Actions you can take, inspired by real-world ideas from CFA charterholders and members.
Commit: It Starts With You
- Commit to a gold standard code of ethics and professional conduct (see the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct).
- Name and shame unethical behavior.
- Strive for a conflict-free business model.
- Act with integrity 24/7 – not just at the office.
- Act with fairness and prudence with every decision.
- Adhere to high standards even if they are not required in your country.
- Take responsibility for the actions of your team.
- Mentor future investment industry professionals.
- Adopt Global Investment Performance Standards.
- Refuse to associate with anyone who takes advantage of clients.
- Become a member of CFA Institute and sign the required annual ethics statement.
Inspire: Be an Ethical Leader
- Never overlook unethical behavior because you're better served by ignorance.
- Vocally demand that your firm does what is right for clients.
- Encourage young professionals to have the courage to disagree.
- Lead by example with your firm and colleagues.
- Write articles and speak publicly about ethics.
- Promote the concept of earning money rather than making money.
- Create an ethical work culture that allows constructive criticism.
- Bring an ethical dimension to discussions of business strategy.
- Remind junior associates that reputations are hard earned and easily lost.
- Use social media to comment about the values you uphold.
- Act as an expert resource for journalists.
Engage: Develop Trustworthy Relationships
- Place the client's interests before your own.
- Help clients focus on risk as much as they do on performance.
- Keep client fees fair.
- Present analysis based on facts and client needs.
- Always be honest with clients.
- Never engage in misleading sales promotions.
- Recommend companies with fair practices and good corporate governance.
- Tip the balance between competing interests in favor of clients.
- Maintain regular contact with clients.
- Listen to clients' concerns and fears.
Communicate: Be Transparent
- Recommend products with transparent payoffs, costs, and risks.
- Be transparent with clients when something goes wrong.
- Actively disclose all compensation arrangements to clients.
- Outline exactly how you are managing a client's funds.
- Disseminate transparent, accurate, and timely information.
- Be clear about situational influences in your environment.
- Disclose information in ways even novice investors can understand.
- Openly share bad news with all who are affected.
Learn: Build Your Knowledge
- Require training on ethical decision-making for yourself and your firm.
- Disclose your educational achievements and how you improve professional competence.
- Base investment recommendations on strong analysis.
Advocate: Shape a Better System
- Advocate for stronger regulations that protect investors.
- Elevate the importance of integrity in the hiring process.
- Adopt the CFA Institute Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct.
- Bring to justice those who take part in irresponsible and illegal activities.
- Advocate for technology that makes the industry more transparent.
- Engage and build relationships with local regulators and policy makers.
- Serve on committees that advocate for regulatory reform.