The SAIS Circular 

First Edition 2020


COVID-19 and the New World of Work
The first quarter of 2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the globe. Changes that have affected all spheres of life.  Economies, markets, industries and people find themselves under immense pressure.  Leadership is in the spotlight.  Many leaders find themselves in situations that they would never have imagined in peace-time.  Finding ourselves in the midst of the lockdown, it is important to remember that the aim of the lockdown is to attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a global pandemic.  There is no doubt that the lockdown will end, however post-lockdown South Africa will be forever changed.  The resilience required will be immense.  Individual resilience will become paramount.  Individual resilience will impact organisational resilience, fiscal resilience, economic resilience and our national resilience.  All of which will be needed to ensure that South Africa survives this turbulent period. 
During the lockdown, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has been listed as an essential service.  By extension Stockbrokers and Brokerages fall part of the essential services.  After 30 April 2020, the financial markets will continue to be essential to the changed South Africa. 

The SAIS would like to intensify its efforts to support the industry, through the programmes it offers.  Some of these may have been impacted by the lockdown. Please take note of the updates and other initiatives from the SAIS in this edition of The SAIS Circular:

  • CPD Extension
  • Industry Forum Meeting Cancelled
  • Legislation Stockbroker Exam Postponed
  • Course:  The Key Individual Role of the Stockbroker in Control
  • Stockbroker Exams
  • Financial Markets Practitioner (FMP) learnership
  • SAIS CPD Offering
  • Developing Resilience





CPD Extension
Keeping in line with the FSCA CPD extension and to assist members in the industry, SAIS will be extending the 2019/2020 CPD cycle to 31 August 2020.  The 2020/2021 CPD cycle will run from 1 September 2020 to 31 May 2021 and CPD hours will be calculated on 9 months instead of 12. The 30 hours CPD requirement will be pro-rated for the 2020/21 CPD year only, resulting in a total CPD hour requirement of 22 hours for the 2020/21 CPD year.  This means that any CPD hours logged as completed between 1 June and 31 August 2020 will be allocated to the 2019/2020 CPD cycle.
There are no changes to the process of logging CPD hours and this can continue as normal.  It is important that you ensure your details are current so that your CPD is reported accurately. Click here to review a step-by-step guide to updating your details.

Industry Forum Meeting Cancelled
The lockdown precipitated that the SAIS cancel the first board and industry forum meeting of 2020.  These meetings will not be re-scheduled.  The remainder of the Board and Industry Forum meeting dates will remain as scheduled; hence the first meeting of the year will be Wednesday, 24 June 2020.
Should there be anything that you wish to discuss or bring to our attention, please do not hesitate to do so. 

Legislation Stockbroker Exam Postponed
The SAIS took the decision to postpone the Legislation exam that had originally been scheduled for 6 April 2020.  The new date of the exam will be confirmed in due course, although it is planned for September 2020.



Some Things to Look Forward to....


Course: The Key Individual Role of Stockbroker in Control
The aim of this course is to provide individuals interested in becoming a Stockbroker in Control with the structure, methodology and scope that this key individual (KI) will require.  KIs are those responsible for managing and overseeing the activities relating to the rendering of any financial service.  Managing means to have executive control or authority and overseeing is the function of supervising a person/s and their work in an official capacity.  Where stockbroking firms are concerned, stakeholders reply on the fact that a competent key individual is assuming responsibility for the overall risk management and compliance. 
The Stockbroker in Control is the coordinating and consolidating KI between firms’ external and internal stakeholders.  They preform a key pivotal role of protecting the market and the firm. 
The objectives of this course are to:

  • Explain what is a Stockbroker;
  • Explain the legislative construct of a Stockbroker;
  • Explain the rationale for the Key Individual Stockbroker in Control;
  • Explain the role of the Stockbroker in Control as a key individual;
  • Explain the role of the SAIS;
  • Explain what is means to be the Person in Control;
  • Explain when a Stockbroker in Control is required;
  • Discuss the duties of a Stockbroker in Control; and
  • Provide specific roles and responsibilities of the Stockbroker in Control.

Individuals completing this course will be able to receive a certificate, on completion of an assessment.  This course is available on the SAIS learning platform as of 18 May 2020. 



Stockbroker Exams
The registration period for semester 2 for the Stockbroker Exams opens on 4 May 2020 and will close on 21 August 2020.  A reminder that all SAIS lectures will be conducted via Skype until further notice.

If you do not have a Skype account as yet, please ensure you download the application (for free at and create your account.  Once this is done, please send your Skype address to so that we can ensure you are added to any necessary groups.



Financial Markets Practitioner (FMP) learnership

The FMP learnership provides access to learners with a general financial qualification at NQF Level 7, to specialised occupations in the areas of investment advice and portfolio management, trading and settlement and investment administration. It also provides an opportunity for people already employed in the industry to obtain a formal qualification.  In addition, the qualification forms one of the entry level qualifications, that will allow individuals access to the examinations that will ultimately lead to the Certified Stockbroker designation, CSb(SA).
The Financial Markets Practitioner learnership requires learners to gain workplace experience in the financial markets industry.  Employers who provide the workplace experience to these learners can qualify for the financial incentives associated with a learnership, from the SETAs as well as qualify for income tax deductions.  Visit the Fasset website to read more about the SETA benefits available.  Please contact Romaana McKinnon at if you are interested in implementing the learnership.



SAIS CPD Offering
SAIS will be launching its online CPD offering this month. Each course will offer 2-3 CPD hours and will include an online assessment which must be completed in order to claim the hours.  Look out for more communication on these exciting topics and others.

