Ambassadors Spolight: Aberdeen Standard Investments

Pictured top from left to right: Rita MacDonald, James Esland, Joanna McIntyre, Andrew Gellatly
Pictured bottom from left to right: Dimitros Siakavaras, David Scally, Raj Darbari

Ambassadors build supportive CFA communities within their firms and champion professional excellence on behalf of CFA UK. The Ambassadors at Aberdeen Standard Investments share their success and advice for other Ambassadors at large organisations. 

 

How long has there been an Ambassador at ASI?

We've had CFA UK Ambassadors at ASI for over 3 years now. Historically we’ve had Ambassadors on the heritage SLI as well as the heritage Aberdeen side. Post-merger, we have formed a single ambassador community, covering colleagues in London and Edinburgh, with a single e-mail distribution list.
 

ASI is a large organization based across several locations, how do the Ambassadors manage this?

The key is utilizing technology to reduce the space that exists between locations. We have regular meetings throughout the year, linking in via VC between the offices. The meetings tend to focus on our key deliverables, challenges and given the number of Ambassadors (currently 7!) how we divide the work amongst ourselves.
 

What have been your biggest successes? 

We have created a sharepoint site for our UK-based CFA community, which is about to go live with the endorsement of our CIO. The site will offer a one-stop shop for all CFA-related matters – general info on the Institute, CFA UK and the qualifications, how to obtain internal approval for the qualifications, exam help and external providers, easy overview of upcoming events and, last but not least, a list of the Ambassadors, with their contact details for any CFA-related questions.

We have also hosted several CFA UK events at both our London and Edinburgh locations, with the most recent event being the talk held in May at ASI London offices entitled “Making sense of China in the era of Xi Jinping” with Guest speaker Jeffrey Wasserstrom - a fully booked event that was very well received. 
 

What has been your biggest challenge?

Organising CFA UK events is an honour but also a logistical and technical challenge! Suddenly from your day job you find yourself having to understand A/V settings, doing sound checks and making sure all the refreshments arrive. Thankfully after the first time it gets much easier!

Co-ordinating tasks amongst ourselves can also be challenging and requires thought and organization, as well as finding out what our individual preferences and strengths are (e.g. events, the technical aspects of a sharepoint site, talking to prospective candidates etc). We have devised a rota for some of the recurring tasks such as circulating emails to our mailing list and maintaining the sharepoint site.  
 

What advice do you have for other Ambassadors at large organisations?

Stay connected by initiating projects that are of interest to you and of value to others. The more people that you know throughout all parts of the offices of the firm, the greater your resources and opportunities.

 

  

If you are a CFA UK Ambassador and would like to organise internal events for your in-firm networks, contact your Ambassador Council representative for some guidance and support.

Or, if you are a CFA UK member interested in becoming an Ambassador, contact the society’s Volunteer Development Team for more information.