A guest post by Nicole Haroutunian, PR Manager at the CFA Institute
Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays, recently told employees who do not wish to adhere to a strict new ethical code of conduct that they should quit the bank and find jobs elsewhere. This very public shift towards creating a more accountable culture across the finance industry, across all roles, is encouraging and much needed in the quest to restore reputation and trust.
One of our fundamental premises at CFA Institute
is that a more educated and ethical industry enables more informed and responsible decision making for the benefit of clients, and ultimately society as a whole. By raising standards within all professional disciplines in a firm, we believe a stronger and more effective industry will result.
Over the past two years, we have had conversations with 80 organizations spread across Asia, Europe and North America in which we received consistent feedback about the need for a universal standard of education for non-investment professionals working in the investment industry.
Additionally, 75% of our members indicated that personnel throughout their organization could benefit from investment-related educational development, with emphasis at the fundamentals level. In response to this feedback, and as a result of our conversations with industry leaders, government officials, journalists, and others, we have created the Claritas Investment Certificate
This new programme will provide a framework and contextual view of the investment industry, aimed at increasing levels of knowledge and understanding for the many professional disciplines within financial services, including consultancy, compliance, marketing and sales, legal, HR, IT and operations. Those completing the certificate will emerge with a clear understanding of the investment industry and their professional responsibilities within it.
Companies we have talked to, including the 68 participating in the pilot programme before the public launch in May, indicated that shared understanding of the business and knowledge of the operations of the industry are equally important to employees and firms as specific technical skills.
According to our Global Market Sentiment Survey 2013, investors agree that to restore integrity in the global capital markets, change must come from within. More than 65 per cent of respondents indicated that a lack of ethical culture within financial firms has been the biggest contributor to the decline in confidence. Restoring that ethical culture must come from companies themselves, and we hope that our combined efforts with the finance industry, firms, and employees, can help in the journey to restore trust.