Students in the Department of Accounting have a clearer path to follow to success and a mentor they can be proud to emulate after, Associate Professor Mark Bunting was awarded Fellowship status at the South African Institute of Financial Markets (SAIFM).
In conferring fellowship status on Prof Bunting, the Institute’s board of governors took into account his long involvement in higher education in South Africa; his publications (including a substantial textbook on financial reporting that is used by senior undergraduate and postgraduate students at Rhodes, and regular contributions on finance-related matters to the professional and popular press); and his recent two-year involvement in the international accounting standard-setting process in London.
He said the Fellowship would help strengthen links between teaching and research activities at Rhodes University and the accounting profession.
He said it was a challenge to overcome both the academic/professional distinction and Grahamstown’s physical distance from larger financial centres.
“The realities of these two disconnects, both geographical and professional, are always matters of concern for me when I consider the educational needs of our students at Rhodes,” Prof Bunting said.
“We already have strong professional links in chartered accountancy with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
“While we offer a Master’s in Financial Markets, which includes a material component based on a number of SAIFM’s professional exams, our links with professional bodies in the financial markets are not nearly as well-established.”
Of the link with the Institute, he said, “Clear potential benefits would also accrue to Rhodes and our students.”
He said the Institute was the pre-eminent organisation for finance practitioners in South Africa, whose stated mission was grounded in education-based initiatives. The mutual benefits of such links seemed clear.
“Although my personal career path in finance education may not change, many of my students will end up working in the South African capital markets, and as active potential future members of SAIFM,” he said.
Prof Bunting has held ordinary membership of the Institute since 2003, after passing a set of financial markets exams, and complying with a code of ethics and a set of standards of professional conduct.
The South African Institute of Financial Markets is the leading professional institute in South Africa for financial markets practitioners, and provides educational and examination services for professionals who wish to specialise in managing investments, providing investment advice and executing transactions.
Prof Bunting said to gain ordinary membership 10 years ago, he wrote and passed the Institute’s Registered Person Examinations. This qualified him for registration as both dealer and adviser on the following divisions of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange: Equities, SAFEX Equity Derivatives (Senior Dealer) and SAFEX Agricultural Derivatives, as well as the Bond Exchange of South Africa.
Fellowship of SAIFM is regarded as a prestigious category of membership and it is seldom bestowed.
Prof Bunting now adds the acronym FIFM to an impressive array of other professional qualifications in accounting and finance. He is a Chartered Accountant in South Africa, England and Wales, and he is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
By Jeannie Wallace McKeown