Seizing Opportunity in Philadelphia


The CFA Institute Annual Conference is an unrivaled opportunity to access high-quality, unbiased educational content that equips investment professionals with the latest thinking on critical industry issues. The 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference will be held in Hong Kong on 13–16 May 2018.

CFAedge Exhibit Hall
By Oluwaseun Daniel Oyekanmi

There is a saying that “not all fingers are created equal,” and this is very true when it comes to opportunities. Some opportunities may be recaptured, while others are only for a set season — the latter are usually the ones that are life-changing. Some may call them destiny-defining moments, and others may call them opportunities of a lifetime, but one thing is certain: they greatly reward those who grab them.

One such opportunity was presented to me at the 70th CFA Institute Annual Conference, where I was given the privilege of being not just a Student Delegate Representative, but also being interviewed about my experience in the Virtual Link studio at the conference. The story of how I got the opportunity is almost as remarkable as the opportunity itself. (I will not belabor you with the full details, but I will ensure that it is captured in my biography in the not too distant future, knock on wood.)

My participation in the conference gave me the chance to mingle with the best minds in finance, picking their brains on a wide range of topics. Financial professionals are often thought of as perpetually studious, but my interactions revealed a different side of them. Although the “bears” may choose to blame it on the cocktails available at some of the networking events, I choose to remain bullish in my interpretation.

Each day of the conference offered a different experience. The Sunday events kicked off the conference for me with visits to historical sites around the City of Brotherly Love, followed by a networking session that was especially significant for me: I was able to interact with the head of the delegation from Nigeria, my country of origin. The evening included my interview with the incredible Kelli Palmer, who made me look good on screen.

Days two, three, and four of the conference went so fast that I constantly had to catch my breath. The sessions were indeed edge sharpening. Notable among them were presentations from Joseph Davis, discussing the trends that would define our lifetime; John C. Bogle, who spoke about the new era for finance and the financial markets; and the energetic Carla Harris, who gave a new meaning to the word LEADER. I also used the opportunity to ask charterholders about strategies that I could use to scale through the CFA® Program, considering that I was taking the Level I exam the following week.

The conference, for me, was an opportunity to network, strategize, and gain exposure — I got this and lots more. As I mentioned earlier, opportunities of a lifetime greatly reward those who grab them. I can now say that I have been so rewarded, and my investment edge is razor sharp. To any students who have a chance to participate in next year’s conference, I say: Do not hesitate. Hong Kong could be your gateway to the world.

Oluwaseun Daniel Oyekanmi is an intern at CFA Society Philadelphia and an Innovation MBA (Finance – CFA track) graduate from Philadelphia University.

Experience the 70th CFA Institute Annual Conference online through the Virtual Link. It’s an insider’s perspective with archived videos of select sessions, exclusive speaker interviews, discussions of current topics, and updates on CFA Institute initiatives.

All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

Photo courtesy of W. Scott Mitchell

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