Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
27 April 2017

Competition Invites Innovative Ideas for Improving Ethics and Trust in Finance

Ten years ago, the global financial crisis shocked the financial system to its foundations. Few market participants or regulators had an inkling that the troubled US housing market would be the forerunner of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in 1929. In times of turmoil, ethical and moral standards are often questioned, which can erode public trust and confidence in the role of finance in society. Therefore, restoring trust in financial services and markets is an immense task that requires many actors to play an active, ongoing role.

Against this backdrop, CFA Institute has steadfastly supported efforts to rebuild trust in a renewed financial sector. One example of that support is our sponsorship of the Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize to help promote awareness of trust and ethical behaviour in finance among students and young professionals. The global competition invites creative papers on the subject of innovative ideas for improving ethics and trust in finance and is open to those who are 35 years old or younger.

Launching the 6th Edition of the Prize

As a strategic partner with the Observatoire de la Finance, which launched the 1st edition of the prize originally named the Ethics in Finance Robin Cosgrove Prize, CFA Institute recently co-organized an event to launch the 6th edition (2016/2017) of the. The event included discussion on such issues as the role and forms of ethics training, ethics in a world of robots, how corporations can embed trust in their organizational cultures, whether there is an intergenerational divide in relation to ethics, the intercultural dimension of ethics and trust, and what to expect from regulators and policymakers.

Pictured from left to right are the moderator, Paul H. Dembinski, Robin Jarvis, Ross Murdoch, Josina Kamerling, and Stephane Bernard.

The keynote speaker of the event was Pervenche Beres, a member of the European Parliament and senior member of the Parliament’s Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs. She stressed the idea that the financial markets do not regulate themselves and that ethical issues cannot be excluded as a factor behind a crisis. The panel consisted of several distinguished guests, such as Robin Jarvis, Professor of Accounting at Brunel University and Adviser of EFAA; Stephane Bernard, managing director at Euroclear; and Josina Kamerling, head of Regulatory Outreach for EMEA at CFA Institute. Furthermore, Ross Murdoch, the 2015 winner of the Prize and a solicitor who works at the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, contributed to the discussion as a panelist making excellent remarks from his paper on behavioral ethics. The panelists agreed on the need to take ethics beyond regulators and make it a living reality. Young professionals are a refreshing force in the world of finance and should be encouraged to constantly question current practices and to speak up in promoting ethics in order to transform the financial industry into one that truly serves society’s best interests.

Pervenche Beres delivers the keynote address.

Ethics are inextricably linked to the world of finance because they form the basis for trust. Through the Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize, young professionals have the chance to write papers to examine the role of ethics and integrity in finance by considering three aspects — namely the roles of ethics in the world of finance, ethical issues in financial activities and institutions in both the public and private sectors, and initiatives and project proposals concerning teaching and regulating ethics in finance.

About the Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize

  • Competition is open to professionals and academics under 35 years of age.
  • Papers can be submitted in either English or French.
  • Prize of $20,000 is shared among the winners.
  • Final deadline for submission of entries is on 31 July 2017.
  • For further information on the Prize please visit:

Author’s Note: A special thank you to Nikolaos Despotou for his assistance with writing this post.

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Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/matdesign24

About the Author(s)
Josina Kamerling

Josina Kamerling is head of regulatory outreach for CFA Institute for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region and is based in the Brussels office. She is responsible for supporting CFA Institute's EMEA policy development, advancing the impact of advocacy efforts, and promoting capital market integrity and investor protection issues.

2 thoughts on “Competition Invites Innovative Ideas for Improving Ethics and Trust in Finance”

  1. Henry says:

    Ethical developments are important factors in the banking system of tomorrow, especially in areas such as transparency and open working practices.

    Good luck to all who apply.

    Will there be a place to review all the applicants – or will only winning entries be published?

  2. A truly wonderful event. Very Insightful. Thanks to Josina and Eve and Paul for making it happen.

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