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CFA Institute Kicks Off Third Annual ‘Putting Investors First’ Month

Global association leads movement to develop professionalism for ultimate benefit of society

CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, will recognize May as the third annual Putting Investors First Month. This annual month-long, global initiative focuses on promoting the needs and rights of investors with the end goal of uniting investment professionals in a commitment to place investor interests above all others.

Throughout the month of May, many of the organization’s 147 member societies worldwide will host local events and call attention to the needs and rights of investors by sharing the Statement of Investor Rights, a list of ten rights that any investor should expect from financial service providers. In addition, the organization will spotlight A Difference That Matters, a global advertising campaign, which features CFA charterholders from around the world and aims to build a better investment management profession by raising investors’ awareness of what makes CFA charterholders different.

“Putting the investor first is critically important because investing is, and always has been, deeply personal,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO, CFA Institute. “Behind every investment transaction, there is an individual whose hopes and dreams depend on this capital, whether it’s putting the kids through college, paying the mortgage, or saving for retirement. Investment is about people, and that focus is more important now than ever before. We have an incredible opportunity as an organization; our foundation is built upon placing the interests of our clients first, second, and last, and we must never forget this.”

Putting Investors First Month Aims to Create Impact by Encouraging Ethical Behavior

According to a recent report from CFA Institute, From Trust to Loyalty: A Global Survey of What Investors Want, we see that investor loyalty remains fragile showing that the need to put investors first is greater than ever. A central focus of Putting Investors First Month is the Statement of Investor Rights, which investment management professionals are encouraged to share with their clients and communities. 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 document includes rights that investors are entitled to expect such as objective advice, disclosure of conflicts of interest, and fair and reasonable fees. To complement the Statement, CFA Institute has produced Realize your Rights: Using the Statement of Investor Rights, which provides the questions and considerations that will allow investors to evaluate the ethical commitment of their financial service providers and to ensure that their interests come first.

“The CFA Institute community worldwide is committed to good stewardship, high ethical standards, and putting investors first,” continued Smith. “Through the Statement of Investor Rights we are educating investors on their rights to a service that puts their interests first. By supporting Putting Investors First Month, we want to inspire our community to make real impact and foster a market environment where investors can thrive.”

Activities around the World

Putting Investors First Month activities will be held in many cities around the world:

  • CFA Society Arkansas held a presentation looking at cases in ethical decision making, demonstrating to an audience of local investment management professionals why ethics matter.
  • Australian societies in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne will host an event based on From Trust to Loyalty: What Investors Want.
  • CFA Society Belgium, CFA Society Netherlands and CFA Society Italy will host an event on Bond Market Liquidity.
  • CFA Society Cayman Islands is developing a local advertisement and will also host an event at which Barry Ritholtz, author, newspaper columnist, blogger, equities analyst, and CIO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, will speak.
  • CFA Society Chicago will host ‘A Discussion on the Current Investment Regulatory and Ethical Environment’, a panel discussion focusing on regulatory issues and ethical mandates.
  • CFA Society Czech Republic will host Alice Rezkova, Senior Research Fellow for the Association of International Affairs, who will present on the topic of Chinese Investments in the Czech Republic and CEE.
  • CFA Society Denmark, CFA Society Finland, CFA Society Sweden and CFA Society Norway will host Eddy Travia, CEO and Co-Founder of Coinsilium, who will speak on the topic of Financial Technology.
  • CFA Society East Africa will host an event on the theme of Investing in Uncertain Times - Divergence in Investor Behavior.
  • CFA Society France will host ‘Where Are We After 2008? An Update on Reforms, Changes and Regulations during which it invites guests to take stock of the past eight years and whether reforms are sufficient to protect us from a new crisis.
  • CFA Society Luxembourg will host a Putting Investors First event with Rhodri Preece, CFA, head of Capital Markets (EMEA) at CFA Institute.
  • CFA Society Milwaukee invites you to a panel discussion focusing on ways that investors are protected and supported by the financial services industry
  • CFA Society Netherlands will host an ethics training event, Can Being Ethical be Dangerous to your Career? during which several real life ethical dilemmas that professionals working in the financial services industry may face in the course of their careers. This event is co-organised with the VBA, the professional association for investment professionals and their customers in the Netherlands.
  • CFA Society Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan to jointly raise awareness of investor rights and establish the standards of professional excellence in investment management in Pakistan.
  • CFA Society Philippines will host its annual Financial Fitness Run around Manila during which participants can see extracts fromRealize your Rights: Using the Statement of Investor Rights.
  • CFA Society Poland will host Liam Halligan, Editor-at-Large, Business New Europe, who will discuss key factors in the international community’s continued interest in the CEE Region.
  • CFA Societies across Texas, namely Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, will all host presentations on the Future of Finance, led by Ashvin Chhabra, president, Euclidean Capital and author of The Aspirational Investor.
  • CFA Society Sacramento will host a Future of Finance focused networking event.
  • CFA Society Saudi Arabia and CFA Society Jordan will host Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden, CEO and Chief Economist of Arabia Monitor, who will discuss the region’s economic outlook, energy and geopolitics.
  • CFA Society Switzerland, CFA Society Liechtenstein and CFA Society Austria will host Russell Napier during his speaker tour Built to Fail - How Flaws in the Global Monetary System Produce Deflation.
  • CFA Society Victoria will host an event focusing on the Statement of Investor Rights.
  • CFA Society Washington, DC is running a campaign for Putting Investors First Month during which it is placing adverts and articles written by members.
  • CFA Society Winnipeg will host a half day Women in Investment Management conference.
  • Atlanta Society of Finance and Investment Professionals will host an event looking at the Future of Finance in Atlanta at which the city’s mayor, Mayor Kasim Reed, will speak. In addition, the Governor of the state of Georgia will proclaim May as Putting Investors First month.
  • The Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts will host a series of TV and radio programs, as well as print media opportunities on investor education topics.

Putting Investors First Month is part of the CFA Institute Future of Finance initiative, a global effort to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking investment profession that better serves society. The initiative will run at the same time as the 69th CFA Institute Annual Conference, which takes place May 8-11 in Montreal, Canada.