A new trade group has been formed to act as the "public face" of the investment advisor channel.

The Investment Managers and Advisors Alliance is a non-profit trade association whose members include investment advisors, asset managers and their product and service providers, according to a statement announcing the launch of the group.

One of the stated goals of the IMAA is to "promote open communication between investment advisors and asset managers for the benefit of the investing public," according to the group.

The founding chairman of the group's board of directors is Ken Gutwillig, chief investment officer and chief compliance officer of Financial Decisions, a registered investment advisory firm in New York City that serves high-net-worth individuals, corporations, trusts and charities.

The co-directors are Stephen Pearl, regional director for Calamos Investments for Connecticut and New York, and Paul Leibowitz, founder and president of Leibowitz Communications, a marketing and strategy design firm.

"The IMAA's immediate goal is to help restore confidence in the markets and investment professionals through national public service advertising campaigns," Gutwillig said. "We will also borrow from the playbook of the recent presidential campaigns and employ new media strategies and viral marketing as well as traditional media outlets.

The group's long-term goals include "improving transparency in the advisor channel by working together to enhance product offerings and helping investors feel educated and confident in their choices," according to the IMAA.