Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
06 September 2013

Keeping Pace with the Ever-Evolving GIPS Standards

CFA Institute is a global not-for-profit association of investment professionals with the mission of leading the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. It has a longstanding commitment to establishing a broadly accepted ethical standard for calculating and presenting investment performance based on the principles of fair representation and full disclosure.

The Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) were first introduced in 1999. To maintain global relevance, and to keep up with the changing financial landscape, the GIPS standards must be continually updated through interpretations, guidance, and new provisions.  Firms that choose to claim compliance with the GIPS standards must comply with all the requirements of the GIPS standards, including any updates, guidance statements, interpretations, Questions & Answers (Q&As), and clarifications published by CFA Institute and the GIPS Executive Committee. These are available on the GIPS standards website as well as in the GIPS Handbook.

When the GIPS standards were originally released, our constituents were clamoring for additional guidance in numerous areas. Fourteen years later, it can be a challenge to keep up with everything. Historically, the expectation was to develop a new version of the GIPS standards every five years; at that time, all provisions were reviewed, updated, and issued for public comment. To make this happen, it required a herculean effort by numerous GIPS volunteers and CFA Institute staff to complete the updates by an agreed upon date. Going forward we have decided our resources would be better utilized if we updated the GIPS standards as needed, adding or revising particular GIPS provisions and other interpretive guidance, and making them available for public comment as deemed necessary. Therefore, we will not create a 2015 edition of the GIPS standards. This also will allow us to continue work on a number of exciting projects we have in the pipeline, including enhanced guidance on performance record portability and GIPS verifier independence. We are also working on new guidance for overlay strategies.

GIPS Standards Annual Conference

The GIPS Standards Annual Conference, scheduled for 19–20 September in Boston, will offer a comprehensive update on developments related to the GIPS standards. This is our 17th annual conference where investment performance specialists from around the world will gather to network and listen to subject matter experts speak to the key issues and latest investment performance measurement developments. As in prior years, we also will hold performance workshops the day before the conference.

This year, we will livestream two of the highly anticipated conference sessions, which we’ll also archive for convenient on-demand viewing:

  • On 19 September,  at 1:15 p.m. EDT, Karyn Vincent, CFA, CIPM,  founder of Vincent Performance Services LLC and chair of the Verification/Practitioner Subcommittee, will discuss many of the easily overlooked requirements  a firm must  adhere to when claiming compliance with the GIPS standards. This will be a detailed presentation that you will not want to miss because it will cover many of the requirements contained in the GIPS Handbook. At 449 pages, the recently released 3rd edition of the GIPS Handbook is a treasure trove of new interpretive guidance and Q&As.
  • On 20 September, at 11 a.m. EDT, Andrew Bowden, director of the U.S. SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), will discuss some of the recent developments at the SEC and provide an opportunity for conference attendees and online participants to ask questions.

We hope that you can join the GIPS Standards Annual Conference either in person or for the online events. You also can keep up with conference happenings via Twitter.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback for us, we encourage you to contact the GIPS team at CFA Institute through the GIPS Helpdesk . We also encourage you to stay up to date by signing up for the GIPS Newsletter as well as the CFA Institute Investment Risk and Performance Newsletter, a quarterly newsletter with practical perspectives on global and regional issues facing the investment performance measurement field.


Photo credit: @iStockphoto.com/TommL

About the Author(s)
Ken Robinson, CFA, CIPM

Ken Robinson, CFA, CIPM, is a director of investment performance standards at CFA Institute. He helps maintain the GIPS standards by managing the interpretations process and developing guidance for new technical areas.

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