Annual report

Daniel portrait

2016 – 2017
Letter from the President

Dear Fellow CFA Society Calgary member:

It has been my pleasure to serve as President during the 40th anniversary of CFA Society Calgary’s existence. Over the past 40 years, due to the cumulative contribution of past Presidents, Board members, volunteers, and staff, I would argue that CFA Society Calgary has become one of the strongest local member societies of the CFA Institute globally. Over the past 12 months we have continued to build off the great work of our predecessors and it has been a very exciting time for our Society.

Due to the rapid expansion of our member base, we have continued to improve the infrastructure of our organization. We have settled into our new offices in Bow Valley Square and have added our 3rd staff member to help service our members. On top of this, we have come to an agreement with CFA Society Edmonton to take advantage of synergies and assist with some of their operational needs. As we do all this we remain in a financially strong position with one of the strongest balance sheets among CFA member Societies.

Providing member benefit through professional development, education, networking and outreach is at the heart of what we do. In light of the economic climate in our province, we have continued to provide low cost professional development courses to help our members improve their skills and marketability. We organized programs themed around politics, the macro-economy, energy, and real estate. We have continued our seasonal networking events, expanded our family friendly events, and hosted our first speed-networking event. Another first was our Women in Business conference which was held in May with strong attendance and great member feedback. This was all topped off by another sold out Forecast Dinner using a new format and highly engaging headline speaker.

CFA Society Calgary is very lucky to have hard working and engaged staff, board members and volunteers. Something that became apparent to me as I met with other Societies during my tenure was how lucky we are to have an abundance of volunteers willing to give back to CFA Society Calgary. This is truly a great reflection of the selflessness of our membership and the culture of Calgary’s business community. As we look forward to the next 40 years for CFA Society Calgary, I am confident that future presidents, board members, staff, and volunteers will see to it that our local Society remains a strong organization.

Daniel Spencer, CFA


The 2016/17 Programs season was again highly successful for the CFA Society Calgary, featuring a number of engaging speakers and diverse events ranging from detailed insights into future worldwide oil and gas markets, a visit from the Bank of Canada and an in-depth look at the politics of pipelines in Canada.  We also hosted the highly anticipated 16th annual Oil and Gas Forecast Breakfast and the 11th annual Oilfield Services Forecast Breakfast, both of which attracted sellout crowds.

This year's programs schedule was arranged by a dedicated group of volunteers who helped us organize and coordinate all of the events. Our thanks go out to Travis Callaway, Linus Lau, and Brian Sorenson who along with the co-chairs formed the Programs Committee this past year.   And of course, none of these events would have been possible without the tireless and excellent work of Jade Marage and Carlene Vohs, our CFA Society Calgary Events Coordinators. Their dedication, professionalism and energy were key to the success of all events held throughout the year.


"The Society reached a milestone in 2017 with our 40th Forecast Dinner. Our objective was to reinforce Calgary's reputation in the CFA community for this annual signature event, while interjecting new features. We wish to recognize past Board volunteers and a roster of committed sponsors, that have built this event to the point that we sell out the Telus Convention Centre space. Over 1,000 attendees heard from business journalist Amanda Lang, and a talented panel of investment experts, followed by a keynote presentation from geopolitical commentator Peter Zeihan on themes such as the shale revolution and a world where America plays a different role than it historically has. It's with excitement that we look forward to the next one."


The Professional Development portfolio continued to see strong attendance at our stalwart courses of Wall Street Prep – Oil & Gas Financial Modelling and Marquee – Building a Financial Model & DCF Valuation Analysis. Our younger offerings focusing on soft skills were also popular, with the Career Progression workshop expected to continue into the future.

The combining of the Professional Development and Programs portfolios into the new Education Committee for 2017-18 should provide more opportunities to generate new courses. These new offerings will allow attendees to learn some of the tools and practices that are features presented at features speaking events, which highlight new techniques and ideas that are coming to the forefront of our industry.


In February 2017, the CFA Institute Research Challenge in the Canadian Prairies was held in Calgary at the Westin hotel. The Research Challenge is a global competition that tests the equity research and valuation, investment report writing, and presentation skills of over 5,000 university students from around the world. This annual educational initiative promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. Eight teams participated in the Canadian Prairies competition from seven Universities: Mount Royal University, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, University of Regina, and University of Winnipeg. The subject company for this year was Canadian Western Bank, an Edmonton-based full service bank operating primarily in western Canada. The quality of the research reports and presentations from all eight teams was outstanding, as always, but there could only be one winner, and University of Alberta took home the honor of winning the Canadian Prairies competition. CFASC would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers who helped with this year’s competition as faculty advisors, mentors, graders, judges, and on-site volunteers.




This past year, our 2017 branding campaign continued the work of the previous year with the goal of strengthening recognition of our brand and the CFA charterholder designation among our members, the greater investment community, and the general investing public.  C-train, airport and elevator ads conveyed the message that CFA charterholders represent the gold standard of the investment industry. A new employer outreach brochure was created and lunch and learns were held as a way to promote the value of the charter within the workplace. Both detailed why employers and investors should choose charterholders when hiring investment professionals.

We also introduced Networking Opportunities allowing members to connect with like-minded colleagues, share resources, and collaborate.

Overall, we feel this past year was a success and 2018 will continue to build on this solid foundation.


The Investment Committee is largely independent of the Board of Directors and assists in managing the unrestricted net assets of the Society. The Committee meets on a quarterly basis to review the portfolio of investments and make necessary adjustments to the portfolio to ensure the portfolio reflects the mandate of the committee as outlined in the Investment Policy Statement which was adopted by the Board of Directors in 2014. The IPS outlines objectives for the portfolio, the time horizon, the types of investments allowed, the risk tolerance, the liquidity required as well as the asset mix recommended.

As at June 30, 2017, the investment portfolio of the Society was $1,158,000 an increase of $38,000 from the value at June 30, 2016 despite a withdrawal from the portfolio for operating cash requirements of $4,600 in the year. The return realized on the portfolio for the year was 7.59%.


# of Active Members

# of Candidates

* total number of candidates registered for all exams in FY

Male vs. Female

Job Demographics

  1. Corporate Financial Analyst
  2. Portfolio Manager
  3. Research Analyst
  4. Other
  5. Chief-level Executive
  6. Investment Banking Analyst
  7. Trader
  8. Financial Advisor
  9. Risk Manager
  10. Consultant

Top 10 Employers

  1. RBC
  2. BMO Financial Group
  3. Scotiabank Group
  4. TD Bank Financial Group
  5. CIBC World Markets Inc
  6. Suncor Energy Inc
  7. TransCanada Corp
  8. Enbridge Inc
  9. Mawer Investment Management Ltd
  10. ATB Financial

* Based on total members and candidates employed

CFA Society Calgary
FY 2017 Financial Snapshot

Reserves and Other Income $99,926.00 11% includes: admin, invest. Inc., strategic sponsorship
Membership Dues $146,353.00 16%
CFA Institute Funding $116,180.00 13%
Career Services $99,000.00 11%
Forecast Dinner $218,485.00 25%
Education Events $163,417.00 18% includes: conference, programs, pd
Outreach $42,591.00 5% includes: candidate prep, outreach, research challenge
Member Services $5,139.00 1% includes: member socials, presidents dinner
$891,091.00 100%
Forecast Dinner $258,209.00 31%
Education Events $167,647.00 20% includes: conference, programs, pd
Outreach $51,163.00 6% includes: candidate, outreach, research challenge, ethics challenge
Member Services $43,303.00 5% includes: member socials, membership expense, presidents dinner
Operations/G&A $313,313.00 38% includes: admin, career services, leadership
$833,635.00 100%


