The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), a professional body for securities and investment industry professionals, has set up its first African office in Nairobi, Kenya.

The new office will be headed by Kimacia Gitau ACSI. Gitau will work with Alice Jurjens, who has been serving at CISI in Kenya for the last 18 months on a part-time basis.

“I am excited to be working with the CISI, with the aim of actively promoting the benefits of holding CISI exams, building a membership network and community in Kenya and, more widely, in the East African community. We are currently working with the CMA on a continuing professional development (CPD) programme to support our qualified professionals,” Gitau noted.

CISI entered the African market in 2012, and secured regulatory nod for its exams across the continent’s 10 countries.

The organisation first built a presence in Kenya in 2014 through an agreement with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), and has been offering its exams as part of the Kenyan regulator’s Securities Industry Certification Programme.

In 2015, CMA employees passed the CISI International Introduction to Securities and Investment (Kenya) exam and the Regulations and Market Practice (Kenya) exam.

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More than 2,500 CISI exams have been conducted in Kenya till date. The pass rates for the first module were “significantly above the global average”, CISI said.

CISI global business development assistant director Helena Wilson said: “The CISI is proud to partner with the CMA and to help establish the Kenyan capital markets as a centre of excellence as well as a gateway for regional and international capital flows.”