Paul Smith leads CFA Institute and its more than 163,000 members worldwide in promoting the highest standards of education, ethics, and professional excellence in the investment profession for the ultimate benefit of society.
Smith joined CFA Institute in 2012 as managing director for Asia Pacific, overseeing its expansion into China and India. He later assumed the leadership of its Institutional Partnerships division, which is responsible for engagement with key firms, groups, and associations in the global investment industry. He was appointed president and CEO in January 2015.
He brings extensive leadership experience in the investment management industry, having held a variety of positions in major financial centers over 30 years. Smith started his career in asset management at Ermitage International, an alternative funds management company, progressively taking up roles of increasing responsibility across Europe (London, Paris, and Dublin) over 11 years — the last seven as the firm’s CEO.
Smith moved to Asia in 1996, just as the region's economies began to take off, to join Bank of Bermuda in Hong Kong as Asia head of securities services. In 2001, he was promoted to global head of funds services. After HSBC’s acquisition of the bank in 2004, he served as HSBC’s global head of alternative funds administration working in Hong Kong and New York, where he was responsible for the delivery of services to 2,000 investment funds with over US$250 billion of assets.
He has also pursued entrepreneurial roles, most recently as founder and CEO of the Hong Kong-based hedge fund investment management firm Asia Alternative Asset Partners for six years prior to joining CFA Institute. Asian Investor magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential People in Asian Hedge Funds.
With over 21 years of experience in Asia, Smith is active in the region’s investment community as an Executive Committee member of the Alternative Investment Management Association in Hong Kong. He has also served on the board of a number of Asia-based funds over the years.
Aside from being a CFA charterholder, he is also a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and worked as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse in London for four years early in his career.
He holds a master’s degree in history from Oxford University.