How do you create a mission statement? Retired Col. John Dundas runs a leadership development business called Leadership Applied (see www.leadershipapplied.com), and he teaches the following about creating a mission statement:
Task (What) + Purpose (Why) = Mission.
He also gives the following example: “We the People of the United States, [Why] in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, [What] do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
RIIA’ mission statement follows his advice: [Why] RIIA helps investors, distributors and manufacturers in the financial industry transition from investment accumulation to retirement management and income protection by [What] providing the space, discussions, communications, research, education and standards that derive from its unique perspective: the View Across the Silos.
Or put the other way around: [What] RIIA provides the space, discussions, communications, research, education and standards that derive from its unique perspective — the View Across the Silos — to [Why] help investors, distributors and manufacturers in the financial industry transition from investment accumulation to retirement management and income protection.
If you have read last year’s columns, you are familiar with the work-product of RIIA’s committees that implement the mission. You should also be familiar with what happened in the financial industry during the last third of 2008. Things changed in unexpected ways. Valuations and business models were shocked in ways that our accumulation-focused historical record and risk models did not help anticipate very well.
Interestingly, RIIA’s View Across the Silos has been changing with the changes as well. To this end we have formulated a description for the new retirement-focused job of the retirement management professional (RMP) and introduces RIIA’s work on a matching professional designation, the retirement management analyst (RMA).
A retirement management professional is responsible for helping investors plan, implement and manage every phase of their pre- and post-retirement life in a more holistic fashion to achieve and to maintain their desired standard of living.
Specifically, a retirement management professional needs to develop customized plans at the appropriate level of detail, including:
o Human capital: lifecycle work plans, longevity, personal lifestyle and extended family expectations
o Social capital: existing family, community, corporate and governmental retirement support and benefits
o Financial capital: collars around financial expectations creating a floor under the investor’s retirement risk while retaining potential for upside appreciation
The retirement management professional implements, monitors and adjusts the financial capital plan as necessary during pre- and post-retirement phases and assists the investor in a realistic self-assessment of all aspects of their plan during implementation.
A retirement management professional needs to achieve and maintain proficiency in:
o financial management at least on par with a certified financial planner
o insurance product management and underwriting at least on par with a chartered life underwriter
o demographic theory, psychology and psychometric methodologies to facilitate client guidance on human capital decisions
o macroeconomic and capital markets theory in order to support investment-allocation decision making on par with a chartered financial analyst