CFA Institute Wraps Up Second Annual Putting Investors First Month

More than 85,000 CFA Institute members represented in global movement to raise awareness for investor rights

TORONTO, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence, has concluded its second annual Putting Investors First Month, a global campaign that aims to unite investment professionals in a commitment to place investor interests above all others. Putting Investors First Month activities took place in 45 countries throughout the world, by 93 member societies representing more than 85,000 investment professionals.

"We have seen a tremendous effort from CFA societies and members around the world to encourage the investment management industry to put investors' rights above their own. This means access to information, and fair and honest advice," said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. "We must, however, ensure that the focus on investor rights continues past the month of May. As stewards of our clients' assets, we all have a duty to demonstrate what it means to be a profession by promoting the highest standards of education and professional conduct."

Putting Investors First Month activities in 45 countries worldwide

Follow related activities and events here or on Twitter using #InvestorsFirst. Some activities in Canada include:

  • CFA Society Toronto created a campaign featured in the financial district throughout the month of May, highlighting the positive impact that members of the financial industry have on the lives of their clients.
  • In Vancouver, an event with the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, speaking about changes the Bank of Canada is making to its market operations that will give it more flexibility to respond to financial system shocks and better manage risk.
  • In Victoria, an event celebrating the rise of women investors and angel-backed women-led companies.
  • CFA Society Winnipeg hosted a gala event to celebrate Putting Investors First Month in partnership with the Manitoba Financial Literacy Forum.

Some worldwide activities include:

  • In the United States, government officials declared Putting Investors First proclamations in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • CFA Society Arkansas partnered with the University of Arkansas' Office of Latino Academic Advancement and Community Relations to deliver a financial literacy seminar to provide basic financial skills to an audience of Latino parents.
  • Across Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Romania, a travelling conference focused on the theme of retirement security and why there is a retirement crisis. 
  • A travelling conference across Arkansas, Kansas City, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma, focused on the topic of "What has Changed Since 2008." A panel of regulators, including representatives from the SEC and FINRA, asked whether markets are better/fairer/faster as compared to pre-2008.
  • CFA Society Chicago rang the closing bell at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
  • CFA Society East Africa launched the Statement of Investor Rights, translated into Swahili and Luganda, at the Nairobi Securities Exchange in Kenya.
  • In Finland, a conference on the theme of investor rights featured Professor Meir Statman, a renowned expert in the field of behavioral finance. The conference examined the state of retail investor rights, and how to achieve a better financial future for Finnish and European investors.
  • In India, a joint event with the Indian Association of Investment Professionals (IAIP) and Indian Merchants Chamber took place on the topic of 'Putting Investors First – Building Investor Awareness' during which the Statement of Investor Rights was launched in Gujarati and Hindi languages.
  • In Japan, a seminar on the Japanese Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code took place in which regulators and members of the investment industry, including the Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, took part.
  • At an event in Luxembourg, speakers from CFA Institute and Fidelity Worldwide Investment shared their perspectives on how regulations affect investors and the industry.
  • In the Middle East, a travelling conference was organized across Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia on "Sustainability in Investing and Islamic Finance: Clarifying the Confusions'.
  • In the Netherlands, a ceremony to ring the opening bell of the stock exchange took place, followed by an event to discuss "Ethics and Leadership:  You, the trusted professional".
  • In Orlando, Charles D. Ellis, CFA, a leading American investment consultant, explored the importance of retirement savings and the need for the industry to impart that message to investors.
  • In Philadelphia, a seminar looked at how to better analyze companies to help investors to make sound investment and risk management decisions.
  • In the Philippines, the second Philippines Retail Investment Conference, an event that provides education to 600+ retail investors, took place in collaboration with the Philippine Stock Exchange, Central Bank of the Philippines, Fund Managers Association of the Philippines, Trust Officers Association of the Philippines, Money Market Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Association of the Philippines, and Investment House Association of the Philippines.  
  • A 'Social Media Chat' on the topic of Understanding Millennial Clients was hosted in South Africa.
  • CFA Societies Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus held events on systemic, regulatory and fundamental implications of capital market developments.
  • The second annual Putting Investors First Conference took place in Turkey. Organized in partnership with Bosphorus University CARF and CCG, the panel discussions focused on 'The Trust Issue in the Turkish Finance Industry and Investor Protection' and 'Investment Advisory and Investment Protection'.
  • In Uganda, a bell ringing ceremony took place at the Uganda Securities Exchange.
  • Viewing parties for the CFA Institute Live Webinar of Understanding Millennial Clients took place in several locations across the world including Boston, Cleveland, Minnesota, New York, and Ukraine.

Professionals Endorse 'Statement of Investor Rights'
The central focus of the Putting Investors First Month initiative is the Statement of Investor Rights, which financial professionals and investors were encouraged to endorse and share with their clients and communities. The Statement applies to financial products and services such as investment management, research and advice, personal banking, insurance and real estate. It includes rights that investors are entitled to expect such as objective advice, disclosure of conflicts of interest, and fair and reasonable fees. The Statement is intended to help investors demand that financial professionals abide by these rights.

"At a recent meeting, I talked with a prospect who was interviewing several competitors to open a sizable account," said Peter Baksh, CFA, Vice President and Trust Investment Officer, The First National Bank. "My approach was to describe the team, our discretionary investment management process and hand over a copy of the Statement of Investor Rights. Within a week and a half, I had the account opening meeting to start transferring assets along with a large cash deposit. I think this highlights a competitive advantage in an era where the public's trust in the financial industry has been shaken. To be a leader in advocating the ethical and professional stance of CFA Institute can clearly have a positive impact on our client acquisition efforts."

In conjunction with Putting Investors First Month, CFA Institute launched a new report, Addressing Financial Reporting Complexity: Investor Perspectives, which looks at financial reporting complexity from the perspective of the investor – an important contribution that has yet to be included substantially in the current dialogue being undertaken by standard setters. The report is part of an extensive body of work by CFA Institute which looks at the impact of financial reporting requirements from the investor perspective. While the report is based upon a survey of professional investors, greater transparency will facilitate their services to their clients. 

Putting Investors First Month is part of the organization's Future of Finance initiative, a global effort to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking financial industry that better serves society. For more information about Putting Investors First Month, the Future of Finance initiative and the Statement of Investor Rights, visit www.CFAInstitute.org/FutureFinance.

About CFA Institute
CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal is to create an environment where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 131,000 members, including 123,700 CFA charterholders, in 145 countries and territories and 144 member societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org.

About Putting Investors First Month: May 2015
Putting Investors First Month is a global initiative created to encourage financial professionals to place the interests of investors above their own, and build awareness of the duty to protect investor interests. The event is presented as a collaborative effort by societies of CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. Putting Investors First Month is part of the Future of Finance project, a long-term global effort to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking financial industry that better serves society.

SOURCE CFA Institute

For further information: Jannine Rane, FleishmanHillard, 416-645-3662, Jannine.rane@fleishman.ca; J.D. McCartney, New York, +1 (212) 418-6889, jd.mccartney@cfainstitute.org


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