Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury, Mr Henry Rotich;
Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority, Mr. James Ndegwa;
Board members from the Capital Markets Authority present;
Board members and the Chief Executive of the Nairobi Securities Exchange; 
Board members and the Chief Executive of the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation;
Chief Executives and representatives of Capital Markets intermediaries; 
Participating Capital Markets Exhibitors;
Members of the fourth Estate;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
All protocols observed:

Good morning.

On behalf of the Authority, I’d like to welcome you all to our third Annual Open Day. We are delighted to have organized this event once again, and indeed to have your presence here today.

Cognizant of your busy schedules and commitments, on behalf of the Authority, I express our sincere gratitude for the consistent support you have accorded our investor education and public awareness initiatives over the last few years. We are also grateful and honored that the Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury, Mr. Henry Rotich, took time out his busy schedule to be with us today.

Allow me to also recognize our new Chairman, Mr. James Ndegwa, and the new appointees to the Board of the Authority Ms. Linda Muriuki and Dr. Chris Kiptoo who will no doubt enrich the depth and drive of the Board of the Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Authority is convinced that financial literacy and empowerment help to inculcate individuals with the financial knowledge necessary to make strategic investment decisions and avoid the pitfalls associated with poor debt and savings management for their futures. In this context, one of our core mandates as a regulator is Investor Education and Public Awareness.

The Authority firmly believes that the best defense for investors against both market fluctuations and victimization by market misfeasance is an educated investor. That is, an investor who understands the importance of diversification, the trade-off between risk and return, and who appreciates that, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

We are therefore working to elevate investor education to the next level; where the public recognize not just opportunities, but warning signs; a level where investors act not just on instinct or rumours, but on the basis of solid information. It is in this regard that we organize events such as this Open Day where current and potential investors interact with the market players and receive pertinent information on wealth creation through the capital markets.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I indicated earlier, this is our third annual Open Day. The journey towards this event has been built on ever deepening consultations with stakeholders. The inaugural Open Day was held here at KICC in June of 2013. Over 30 exhibitors participated over the 3 days and approximately 3,000 members of the public visited the Open Day.

In 2014, the second Open day was held in March where forty exhibitors availed themselves for engagement and approximately 5,000 members of the public took up the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. The growing level of participation serves to highlight the considerable increase in interest in the capital markets in the country. It is this regard that we anticipate an even bigger and better turn out over the next 3 days.

I am pleased to inform you that in an effort to make the Open Day even more robust, this time round we have included several themed conferences which will run in parallel during the Open Day through to Saturday. Our goal for the conferences is to provide an opportunity for intermediaries, stakeholders, retail and institutional investors and potential issuers, to share their insights and engage in interactive discussions.

The themed conferences will be examining a range of topics of interest through a combination of key note presentations and panel discussions presided over by distinguished industry practitioners. These topics include: The Role of Capital Markets in Funding Vision 2030 Projects, On-going Developments in the Capital Markets, Capital Markets Products and Investing in the Capital Markets and a Stakeholder Consultative conference.

This approach stems from the understanding that the Open Day is not about the Authority but about bringing the capital markets to Kenyans.

Ladies and Gentlemen; This Open Day is part of a multi-faceted approach to our investor education awareness campaign. Our goal, is to reach out to investors wherever they are, ensuring that they have the information and background they need to make informed investment decisions.

We have adopted an evidence-based approach to identifying and addressing the financial education needs of Kenyans. This approach is informed by among other elements the Capital Markets Investor Profile Study we conducted last year as well as observations and feedback from forums we have undertaken in the past. The main thematic strategic areas arising therefrom include County Outreach, Structured Investment Group Forums, Youth outreach programs, National campaigns and outsourcing education programs to Resource Persons.

In this context I would like to highlight a number of key initiatives we are currently pursuing as part of this process.

  • To begin with; we are in the process of finalizing the recruitment of “Education outsourcing Resource persons” following public advertisements for expressions of interest which closed on April 7th, 2015. The initiative is an exciting opportunity for individuals with appropriate competencies to conduct investor education speaking engagements designed by the Authority across the counties. The main objective of this initiative is to increase awareness and participation in the capital markets by effectively engaging the various constituents throughout the country.
  • Secondly, the Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) (the financial sector examinations provider for the City of London) for the introduction of international certification standards in the capital markets industry in Kenya and hopefully the EAC. I am pleased to announce that based on the progress CISI on the development of the syllabus with a view to roll-out later in the year. This certification programme will ensure that practitioners in the capital markets industry have the requisite skills, operate with high standards and apply best practice as Kenya takes its position as the heart of African capital markets on the road to recognition as a competitive International Financial Centre
  • In addition; given that we cannot prosper as a nation economically unless there is integrity as well as confidence in our markets, the Authority, through the industry based Capital Markets Corporate Governance Steering Committee has finalized a Corporate Governance Code that is awaiting enactment. This Code is the product of extensive engagement and rigorous input fromkey stakeholders and global corporate governance experts. This Code is expected to further empower the Authority to play our pivotal role in enhancing transparency and accountability in our markets to ensure we become a true investment destination of choice on the continent.

All this, I hasten to add, is informed by the Capital Markets Master Plan, which charts the strategic positioning and future direction of the Kenyan capital markets over the next 10 years. I am pleased to inform you that the various Capital Markets Master Plan Working Groups have already hit the ground running under the guidance of the Implementation Committee to ensure the aspirations of the plan come to fruition.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Following each event of this nature, we ask participants for their feedback and suggestions for future events. We have received consistently positive feedback about previous Open Days which continue to inform further improvement. We will therefore again be looking to engage attendees in some interesting and interactive panel discussions. Your views are important to us and are taken into account in developing our agenda.

In closing. I would like to register my appreciation to all the intermediaries, stakeholders, and my team, for their concerted efforts in making this event possible. I am confident that this partnership will continue as we embark on serval planned initiatives in future. The fruits of what we are embarking on as an industry will trully be realized in days, months and years to come. Once again let me welcome everyone to the Capital Markets Open Day 2015. I wish you all a rewarding experience.

With those few remarks, it is my pleasure to invite the Authority’s Chairman, Mr. James Ndegwa to make his remarks and invite the Cabinet Secretary to Officially Open this Open Day event.

Thank you.

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