Christian Dreyer: «Three Steps to a Better Investment Industry»

Christian Dreyer, CFA Society Switzerland

Christian Dreyer, CFA Society Switzerland

The investment industry is looking for ways to improve and regain its credibility. Christian Dreyer, the CEO of the CFA Society Switzerland, is presenting three measures on to foster a wide discussion.

CFA Institute, which has been leading in the further education of investment managers and establishment of industry standards for half a century, is recommending representatives of the trade and regulators as well as all 125,000 CFA charter-holders three basic measures:

1. Creating High Professional Standards and Thresholds

Teachers: Develop programs to transmit a financial expertise including technical and ethical knowledge to future investment professionals and to sharpen their understanding of the importance of the investment industry in society.

Companies: Hire financial experts dedicated to the highest of standards. Invest in their further education and development. Acknowledge publicly a first-class code of conduct as a basis for a sustainable and profitable industry.

Regulators: Demand standards of competence and ethics of the investment experts. Encourage professional certificates such as the CFA Charter.

Investment professionals: Join a professional association. Actively support a strong and self-regulating trade organization that establishes standards of knowledge and a code of conduct and that verifiably excludes members who don't live to the standards. Make sure that your skills are up-to-date.

2. Business Models With Focus on Customers

Companies: Banish short-term business models pushing unsuitable products to customers. Create a culture of rewarding customer-based behavior and encouraging to do «the right thing», even if it isn't easy. Be transparent about fees. Develop products, which create more value to your customers than to your company and its employees.

Investors: Take the time to select a company that correspond to your aims. Investigate whether the experts who take care of your money are knowledgeable, have the experience as well as ethical standards to satisfy your trust. Don't underestimate your influence on the investment industry and have high demands.

Regulators: Demands strictest rules in relation to due care, loyalty and advise from all companies that offer wealth management. Be supportive of companies introducing standards voluntarily, for example the «Asset Management Code of Professional Conduct and Global Investment Performance Standards».

3. Improve the Match of Interests Between Companies and Customers

Regulators: Improve your enforcement mechanism and promote fairness in the regulation of the various markets. Work hand-in-hand with the industry to improve the protection of investors and the integrity of the market. Keep up with the newest of investment products and services to ensure that they are in line with the interests of investors.

Companies: Set yourself higher norms of conduct than required by law. Establish internal codes of conducts and procedures that are more than mere compulsory exercises. Don't succumb to lobbying to the detriment of your customers.

Investors: Make your financial experts and their employers responsible. Complain if laws on securities or regulations are being violated, including fraud or unfair treatment.

Christian Dreyer, 50, studied political science at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). He acquired a Master of Laws at the University of Edinburgh. In 1994, he started his professional career as an assistent to the CEO of Solothurner Kantonalbank, which was in need of restructuring. In 2000, he mastered the merits of a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and became the head of investment research at Basler Kantonalbank.

Dreyer most recently acted as an executive director for J.P. Morgan (Switzerland) responsible for relations to institutional investors in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In April 2013 he became CEO of the CFA Society Switzerland.


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