Investors’ interest most important, poll shows

Investors’ interest most important, poll shows

Almost half of financial professionals believe believe putting the interest of investors first is the best way to advance the investment profession, according to a survey conducted by the CFA at its 68th Annual Conference on the Future of Finance.

The conference, held in Frankfurt, brought together 1,055 delegates from 73 countries. Attendees were asked what they thought was most necessary to advance the investment profession. While 48.6 per cent said investors’ interest needs to be put first, 24.3 per cent believed instilling stronger cultures in investment firms is the key and 17.6 per cent said investment firms need to raise awareness and educate clients.

According to Keith P. Ambachtsheer, director of the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM) in Canada, investment firms tend to focus on pushing products but it’s time for them to raise awareness among their clients, especially with the recent changes in the pensions landscape.

A further 8.1 per cent said better communication with retail investors was important and could help firms in having a bigger impact on their customers. A very small portion of respondents also said better regulation was needed to ensure investor trust.

Delegates were also asked to rate ethical practices among investment firms. Almost two thirds (65.8 per cent) said ethical practices need to improve, while 31.5 per cent think these are strong. A handful described ethical practices in the investment industry as weak.