Practical analysis for investment professionals

Michael McMillan, CFA

Follow @M_G_McMillan on Twitter

33 Posts

Biography

Michael McMillan, CFA, is director of ethics education at CFA Institute, where he is responsible for creating, sourcing, and developing educational content for CFA Institute members and investment professionals in the area of ethics and professional standards. Previously, he was a professor of accounting and finance at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business and George Washington University’s School of Business. Prior to his career in academia, McMillan was a securities analyst and portfolio manager at Bailard, Biehl, and Kaiser and at Merus Capital Management. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered investment counselor (CIC). McMillan holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Stanford University, and a PhD in accounting and finance from George Washington University. Topical Expertise: Financial Statement Analysis · Standards, Ethics, and Regulations (SER)

Author's Posts
Codes of Ethics: If You Adopt One, Will They Behave?

Many institutions involved in the financial skullduggery that caused the 2008 crisis had adopted codes of ethics long before the housing bubble burst. Even Enron had espoused lofty ideals in it's official code. So why aren’t codes effective in deterring unethical behavior?

Ethics Roundup

Unfortunately, stories of unethical behavior by both individuals and financial institutions continue to dominate the business news headlines. Insider trading and the integrity of asset managers' performance reports have been major themes over the past few months.

Africa: The Land of Alpha

The famed hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." Frontier markets — especially those in Africa — are where alpha is going to be.

Dubious Measures: Hedge Funds’ Reporting Draws Scrutiny

There is a plethora of research that has documented a number of “irregularities” in self-reported hedge fund returns. These studies have found that some hedge funds reported smoothed returns, reported disproportionately more small positive returns than negative returns, and reported higher returns in December.

The Hildebrand Case: Ethics and the Power of Perception

The recent scandal that led Swiss National Bank chairman Philipp Hildebrand to resign highlights the difference between what is legal and what is ethical. The law tells us what we “can and cannot do,” whereas ethics tells us what we “should and should not do.”

Trust is in the Details: Why Advisers Need to Close the Knowledge Gap on Alternative Strategies

A recent survey suggests that some investment advisers may be recommending alternative investment strategies that neither they nor their clients fully understand. In order to regain the confidence and trust of clients and the public at large, investment professionals must commit to doing a better job of understanding — and communicating — the features, characteristics, and risks of these complex strategies.

The Consequences of Insider Trading: A Cautionary Tale

Who says that one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch? Just ask FrontPoint Partners who saw its assets under management decline with breathtaking speed—dropping by $6 billion in eight months—after one of the firm’s portfolio managers was caught… READ MORE ›

History Repeating Itself: Groupon’s Questionable Accounting Practices Are Nothing New

A few months ago, I wrote about how Groupon had been using a non-GAAP accounting metric, “adjusted consolidated segment operating income” (CSOI), to explain its past performance — a practice the online… READ MORE ›

The Bizarro World of FAS 159

Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld titled “The Bizarro Jerry”? In this episode, which was based on Bizarro Superman, everything is backwards, i.e., up is down, down is up, in is out, out is in.

Well, financial institutions have… READ MORE ›

The Ethical Lessons of Rogue Trading

As Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” This quote comes to mind in the wake of the drama that has unfolded at UBS, where 31-year-old trader Kweku… READ MORE ›



By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close