John Rogers, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute, opened the Fifth Annual European Investment Conference by calling for financial professionals to create a sustainable future of finance. He recognizes this is a difficult challenge but firmly believes this is one that everyone in the industry must begin thinking about now.
Rogers reiterated that the CFA Institute mission is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. He emphasized that we must focus on ‘society’. Financial markets have recovered to pre-2008 levels, but there is a distinct lack of public confidence in our industry. This damaged trust has led to more conservative investor behavior over the last few years, whilst the impact on investment professionals has been a shrinking of their sector. Worse still, real harm has been caused to individual investors who are not participating in the industry, and there is a real risk that a whole generation will not save for later life. Rogers contended that in 10–20 years these people will not have the investments they need and this is when there is the risk of damage to society, which can have both political and social ramifications.
Rogers challenged conference participants to think about the future of finance, focus on solutions, and take away fresh ideas from the conference, where more than a dozen speakers will provide their thoughts on the way forward for the investment industry.