"If 2020 has taught us nothing else, we now know maybe all too well that nothing is certain in life or business. Find what is most dear to you and embrace it—and certainly take some time for yourself in 2021. Our light remains on and our mission and purpose will always be driven by the Member, and for the Member."
“There is no greater certainty than a sure thing.” A modern-day adaption of the words penned by the 18th century Scottish poet, Robert Burns and a fitting epithet to a year just ended—and one that most of us are quite happy to leave behind.
Happy 2021 to all of you and your families. It was a challenging year for so many of us as we witnessed first-hand the corrosive effects of the pandemic and the collateral damage it has done. Our extended CAIA family experienced sickness, death, job loss, and mental health challenges absent the physical embrace and support of loved ones, friends and other networks that would have provided stability and perspective when it was needed the most. My annual recap of CAIA must be tightly wrapped and attached to this reality and it is in that vein that I write to you again this year.
Our organization is still relatively young and small. Some days that can present challenges, but it does always keep sustainability of a mission top of mind. The client must always come first via all of you: informed and educated professionals who put solutions and outcomes over products and profits.
As all of you know, CAIA has two exam cycles every year. The latter half of the March 2020 exam administration was hugely disrupted by the pandemic resulting in our smallest LII exam seating dating back almost to our inception. The early days leading into the September cycle did not look promising as the ‘certainty’ of structure was no longer a ‘sure thing.’ We had looked at the concept of online proctoring (OP), as it has been developing over the last many years, and just like a work-from-home world, it was not on our implementation list for 2020. That all changed in April. With a hard look, a lot of due diligence, and a strong dose of courage, we went ahead with a concurrent OP offering in September. While most Candidates chose the tried-and-true computer-based exam offering, we did have decent uptake for the OP option particular in regions where a physical exam seating was difficult or in some cases, simply not possible. We will continue to look at this fit in a post-pandemic world and report back periodically to all of you.
This was not the only newsworthy item for us in 2020 as the content light burned brighter than ever. Our first long form thought piece, The Next Decade, was released in Q1, our monthly newsletter Chronicles of an Allocator hit its stride, and we had record-setting engagement on All About Alpha, JAI, and countless virtual sessions that were led or contributed to by so many of you. Our new credential FDP also made great progress with a reach into almost 30 countries in just two Candidate cohorts. And, our Fundamentals product continued its success at a time when we think more about reinvestment here in response to a market that is moving more toward a retail-based asset owner.
If 2020 has taught us nothing else, we now know maybe all too well that nothing is certain in life or business. Find what is most dear to you and embrace it—and certainly take some time for yourself in 2021. Our light remains on and our mission and purpose will always be driven by the Member, and for the Member.
May the New Year bring you health, happiness, and prosperity in all that truly matters,