INDUSTRY VETERAN LECTURE PANEL


Saminda Weerasinghe, CFA

Private Equity Specialist /
Strategic and Financial Advisory

Lecturer – CFA Program

Saminda has over 15 years of extensive corporate finance/ transaction advisory/ Due Diligence and private equity structuring experience.

Out of the 15-year career, a lion’s share was at Ernst & Young Transaction Advisory Services (6+ years). During his career Saminda has gained invaluable experience in the fields of Transaction Support (Financial Due Diligences – for potential acquisitions and mergers of corporates), Audits, Business Valuations, Intangible Asset Valuations, Financial Modeling, Financial Feasibilities, Corporate Plans, Business Plans and Corporate Restructuring. He also had a short stint at the Ernst and Young Singapore Practice, during the said period.

Thereafter, Saminda worked for a large Investment Bank and a listed Investment House as a Manager and a Chief Strategy Officer, in Sri Lanka. Currently for the last 5+ years Saminda has been a consultant on Strategy and Financial Advisory. He also is a Director of couple of Private Equity Companies. Saminda also has approx. 6 years of lecturing experience for the Chartered Financial Analyst program (Level 1 and Level 2) subjects (viz: Equity, Fixed Income and Portfolio Management).

Saminda is a Charter-holder of CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and has been a Fellow Member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK). He is also a Sri Lankan prizewinner for the final case study paper for CIMA. Saminda, currently is reading for his MSC in Financial Mathematics at University of Colombo.

Saminda is a proud product of Ananda College. He was the Head Prefect during his school career and an outstanding athlete. He was four times All Island Coloursman and two times College Coloursman for Athletics.


Thilina Ukwatta, CFA
Chtd MCSI, FCCA, ACMA, BSc (Hons)

Consultant /
Analyst and Financial Advisory

Lecturer – CFA Program

Thilina has over a decade of mixed experience in auditing, equity research, corporate finance, investment banking, valuations, strategic planning, business analysis, business development, lecturing and corporate training. During his 10-year career, his major commitment was at a college (3+ years) on project management, lecturing and research & acquisition on business opportunities in both Sri Lankan and Maldives higher professional education business.

He was employed at Asia Capital PLC (a listed Investment House) as an equity research analyst. His work entailed group financial modeling, sell side research, sector coverage, daily and weekly research updates and corporate presentations. He later was involved as a freelance consultant at AR Capital Advisory Ltd and undertook private equity assignments in preparing investment memorandums and strategic plans for different clients. He too was a freelance project manager Acuity Partners Ltd and was working on a mega debenture issue, macro-economic analysis for a prospective IPO, a buy-side valuation and an initial due diligence screening on a private conglomerate for a prospective IPO.

Thilina has a natural passion towards lecturing and corporate training and has been a lecturer for CFA Program in Sri Lanka since 2013 and for a University in Bangalore, India.

Thilina is a Charter-holder of CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) USA, a Fellow Member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK and a graduate from the University of Oxford Brookes (UK) with Upper Second Class Honours. He is also a Member of Institute of Management Accountants (CMA) Sri Lanka and a Chartered Member of Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) UK. Thilina also distinguished himself as a Sri Lankan Prize Winner in ACCA with a world rank of 13 for the subject Advanced Financial Management.


Usama Jiffry, CFA
ACMA, CGMA, SCAV (Stern, NY)

Corporate Finance, Investment Banking and Capital Markets

Lecturer CFA Program

Usama has over 12 years of combined corporate experience in financial advisory / management and capital markets advisory. He was involved with Financial Advisory Services with one of the big four audit firms specializing in corporate finance, transaction services and M&A advisory. He is currently engaged as Manager for a leading stock brokering firm where he is involved with research in respect to listed entities in Sri Lanka and handles an additional role as a senior advisor for the investment banking outsourcing activities carried out for clients in Asia and the Middle East.

He has been a distinguished lecturer for over a decade specializing in areas of risk management, financial management and business strategy for the subjects in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA-USA), University of the West of Scotland degree (UWS), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA–UK) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA–UK) programs. Usama’s lecturing experience includes experience spanning across Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Colombo for modules of financial modelling and contemporary accounting. 