  • Investment Criteria & Valuations (2 hours)
  • Ratio Analysis (3 hours)
  • Financial Needs Analysis (2 hours)
  • Economics (3 hours)
  • FMA Chap X - Market Abuse (2 hours)
  • FMA and FRSA (2.5 hours)
  • POPI and hopefully OTC derivative (FMA) (2.5 hours)
  • FAIS and FICA (2.5 hours)



Legislative Update


Note that the SARB (Prudential Authority) and the FSCA have issued a Directive under the Regulations in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002.

Note that the FSCA has released a FAIS communication regarding Submission of Compliance Report and FAIS Hand-over Report requirements for FSP’s for 2020

  • Compliance Reports and Handover Reports usually due for submission to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in terms of section 17(4)(a) of the FAIS Act, do not need to be submitted during 2020, and to provide clarity on related aspects.



Food For Thought


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resilience as, “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”[1]  The financial markets community is no stranger to uncertainty brought about by the volatility of the markets and there is no doubt, for those who have been in “the game” for some time, that resilience is key.   Most recently, Daniel Goleman, the doyen of all things related to Emotional Intelligence, recently provided a free on-line course on how to develop resilience.[2]  Appropriate at this most difficult time in the world.  Nonetheless, it is useful to remind oneself of how to build and maintain resilience. The synopsis provide below is taken from Goleman’s online course.
Emotional Balance is key to building and maintaining resilience.  Emotional Balance falls into the domain of neuroscience.  When individuals feel threatened, the amygdala, the primitive part of the brain, is activated. It houses all the neuronal connections that provide warning signals.  It is the part of the brain that prepares for fight, flight or freeze mode.  This is closely linked to the hippocampus, which is a memory centre for the brain and keeps a log of the threats that have been encountered. 
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain that regulates thinking and reasoning. It is the highly sophisticated area that controls decision-making, analysis, computations, information interpretation and attention focus.  It also helps to temper the reaction of the amygdala.  When the amygdala only, is in control, rational, tempered thought tends to take a back seat and “bad” decisions are made.  However, being aware of one’s emotions and recognising what is being experienced, is the first step to lessening the impact of the amygdala.  This requires emotional balance.    
There are five common triggers in the workplace, that can cause the amygdala to react,  these are:

  • Being treated unfairly;
  • Not being shown respect;
  • Being unappreciated;
  • Feeling unheard; and
  • Feeling pressured by unrealistic expectations.

The way in which individuals respond to these situations, is dependent on the levels of emotional awareness and literacy.  This is controlled by the pre-frontal cortex.  The following questions could be asked when confronted by possible triggers:

  • Being treated unfairly - Q: Are you sure this is how you feel?
  • Not being shown respect - Q: Could the situation have been misunderstood?
  • Being unappreciated - Q: Are there alternatives that could be considered?
  • Feeling unheard - Q: Are you jumping to conclusions?
  • Feeling pressured by unrealistic expectations - Q: Is this necessarily the way it will turn out?

Being aware of what could trigger an “emotional hijack” of the brain, is the first step towards emotional balance.
The ability to recover emotional balance, once thrown off course by smaller setbacks, is an indication of how well greater adversity in the future will be managed. Obsession with small setbacks, rumination (in the negative context), often about situations that cannot be controlled is a common way to sabotage emotional balance.  However, learning to focus energy on constructive problem solving, on areas or situations which can be controlled, allows for a quicker recovery from setbacks.  Successful individuals and leaders are those that are able to stay calm and contain their inner tension in crisis situations, essentially effectively manage their emotions.
One’s perspective plays an important contributing factor to emotional reactions.  An emotional state can be sparked by internal triggers, such as thoughts or external triggers, such as experiences.  How those triggers are interpreted depends on one’s world view.  An individual with a realistic-optimistic perspective approaches difficult situations with the tools of productive and positive action.  Individuals who have a pessimistic world view approach difficult situations by focusing on the areas that cannot be controlled and ruminating on these situations, resulting very little positive action. 
It is important to remember that situations themselves do not have meaning.  The meaning that they may have is that which individuals ascribe to the situation i.e. a positive or negative situation which comes from an optimistic or pessimistic world view.  It is however possible to change a perspective so that it creates more emotional balance and allows for individuals to take greater control of situations.  The body provides three cues, which can be seen as the markers of emotional balance, the three “R’s”.  Recognition entails understanding the body’s physiological stress response.  Recognising the body’s physiological response to stress is the first part of gaining emotional balance.  Resilience is how quickly recovery from a stressful event takes place.  Once the physiological responses have been recognized, that will allow for rationalization of the situation to take place and consequently recover from the stress quicker.  Regulation is how the body and the mind work together to manage emotional reactions.  Managing the mental and physical responses allows for an assessment of thoughts and feelings.  The allows for decisions to be made on what is worth spending energy on and what can be abandoned.  Effectively, applying reason and focusing on the situations that can be changed.   
In addition to emotional balance, resilience requires adaptability.  It helps individuals “shift gears” quickly when faced with new challenges.  By contrast, the opposite of adaptability is rigidity which can be a source of internal and external friction.  This is often related to a resistance to change.  The consequences of rigidity are far reaching.  It feeds conflict and fosters a win-lose approach to situations.  Adaptable individuals focus less on the discomfort that change may bring and focus more on the growth and opportunities it presents.  When faced with a situation that cannot be controlled, the challenge is to control how one reacts to that situation.