Investment management education : is there a gap between the perceptions of academics and of practitioners?

20 June 2007

In recent years, investment management education has become increasingly relevant. As a result of this development, it is essential that various role players should be consulted to ensure that investment management is taught in line with practitioners' requirements. The South African Qualifications Authority also specifies that educators and practitioners should collaborate to maintain relevance in all fields of education. The importance of various areas in investment management was investigated. This article compares the ranking of these areas in terms of their importance as perceived by academics and practitioners. The study being reported also aimed to determine whether gaps exist between the areas that academics regard to be important and the areas that practitioners regard as such. Areas that are generally regarded to be most important include asset allocation, fundamental analysis and the measurement of risk and return. Areas that are regarded to be least important include arts, antiques and other hard assets; rights and capitalisation issues; and real estate. Areas in need of research include the measurement of risk and return; asset allocation; derivatives; and global markets and instruments. The findings of this study could have a significant impact on the provision of relevant training for South African investment specialists.