“The global financial industry can be an extraordinary force for good, but there is much work to be done to shape the industry for future generations,” said John Kay, economist and chair of the Future of Finance Advisory Council.
The Future of Finance was launched by CFA Institute working with a team of members of the financial industry, as well as experts from education and the media, with the aim of providing the tools to motivate and empower the world of finance to commit to fairness, improved understanding and personal integrity.
“This project is designed to engage professionals and investors in and outside of finance to help solve problems with the global financial system,” Kay said. “We can affect positive change in finance, but change starts with all of us—industry leaders, financial professionals, government agencies, financial regulators and the public. It’s an ambitious project that aims not just to gather the best ideas, but to make them a reality.”
One aim of the project is to inform investors of their rights. To this end, CFA Institute created a statement of 10 investor rights to advise buyers of financial service products of the conduct they are entitled to expect from financial service providers. Demanding that financial professionals abide by these rights—such as the right to honest, competent and ethical conduct that complies with applicable law; and the right to disclosure of any existing or potential conflicts of interest in providing products or services—helps investors build trust in those they engage with, to collectively restore trust, respect and integrity in financial services.
The list applies to financial products and services such as investment management, research and advice, personal banking, even insurance and real estate, and is intended to help investors demand that financial professionals abide by these rights.
The statement of investor rights emphasizes the concept that the investor must always come first, and lays a solid foundation for this project, said John Rogers, CFA, chief executive and president of CFA Institute.
“Our plans are lofty as we develop events, publications and significant research-based tools to reinforce the need for ethical conduct and professional practice to restore trust and confidence in finance,” Rogers said. “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. CFA Institute is in a unique position to lead this effort, promoting the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”
The Future of Finance project is focused on six topics for those who rely on finance, including putting investors first; safeguarding the system; retirement security; financial knowledge; regulation and enforcement; and transparency and fairness. The project plans research and recommendations to address each area, and will produce accessible tools to encourage broad adoption and widespread change throughout the global financial system.
In addition to Council Chairman Kay, the members of the Future of Finance Advisory Council are: Keith Ambachtsheer, director of the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Paul Chow, former chief executive, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.; Elizabeth Corley, chief executive of Allianz Global Investors; Tom Keene, editor-at-large, Bloomberg News; Ira M. Millstein, senior partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive and head of investment of Hermes Fund Managers; and Robert C. Pozen, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and senior fellow, Brookings Institution.
For more information about CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals, visit their website.
To learn more about the Future of Finance project and find ways to participate, visit www.cfainstitute.org/FutureFinance.