Usama’s experience includes training and mentoring engagements and is a trainer for the Colombo Stock Exchange for fundamental analysis, stock selection and portfolio management as well as a trainer for financial modelling with the Academy of Finance.

Usama is a Charter-holder of CFA program, an Associate member of CIMA and a holder of the CGMA designation. He is also accredited in Advanced Valuations from the University of New York – Stern Business School. 


Buwaneka Bandara, CFA
M. Econ, BSc (Hons) Maths

Product Manager –Trading Systems

Lecturer – CFA Program

Buwaneka holds 10+ years’ experience in both investment management as well as financial markets infrastructure (FMI) related technology. He currently holds responsibility at LSEG Technology (part of the London Stock Exchange), for the business roadmap and strategy for a suite of trading technology products deployed across 25+ global markets including the London Stock Exchange, BorsaItaliana, Hong Kong Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange, Oslo Bors and many other Tier 1, emerging and frontier markets venues across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Previously he was associated with a large Sri Lankan equities and fixed income brokerage with involvement in equities market research, evaluation of private equity investment opportunities in the renewables and transportation sectors as well as in the setting up of a globally compliant framework for mutual fund performance measurement for the firm’s mutual fund management arm.

Buwaneka is equipped with over 4 years of lecturing experience in areas of fixed income and derivatives. He is a CFA Charter-holder and has been an Associate Member of CIMA (UK). He too holds a Honours degree in Mathematics and Masters in Economics from the University of Colombo.


Viraj Wijesinghe, CFA
Attorney-at-law, FRM, ACMA, BBA

Vice President – Corporate Advisory

Lecturer – CFA Program

Viraj possesses over twelve years of experience in corporate finance, investment banking and financial risk management. Currently, he is the Vice President of the Corporate Advisory division of NDB Investment Bank Limited. Viraj specializes in business due diligence, structuring and M&As and involved in wide spectrum of investment banking transactions including Initial Public Offerings, loan syndication, project financing, corporate restructuring, M&A advisory etc. in an array of sectors including financial services, leisure, real estate and telecommunication.

Prior to joining NDBIB, Viraj functioned as the Group Treasury Manager of Universal Enterprises Pvt. Ltd in the Maldives, overseeing the Group’s financial risk management, corporate finance and management reporting functions for four years. Viraj started his career as an offshore equity analyst at Amba Research (Acuity Knowledge Partners), providing investment research support for both Buy-side and Sell-side clients and covered various industries ranging from Banking, Insurance and Oil & Gas, Shipping.

Viraj is a CFA Charterholder, an Attorney-at-law, a certified Financial Risk Manager from Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) in USA, an associate member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (ACMA) and holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Colombo.


Richardson Morais, CFA
ACCA Affiliate, BSc (Hons)

Research Analyst

Lecturer – CFA Program

Richardson has over six years of work experience in the field of Equity and Fixed Income Research / Financial Analysis / Finance and Risk Management.

He is currently employed as an equity research analyst at Knowledge Outsource (Pvt) Ltd, a KPO catering to the equity and fixed income research needs of foreign brokerages. Richardson at his position collaborates individually with the real estate and transport team at one of the largest national banks in Singapore and reports directly to the lead analysts. He develops and updates extensive financial models with company share price valuations and performs report write-ups outlining investment recommendations for his clients. He also works on bespoke research requested by his clients and performs industry reports.

Previously he worked at Acuity Knowledge Partners (formerly Moodys Analytics) as a delivery lead for a sell-side based client in providing credit analysis, including financial modelling, earnings reports and industry analysis. He too was in charge of detailed earnings write-ups for banks covering major banks in the US and Europe. He also covered a diversified range of company categories such as Banks, Real Estate, Transport, Telecommunication and F&B companies.

Richardson started his career as an analyst at KPMG – advisory division covering finance and risk management. He was part of the team advising clients on potential financial issues and risks by performing detailed assessments on internal controls, investments and other transactions.

Richardson is a Charter-holder of CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) USA, is an Affiliate of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK and a graduate from the University of Oxford Brookes (UK) with Upper Second Class Honours. He is also a passed finalist of AAT (Sri Lanka).