In an effort to improve the standards of the financial industry, the CFA Institute, a global organization of financial professionals, is launching an education and research campaign that will ask investors to demand high standards of their advisors.
The campaign, announced by the institute Wednesday, is known as the "Future of Finance.” It starts with a statement of investor rights, saying investors must demand objective advice, the disclosure of conflicts of interest from their advisors, and fair and reasonable fees. The CFA Institute is asking anyone with complaints to address them to the institute or the appropriate regulators.
The advisory council for the campaign will be headed by economist and author John Kay and will have a prestigious lineup of members. These include Keith Ambachtsheer, the director of the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management at the University of Toronto; Paul Chow, the former chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Elizabeth Corley, the CEO of Allianz Global Investors; Tom Keene, a CFA and editor-at-large at Bloomberg News; Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner at the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Saker Nusseibeh, the CEO and head of investment at Hermes Fund Managers; and Robert C. Pozen, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
The campaign is designed to bring fairness, improved understanding and integrity to the financial industry. The CFA Institute wants to lead the effort in promoting investor rights, and is using events, publications and research to promote best practices.
A call to action will be issued in May to further the campaign, which will focus on topics such as putting investors first, safeguarding the system, retirement security, financial knowledge, regulation and enforcement, and transparency and fairness. Recommendations will be made to address each area, says the institute.
The call to action will include an overview of the primary problems facing the financial community and the lack of confidence some people have in it.
“The Future of Finance project is a critical way for us to encourage thought leadership and engagement as we seek to shape a more forward-thinking industry,” says John Rogers, the CEO and president of the CFA Institute.