The Association for Investment Management and Research, a non-profit organization that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program, began airing in November its first television and radio commercials. The ads drive home the claim that AIMR members adhere strictly to the AIMR Code of Ethics and put investor interests above their own. Also in November, AIMR issued guidelines aimed at encouraging investment management firms to establish their own “clear” guidelines in vital investor-protection areas such as disclosure of trade-management practices and conflicts of interest.
Founded in January 1990, AIMR was created from the merger of the Financial Analysts Federation (FAF) and the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (ICFA). (The CFA designation has existed for 40 years.) At present there are nearly 60,000 AIMR members in over 100 countries, 48,000 of whom hold the CFA credential.
The AIMR broadcast messages–”Today, only a small percentage of investment professionals hold the CFA credential,” reads one of the radio commercials. “Imagine if they all did.”–address the lapse in ethics experienced by some parts of the financial services industry. “I fear that all of us in the profession have been tainted by the Wall Street scandals,” said CFA charterholder and AIMR president/CEO Tom Bowman, in a prepared release. “We need to speak up and let people know that there are thousands of investment professionals out there who uphold high ethical standards and conduct themselves with professionalism.”
According to AIMR, its Code of Ethics is a set of principles that defines the professional conduct AIMR demands from its members, whether or not they hold the CFA charter. First introduced in the early 1960s as part of the CFA curriculum and examination program, the Code states that AIMR members shall: