jesús lopez zaballosDear friends,

I am proud of what EFFAS and its members have achieved so far from the strategic plan introduced in 2020. We have consolidated and strengthened relationships between EFFAS, its members, member societies and the relevant European organisations and regulators in our sphere of interests. There is still progress to be made and part of this can be achieved through the tireless work of the EFFAS Commissions. Our commissions have continued contributing to the debates and spreading our ideas on regulatory issues which affect our members’ daily decisions in the world of finance.

From our Commission on ESG came our ESG certifications which have performed beyond our expectations in recent years proving popular worldwide. This year will see the launch on www.effas-academy.com of the fully online version of our gold standard and fully updated CEFA programme, the eCEFA, and the new EFFAS Digital Assets & MiCA Programme (DiAM) to facilitate the spread of knowledge in assets based on blockchain technology such as digital or cryptoassets.

Best regards,

Dr. Jesús López Zaballos
EFFAS Chairman
1. The New Year brings further developments to our Federation
Since the start of the pandemic, the EFFAS EMC has increased the frequency of its meetings and its size, incorporating Mrs. Mette Lindbaek from the Finance Society Norway in 2021. This challenging period has motivated us to provide our members with all our professional training and certificate exams online. It is an ambitious project requiring effort and investment in which we are still immersed. With this process completed for the Certified ESG Analyst (CESGA) and the ESG Essentials programmes, 2023 will see the new EFFAS Digital Assets and MiCA (DiAM) going straight online followed by the digital version of the Certified European Financial Analyst (eCEFA). The CEFA has accumulated over 16,500 holders worldwide which we hope the eCEFA will add to.

The conferences offered by the experts in our commissions have also moved online or adopted a hybrid format. The CESG Annual Conference has now been held in a hybrid format since 2021 allowing it to also reach a wider audience.

New in 2023 will be our continued use of webinars to provide our members with a pan-European forum for discussion. While EFFAS member societies do excellent work in this area at the national level, the EFFAS webinars will include experts from our member societies and institutions at the European and international level and be accessible to all our members.

Face-to-face events return in 2023 with the EFFAS Summer school in Lisbon on 6-7 July. We will also begin with some new event formats such as the CESGA Congress, which emanates from the Spanish CESGA holders and will be held in Madrid on 26 May.

In the area of studies and papers, we have set ourselves the goal of publishing the White Book of European Capital Markets in 2023. More on this later.

If you would like to participate in our activities, check with your Society on how to become a member and learn about all the advantages membership will grant you!
2. EFFAS Welcomes Thorsten Mueller to the EFFAS EMC
EFFAS would like to welcome Thorsten Müller as the newest member of the Executive Management Committee (EMC) co-opted at the EMC Meeting in writing held on 5 December 2022.

Thorsten Müller, CIIA, CEFA, CeFM, Lighthouse Corporate Finance GmbH, is the current Chair of DVFA. Mr Müller joined the board of directors of the DVFA in 2018. At DVFA he has been involved in the topics of capital market unions, SMEs and ESG. Thorsten is considered a proven primary market specialist. He is a member of the DVFA Commission for Company Analysis and head of the MIFID/Regulation working group. Mr Müller co-chairs, with Barbara Cohen (SFAF), the EFFAS Capital Markets Commission. He is also a member of the Issuer Market Advisory Committee of Deutsche Börse AG.
3. EFFAS Summer School, Save the Date!
After a 3-year break due to the pandemic restrictions, we are now pleased to be resuming the EFFAS Summer School on 6-7 July 2023 as a 2-day face-to-face conference. The Portuguese Asssociation of Financial Analysts (APAF) and the Executive Training Institution of ISEG, the University of Lisbon’s School of Management and Economics, will kindly host the event in Lisbon.

