The Future of Finance Industry Ethics
This week I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a couple of important reasons. First, this was the official inauguration of our new office serving Latin and South America. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with a large member contingent from Argentina and Uruguay, who had an opportunity to meet our senior staff and many members of the CFA Institute Board of Governors. The second reason for the Buenos Aires sessions was to introduce our board to the region and the promise it holds for significantly expanding the CFA Institute mission.
As part of this meeting, we also began developing the next set of long-term strategic objectives for the organization. This was my first opportunity as president and CEO of CFA Institute to participate in this critical, longer-term planning process that will define our efforts over the next four years. The plan will address such areas as next steps for the CFA Program, continuing education issues, and advancing ethical practice in the finance industry.
During our pre-meeting planning, I was struck by the results of a short survey taken by board members, Presidents Council Representatives (PCRs), and staff: 100 percent of the respondents said that our already-strong focus on ethical leadership needs further emphasis. It serves as a reminder to me of our uniquely important role as a leading voice for integrity, ethics, and professionalism in the financial industry. And it’s hard to imagine a time when the industry needed it more. Discussions are underway to find ways to increase both the volume and reach of our much-needed ethics message.
As we work to meet this challenge, I have high hopes and expectations for a much more engaged membership. Indeed, improved awareness and outreach on matters of industry ethics will depend on our members and like-minded practitioners. Beyond our individual commitment to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, we must be strong advocates for ethical business practices at the firm level to improve our industry’s reputation and to prevent another global financial crisis. To that end, I urge all of you to take a closer look at the CFA Institute Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct and encourage your firm’s adoption.
Please share your thoughts on industry ethics.