GIPS® Country Sponsors in Asia Pacific Brainstorm Ways to Promote the GIPS Standards
Recently, representatives from GIPS country sponsors in the Asia-Pacific region got together for a one-day meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, to share their experiences with promoting the GIPS standards in their local markets, discuss challenges and opportunities they face during their outreach, and strategize on their action plans for the next 12 months.
Jonathan Boersma, CFA, Head of Professional Standards and Executive Director of the Global Investment Performance Standards at CFA Institute gave the representatives an update on some key developments with the GIPS standards, which was followed by a dynamic group discussion about the developments and their impact on investment firms’ adoption of the Standards.
Jonathan talked about the vision for the future GIPS standards and the GIPS 20/20 project, which will inform the next update of the standards — GIPS 2020. It is envisioned that the number of compliant firms will increase after streamlining the current standards to make them as relevant and straightforward as possible for different types of asset managers — for example, pooled funds managers and alternative investment managers. The project is called GIPS 20/20 not only because it is targeted to be completed by 2020, but also because it reflects the GIPS team’s vision for the future GIPS standards. To learn more about the GIPS 20/20 project, please listen to a recent interview of Jonathan talking about the project and the update.
The country sponsors were also asked to comment on exposure drafts of guidance statements on Risk, Verifier Independence, Overlay Strategies, and Benchmarks that are out now or coming soon. Their feedback will allow the GIPS team and the committee volunteers to refine the guidance statements before making them final and incorporating in GIPS 2020.
Strategizing for the Future
After Jonathan’s session, Iva Sladic Keco, Global Design Leader at CFA Institute, led a design thinking workshop for the representatives to listen, create, and refine their action plans for promoting the GIPS standards locally over the next 12 months.
After hearing from the representatives’ about what clients they want to focus on, Iva divided them into three groups based on their target clients — regulators, asset owners, and asset managers — to work through some creative and fun exercises to identify opportunities for connecting with those clients.
Iva guided the groups through brainstorming ideas, structuring those ideas, and selecting actionable ideas. The representatives were able to learn from each other and strategize their action plans step by step. They will then refine the action plans with their GIPS committee members to formalize and implement the plans over the next 12 months.
Gerry Cruz, AIFA, from Micronesia said “This process was very helpful to systematically think about possibilities. I found it challenging because it is not something natural to me, but when we went through it, I saw the purpose very clearly. The design thinking approach definitely helped me write my action plan better.”
Mohan Prabhu, CFA, from India said “When we started, it looked like every country has its own challenges and it is very difficult to find paths that would work for a few countries. But then, when we started with clients’ needs, it showed that our challenges are not so different after all and we can develop ideas together to approach them.”
The interactive discussions among representatives significantly inspired everybody to formulate well-thought-out action plans. In the coming months, the Chair of the RTS committee and the CFA Institute staff liaison will follow up with the representatives on the progress of their activities, such as hosting an industrywide seminar on the GIPS standards, promoting the advantages of the GIPS standards to the local investor community, arranging a training session on the GIPS standards for regulators and local industry practitioners, and communicating updates on the GIPS standards to stakeholders. The efforts of country sponsors will be instrumental in increasing regulators’ understanding of the GIPS standards, asset managers’ interest in adopting the standards, and asset owners’ demand for GIPS compliance from the asset managers they hire.
Front row from left to right: Edhi Santoso, CFA (Indonesia), Naoko Mori, CMA (Japan), Irene Cheung, CFA (Staff Liaison, CFA Institute), Tina Le (Project Coordinator, CFA Institute), Singha Nikornpun (Thailand), Wee Tian Sing, CFA, CAIA (Coming AP Regional Technical Subcommittee Chair – Singapore), Stephen Zhu, CIPM (AP Regional Technical Subcommittee Chair – China).
Back row from left to right: Ashraf Bava, CFA (Pakistan), Dinesh Warusavitharana, CFA (Sri Lanka), Gerry Cruz, AIFA (Micronesia), Mohan Prabhu, CFA (India), Jonathan Boersma, CFA (Executive Director of the Global Investment Performance Standards, CFA Institute), Jeffrey Stangl, CFA (New Zealand), Mike Seng (Singapore), Iva Sladic Keco (Global Design Leader, CFA Institute), Allan Hansell (Australia).