges Board of India (Sebi), will conduct the certification programme for professionals planning to enter the mutual funds industry.
So far, the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) has been deciding the syllabus and accepting registration formalities.
But now that the Sebi wants to bring all financial products certification programmes under one umbrella, the Amfi certification too will shift. “From June 1, 2010, the NISM will conduct the Amfi Certification,” A P Kurian, chairman of Amfi, who is retiring in September 2010, told DNA Money.
Amfi has not been able to update the regulatory blitzkrieg that the Sebi has bombarded the mutual fund industry with, since early 2009. The last update on the Amfi syllabus was done in 2006, after which a lot has changed on the Indian mutual fund slate.
Professor G Sethu, Sebi officer on special duty & in-charge of NISM, told DNA Money, “Amfi had last updated its syllabus some years ago and it is now time to include recent changes. In the regular case, Amfi itself would have done it, but we will do it now.”
Asked whether the registration for examination will change, Sethu said, “That procedure may change. We have not decided on it. Maybe the registration can come directly from Amfi.”
“We have to incorporate the changes that have taken place when we start looking at the workbook. They (the syllabus committee) will have to make it up to date,” Sethu added without defining the regulatory changes that would be adopted in the new version.
Until December 31, 2009, the Amfi certified 1.98 lakh individuals, of which 1.014 lakh have been registered as mutual fund agents.
It is learnt that NISM will continue to use the test administrators that the Amfi has been utilizing, which include the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange.
“The Amfi workbook covers what matters. However, we would be reviewing it for clarity, focus and current relevance after changes over a period of time. Objectives will reflect these changes.
Generally reviewing the syllabus of any certification is an annual feature, but in case of significant changes we might decide to review it when required,” said an NISM official not willing to be named.
Presently, the NISM conducts certification programmes for intermediaries in currency derivatives, registrar and transfer agents for stocks and registrar and share transfer agents for mutual funds.
The objective of the NISM is developing certification examinations for professionals employed in various segments of the Indian securities markets.
A newsletter of NISM stated early this year, “Of these NISM will shortly be launching Compliance (stock brokers) Certification Examination. NISM is also currently developing the course material for interest rate derivatives examination.”