Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
23 May 2016

How Finance Can be a Force for Good in Society: One Investment Manager’s Perspective

Since the launch of the Future of Finance initiative, CFA Institute has sought to empower the world of finance to create an environment in which investor interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. Local CFA Institute societies and CFA Institute members have played a critical role in this global effort to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking financial industry that better serves society.

For Ranji Nagaswami, CFA, a 30-year veteran of the investment management industry, this focus comes naturally. After leaving the private sector, she helped to manage New York City’s $120 billion employee retirement system in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. She saw her role evolve from a successful investment management professional to someone who also wanted to “build something that would endure.” Her involvement in the Henry Crown Fellowship Program at the Aspen Institute — which seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders — reinforced those beliefs: “Are you going to be an active, engaged leader in society, or are you going to be a bystander, so absorbed in building your company, that you don’t find the time or the impetus to engage in society?”

In a recent interview, Nagaswami, a senior adviser and operating partner at Corsair Capital, discussed why she helped launch the Aspen Institute Finance Leaders Fellowship Program, with support from CFA Institute, and the need for enlightened leaders in finance.

How the actions of a few have created negative outcomes and disenfranchised many in society from the finance industry.


The finance industry needs enlightened leaders who can nudge innovations in the industry toward problem solving that helps society.


What is the role of investment managers in making finance a force for good?

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About the Author(s)
Crystal Detamore

Crystal Detamore is a communications director at CFA Institute and a former columnist for Entrepreneur magazine.

4 thoughts on “How Finance Can be a Force for Good in Society: One Investment Manager’s Perspective”

  1. Chris Ksoll says:

    Ranji, I am very excited to read and listen to your thoughts/vision. What I am finding, as I continue to progress in both my finance related career and my animal welfare work, is the issue of transparency. In fact transparency is one of the most critical issues in bridging the business community and the social welfare community. Once a social issue has been truly vetted—and by vetted, I mean uncovering the money trail of a social issue, then true transparency can lead to a solution. I personally have found this to be true in the issue of puppy mills. Embarking on a banker’s due diligence to really address the industry, we now know definitively, what the money trail looks like and who the players are. Business and social welfare are now connected. We made the documentary Dog By Dog, in order to have a venue to present a transparent money trail. I fully agree with all you have said and hope we are embarking on an era of weaving sound business practice with social welfare. Thank you for your leadership on this very important topic!

  2. Crystal Detamore says:

    Thank you for your comment, Chris.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Many industry practitioners know this but sadly few have the courage to stand forth and make that difference.

  4. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Cynthia.

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