On a yearly basis since 2008, this, event has gathered together over 150 professionals from across the world to debate the current hot topics for finance professionals.
4. First CESGA Congress, Save the Date!
EFFAS is glad to announce the first CESGA Congress on Thursday 25 & Friday 26 May 2023. This event in Madrid aims to bring together some of the 4,362 CESGA certificate holders from across Europe and overseas. Its purpose is to offer a location with a relaxed atmosphere for CESGA holders to meet, network, and update their knowledge in the field as they catch up with the latest ESG developments.
5.EFFAS, providing training and certificates on ESG for investment professionals since 2014
The recurring news of extreme weather events from around the world points to what has long been predicted by climate scientists: human action, and inaction, is causing the world to warm and affecting the climate. Many people have made changes to or are looking for ways to make changes to their lives to reduce their impact on the planet. It is no surprise then that investment choices have not escaped closer inspection. Like it or not, ESG factors (environmental, social and governance) are no longer the exclusive preserve of people committed to protecting society and the environment. Today ESG factors are important for everyone in all aspects of their lives. Evidence even suggests that people pursuing sustained profitability crucially need to pay attention to sustainability.
Since 2009, EFFAS has supported the integration of non-financial indicators and ethics into investment decisions and pushed for management with rigor and professionalism. In 2010, EFFAS published the firsts ESG KPIs. 2014 saw the launch of the CESGA programme and seven years later it was followed by the ESG Essentials programme in 2021.

The CESGA is a comprehensive training programme delivered in 10 modules, eight focusing on in-depth ESG theoretical knowledge, one dedicated to practical case studies and one complementary module on ESG regional developments in Europe, Asia, and America. The final goal is to integrate ESG issues into the investment decision and to provide the necessary training for the efficient Valuation, Measurement, and Integration of ESG issues into investment analysis. The CESGA combines ESG know-how and fundamental company analysis valuation at both, a basic and an advanced level. Now we have the latest version – CESGA 3.1 – with fully updated and revised materials available on a new more interactive learning management platform. Our aim is to have a Holder community of more than 6,000 professionals worldwide by the end of 2023.

The ESG Essentials programme aims to provide professionals in finance with the fundamental yet essential concepts in ESG. This includes both market and regulatory development, enabling holders to give basic guidance to stakeholders in ESG. The programme is structured in 5 modules and after its pilot year has over 1,350 holders. With the yearly update of its programmes EFFAS maintains its commitment to deliver state of the art ESG knowledge, even in the fast-evolving regulatory environment of the ESG. Both programmes equip the participants with the knowledge to navigate an evolving regulatory landscape. This April will see the launch of the updated ESG Essentials 2.0 programme.

We have continued to enhance our training and professional certification programmes on ESG to support investment professionals in achieving excellence to development the profession, following the standards required by the EU and local authorities. We have the support of top academic and practitioner ESG experts strongly committed to the ongoing enhancement of our programmes. They consider not only the latest information & developments in this area but also identify the new emerging market demands.
6. Artificial Intelligence and Digital assets: further challenges for investment professionals
On top of the challenges of integrating ESG into their investment decisions finance professionals face challenges such as the disruptive influence that AI and digital assets could have on the market. EFFAS has been monitoring this area and is now able to provide professionals with a comprehensive training programme to enhance their skills and expertise in this area.

EFFAS has prepared a specialised training programme for financial institutions. It covers the mandatory requirements on digital assets including all the relevant topics such as the main concepts, services, tax, and compliance regimes. We are calling it the EFFAS Digital Assets & Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) programme. It’s innovative and aims to provide an understanding of the essential elements of digital assets based on blockchain technology, along with the use cases it generates for business and its regulation.

The first cohort are well into their studies at our Spanish member´s training school, and on their way to becoming the first proud holders of this new certification.
7. EFFAS AGM 2023 (Save the Date)
EFFAS is pleased to announce that its Annual General Meeting will be held in Bucharest, Romania from 8-9 June 2023. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Romanian Society: AAFBR (Asociatia Analistilor Financiar- Bancari din Romania), and its Chairperson, Daniela Ropota, for their kind offer to host the meeting.