Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
02 October 2023

The 27th Annual GIPS® Standards Conference: Top Five Topics

Investment performance is critically important to every firm. After all, investment performance is what a firm produces and sells. As such, investment professionals must understand the details of the underlying data as well as how performance is calculated, reported, marketed, and regulated.

The Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®), which are owned and administered by CFA Institute, are the premier investment industry standard for calculating and presenting historical investment performance. More than 1,700 organizations in 48 markets worldwide claim compliance for all or a portion of their assets, including 24 of the top 25 and 90 of the top 100 global asset managers, according to Pensions & Investments as of 31 December 2021. More than 100 volunteers from all regions of the globe, including representatives from investment managers, asset owners, verifiers, and consultants, help to shape the GIPS standards.

Banner for 27th Annual GIPS Standards Conference

The 27th Annual GIPS Standards Conference, which will be held 17 and 18 October in Chicago, will gather a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders, from performance neophytes to self-proclaimed “performance geeks,” to learn, network, and build relationships. Some people attend every year, and some have even been to all 27 conferences. The presentations are interactive, so participants can question the panelists. The panel for the GIPS Standards Help Desk session, which is held toward the end of the conference, will attempt to address any GIPS standards–related questions that were not answered during a specific session.

So, why is this the must-attend event for performance and compliance professionals? Because industry and regulatory experts will be on hand to discuss and explain the newest trends and challenges in investment performance, including these top five topics:

1. The Latest Regulatory Developments

Over the past few years, we have seen unprecedented performance-related regulatory activity, with the issuance of the SEC Marketing Rule, the SEC Private Fund Adviser Rules, and FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-21.

At the conference, Robert Shapiro, assistant director of the Division of Investment Management at the SEC, will address ongoing challenges with implementing SEC Marketing Rule requirements. Anne Anquillare, CFA, head of US Fund Services at CSC Global Financial Markets, is one of several legal and compliance experts who will provide insights into new performance reporting requirements under the Private Fund Adviser rules. Presenters will also conduct a deep dive into internal rate of return (IRR) metrics and the related calculations that these regulations require.

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2. The Current State of SEC Examinations

Registered investment advisers are subject to examinations performed by the SEC’s Division of Examinations, which has been conducting many targeted examinations. Mark Dowdell, the assistant regional director of the SEC’s Philadelphia regional office, has participated in more than 1,000 such examinations, and he will discuss the SEC Marketing Rule examination areas of focus, the documentation typically requested, and findings thus far. He will also address hot topics for private funds, including allocations of fees and expenses, valuation practices, and examinations focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) product disclosures.

3. GIPS Standards Update

Dimitri Senik, CFA, the chair of the GIPS Standards Technical Committee, and Karyn Vincent, CFA, CIPM, the executive director of the GIPS standards, will review newly issued guidance, tools, and resources as well as future projects currently in development.

4. Developing a Database Strategy

In this session, Jill Banaszak, global head of Omni Success at eVestment, will explain the latest trends in institutional databases, the best practices for efficiently and effectively providing data in today’s environment, the most commonly used data screens, the most common reasons for failing screens, what happens when all applicable data fields are not completed, and how databases capture a firm’s GIPS compliance status.

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5. Outsourcing Considerations

Firms are always evaluating their operational business models and back and middle office functions. In their panel discussion, Daryl Bradford, CFA, CIPM, of Acadian Asset Management, and Lisa Masten, consulting principal at Cutter Associates, will address what factors to consider when assessing whether to outsource investment performance‒related functions, how to plan and complete an outsourcing project while coordinating with the many stakeholders, best practices for monitoring outsourced service providers, how outsourcing back office and middle office functions can impact internal investment performance operations, and the latest outsourcing trends.

Even if performance is not your main focus, by attending the conference, you will gain a better understanding of how to calculate and report performance and increase your knowledge and awareness about performance and related issues.

You can also earn CFA Institute Professional Learning (PL) and NASBA CPE credits by attending sessions.

I am looking forward to the conference. I hope to see you in Chicago.

For more on the GIPS standards, visit the GIPS standards website and register for the 27th Annual GIPS Standards Conference on 17–18 October 2023 in Chicago.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

Image credit: ©Getty Images/ Wirestock

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About the Author(s)
Beth Kaiser Schwartz, CFA, CIPM

Beth Kaiser Schwartz, CFA, CIPM, is a director of investment performance standards at CFA Institute. She maintains the GIPS standards through management of the interpretations process, develops standards and guidance for such new technical areas as alternative strategies and risk, and works extensively with volunteer committees.

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