The CFA charter is a highly respected professional designation in the investment management world. Ethics is a critical part of the curriculum for the more than 170,000 candidates who sit for one of the three exam levels each year.
“Ethics is at the core of all that CFA Institute does,” said Peter Mackey, CFA, head of exam development for the organization. “The CFA Institute mission statement is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”
Mackey said the exams are developed to “test real-world situations that candidates are likely to face in their careers. We present very realistic scenarios and ask candidates to make judgment calls. In some cases, you will see three choices that all seem plausible and you will have to choose the one that best fits the circumstances of the case. In some cases, there may not even be a violation.”
CFA Institute designates May as “Putting Investors First” Month, but the organization is committed to ethics year-round. Members must sign a pledge affirming their commitment to ethics each year, and the Standards and Advocacy Group at CFA Institute works with regulators and local societies to promote investor-friendly practices.
“We also enlist our 140,000 members around the world to encourage their firms to adopt our Asset Manager Code or the Global Investment Performance Standards and to ensure that their employees understand their importance,” Mackey said.