At a time when it is vital for advisors to abide by fiduciary standards, the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence LLC (CEFEX), an independent global assessment and certification organization based in Toronto, Canada, is putting advisory firms through a rigorous assessment process to determine their level of fiduciary responsibility.

Recently, Rockford, Illinois-based Savant Capital Management, Inc. became one of the first investment managers globally to successfully complete the independent certification process, which takes into account how an investment advisor in either the United States or abroad assumes the responsibility for managing a client’s overall investment strategy, decides on their asset allocation, and develops an investment strategy. The process also looks at how an advisor implements that strategy and monitors it on an ongoing basis, CEFEX said in a release.

The annual certification process involves a detailed assessment of an advisor’s operational data and procedures, followed by on-site interviews with key personnel.

The Fiduciary Practices are substantiated by legislation, case law, and regulatory opinion letters from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA), and the Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement Systems Act (MPERS) in the U.S, CEFEX said.

CEFEX’s stated mission is to work closely with investment fiduciaries and industry experts to provide comprehensive assessment programs to improve risk management for institutional and retail investors.