Board member

Daniel Spencer, CFA


Board member

James Chisholm, CFA

Vice President

Board member

Jeff Fetterly, CFA


Board member

Michael Burnyeat, CFA


Board member

Barbara Bauer, CFA


Board member

Bret Dunwoodie, CFA


Board member

Jeremy Gilman, CFA


Board member

Travis Goldfeldt, CFA


Board member

Linus Lau, CFA


Board member

Jamie Major, CFA


Board member

Patrick Read, CFA


Board member

Amanda Ross, CFA

Past President

Board member

David Warkentin, CFA



Board member

Debbie Kunert

Executive Director

Board member

Jade Marage

Communications and Events Manager

Board member

Carlene Vohs

Member Services and Event Coordinator


James Cole, CFA
Clement Chiang, CFA
Justin Charbonneau, CFA
Jeff Mo, CFA
Matthew McKellar, CFA
Rachelle Veldhoen, CFA
Craig Bounds
Dean Perry, CFA
Noel Bolo
Noeline Kanagalingam, CFA
Tyler Axani
Nasrat Muradi
Ryan Thomas
Ricky Lail
Jessica Hulsman, CFA
James Cook, CFA
Akshat Shukla, CFA
Brian Sorenson, CFA
Thomas Holloway, CFA
Martin Pelletier, CFA
Jaclyn Perrot, CFA
Catherine Roy-Heaton, CFA
Geoff Masson, CFA
Ram Zilka, CFA
David Zhoa, CFA
Brian Prokop, CFA
Adam McBride, CFA
Stephanie Paris, CFA
Serhiy Petrenko
Anna Cordner, CFA
David Fanstone, CFA
Aaron Brown, CFA
Stephen Thompson, CFA
Robert Cooper, CFA
Diana Chaw, CFA
Denis Levandovsky, CFA
Darlene Halwas, CFA
Peter Christopher, CFA
Solo Zhang
Jonathan Braams, CFA
Keith Walton, CFA
Evan Mancer, CFA
Dylan Fricker, CFA
Steven Paget, CFA
Siying Li, CFA
Steven Kim, CFA
Gary Smith, CFA
Hai Ta
Ying Zhang
Howard Harmatz
Ari Pandes
Asim Yaqub, CFA
Mark Norton, CFA
Donna Tilden, CFA
Claire Johnson, CFA
Ameel Velji, CFA
Umair Raja
Sumair Ajanee
Valerie Gibbs, CFA
Trisha Leadbeater, CFA
Anila Samji, CFA
CFA CAC header image

The Canadian Advocacy Council (CAC) is a group of dedicated volunteers that come from CFA Societies across Canada and from all sectors of the capital markets and investment industries. Currently we are made up of 12 members who are geographically dispersed across Canada. The CAC seeks to maintain a dialogue with securities and other regulators, standard setters, and self-regulatory organizations and responds to many of their requests for comment. Through these efforts we seek to advocate for investor interests and promote high standards of ethical and professional conduct in the investment industry consistent with the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Fiscal year 2016/2017 was a year of iconic regulatory proposals, with many of their future directions unclear and uncertain as this fiscal year pulls to a close. From the proposal of a regulatory best-interest standard on financial advice, to the consideration of banning embedded commissions, there has been no shortage of big ideas put forward by regulators for consideration and comment. We are disappointed that proposals for the improvement of disclosure and advisory standards appear to have taken a step backwards, but have the long-term perspective to know that any investor-friendly regulatory change that impacts existing business models most often comes slowly or not at all to our regulatory regime. We remain patient and steadfast in advocating for the interests of investors ahead of their advisors, and applaud certain regulators for their fortitude in the face of sometimes fierce opposition. Other regulatory changes and proposals in which the Council was involved included TSX listed issuer disclosure requirements, advisor proficiency and CE requirements, prospectus exemptions for real estate, alternative strategies within the mutual fund regulatory regime, and further developments in the changing derivatives regulation regime.

During the year to date, the CAC has responded to 18 different regulatory processes via formal comment letters and reviewed numerous other public requests for comment. In addition to formally published comment letters, the CAC regularly interacts with regulators, policy-makers, and other related industry groups during in-person meetings and through its involvement in discussion forums like roundtable discussions. It also interacts through less formal channels with regulators by building and maintaining relationships with key points of contact.

Moving forward, we are excited to be preparing comments on the consultation on the option of discontinuing embedded commissions, are in the early stages of preparing comments on an entirely retooled derivatives dealer regulatory regime, and following regulators’ continued focus on the structure and transparency of secondary capital markets in both equities and fixed income. We also look forward to working through future steps toward the new cooperative regulatory body, and continue to strongly advocate across Canada for regulatory harmonization, investor interests, and the promotion of the ideals behind our Code and Standards as CFA charterholders.

If you are interested in learning more about the CAC, please visit: www.cfaadvocacy.ca or reach out to one of our members across the country.

Michael Thom, CFA
Chair, Canadian Advocacy Council