Five Emirati finance students from three universities in the UAE have completed the first ever Investor Relations (IR) Graduate Programme held in Dubai as part of a joint initiative between Dubai Financial Market (DFM), NASDAQ Dubai and the Middle East Investor Relations Society (ME-IR Society).
The students received certificates after having completed work placements within the IR teams of some of the major listed companies in the country, including EMAAR, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, SHUAA Capital and Dubai Islamic Bank.
In addition to the work placement, students also participated in a total of eight training sessions on various IR-related topics. The sessions were delivered by leading financial services firms including Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank, JPMorgan, Thomson Reuters, Moody's, Latham '&' Watkins, Hawkamah, MerchantCantos and Deutsche Bank.
The programme, which is unique in the region, is aimed at introducing young Emirati graduates to the fast growing field of IR, providing them with a good understanding of IR and the functioning of capital markets. Talented IR professionals from the region are increasingly sought after as listed companies continue to strive to implement international best practice IR and improve overall corporate transparency.
Fahima Al Bastaki, SVP and Head of Business Development Division at DFM, and Chair of the Dubai ME-IR Society Chapter, said, "The IR Graduate Programme is a unique initiative in the region as it aims to provide Emirati students with a complete understanding of the IR profession and encourages them to pursue a career within this field, which is indeed quickly becoming an increasingly important function within companies in the UAE. We support the development of future IR professionals and the initiatives of organisations such as the ME-IR Society that aim to encourage best practice IR and contribute to the overall development of our capital markets." Michael Miller, Head of Investor Relations at NBAD and Board Member of ME-IR Society, said, "The Society is pleased to have successfully launched and completed the region's first IR Graduate programme in collaboration with our partners. Educating and apprenticing Emirati youth will be crucial to ensure continued development of the UAE's capital markets. We hope that the participating students will have acquired an understanding of IR and the important role it plays in fostering transparent and liquid capital markets, as well as improving overall corporate transparency and access to capital."