A 2023 year-in-review at CFA Society New York, and a look ahead at 2024

The economic landscape continues to be shaped by the events and trends that have unfolded in the preceding years. The challenges faced in 2023, such as the impact of unprecedented inflation and interest rate increases, have continued to impact professionals across various industries, and especially in financial services. The impact of generative AI is also driving a sense of uncertainty, influencing decision-making for our members, employers, and the industry at large.

In response to this ongoing uncertainty, CFA Society New York has played a crucial role in supporting our members. The dedication and resilience of both the staff and volunteer leaders have been instrumental in helping during these challenging times. The Society has continued to offer world-class content and organize invaluable networking events.

The economic conditions, characterized by inflation and fluctuating interest rates, have likely prompted a need for informed decision-making among financial professionals. CFA Society New York has stepped up by providing timely educational content and events, helping our members stay abreast of the latest developments and equipping them with the knowledge needed to navigate the complex financial landscape. In times of uncertainty, the exchange of ideas and experiences becomes even more vital, and these events contribute to building a strong community that can collectively address challenges.

As the situation evolves, staying engaged with CFA Society New York becomes increasingly
important for professionals looking to thrive in the current economic climate. Our commitment to supporting our members through education and community building continues to be a beacon of stability in these uncertain times.

We are advancing through the membership year with an increase in retention, closing out the calendar year at a 89.1% retention rate, the highest the Society has seen in over seven years. We started the new year with 10,375 members, 783 of them being new members.

We continue to be a fiscally healthy organization, having met our budget expectations for the fiscal year. As of February 2024, the Society has over $10 million in unrestricted and restricted non-board designated funds, which is up significantly from the same data point of roughly $3.5 million in fiscal 2015. These foundations of strong membership and financial trends are important to future organizational longevity to continue to provide high quality offerings to our members.

We started 2023 slowly with some of our events and programming not seeing much attendance. As of September, and with more firms returning to the office, we saw a major bump in attendance.

The September 19-20th Asset Owner Series ESG event was sold out, our first since returning to in-person events post COVID. A few weeks later the How Generative AI is Transforming the Investment Process and Fall Employment Outlook events performed very well. This indicated a major change on some recurring topics and some new ones.

In October, we presented our flagship event, re-envisioned for 2023, at the Annual Celebration. The evening unfolded in the sophisticated ambiance of the Ascent Lounge, providing an opportunity for distinguished networking, catching up with old friends and making new connections. At this memorable occasion, we honored Kim Lew, CFA, CEO, and President of the Columbia Investment Management Company, with the prestigious Irving Kahn Lifetime Achievement Award.

We closed the year with another success, the sold-out Asset Owner Series 8th Annual Insurance Company Chief Investment Officers Roundtable.

As we move into the year, our commitment to expanding the influence and capabilities of CFA Society New York remains unwavering. We are actively engaged in strategic initiatives to enhance our global presence and extend our impact on a broader scale. Building upon the momentum of 2023, we are dedicated to fostering a worldwide audience for our programs.

Our online platform has been a hub for engaging content, featuring livestreamed and archived recordings of our events as well as a diverse array of content offerings such as podcasts and curated clips. These offerings have not only reached our local community but have resonated globally, drawing interest from audiences around the world.

In our continued pursuit of excellence, we solidified our standing as CFA Institute’s foremost local society. Collaborating with CFA Institute and sister societies worldwide, we have actively contributed to the creation of content tailored to the needs of the financial investment community. This collaborative effort has strengthened our global reach and facilitated the exchange of insights on a truly international scale.

Looking towards 2024, a sense of optimism permeates our outlook, fueled by the anticipation of a future molded by the ongoing evolution of the post-pandemic landscape and advances in technology. The imperative for investment professionals to continuously adapt and cultivate expertise in emerging technologies, such as AI, remains steadfast in the dynamic market environment. CFA Society New York steadfastly pledges to serve as a cornerstone for thought leadership and education, placing a paramount focus on professional learning and career advancement.

Our commitment extends to delivering innovative programming in a hybrid format, seamlessly blending virtual and in-person events. By leveraging the insights gained from our experiences, we aim to elevate the member experience and further contribute to the success of our community.

In conclusion, we approach the new year with confidence, leveraging our historical foundation and current position to lead the industry with innovative ideas and a fresh outlook. The dedication of our exceptional group of volunteer leaders and staff ensures our ability to fulfill the Society’s mission, providing value and opportunity to our members for years to come.

Thomas Brigandi, CFA
Chair of the Board of Directors
CFA Society New York

Arun Manansingh

Arun Manansingh
Chief Executive Officer
CFA Society New York