FIDUCIARY CONDUCT AND YOUR REPUTATION
What’s Trust Worth As An Investment Steward?
Written by Blaine Aikin, Executive Chairman Fi360 and CEFEX AIFA®, CFA, CFP®
Warren Buffett famously said:
“We can afford to lose money, even lots of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation, even a shred of reputation.”
An organization’s (or a person’s) reputation is a measure of how others perceive their quality and character. It is the consensus opinion of whether the organization can be trusted. A great reputation takes years to establish and constant attention to protect; every organization either benefits from or is dogged by the reputation it has earned.
This white paper for investment stewards (retirement plan sponsors, charitable organizations, and similar entities) covers three key points. First, a great reputation can and should be your organization’s most valuable asset. Second, the recognized attribute every investment steward must establish is to be a trustworthy caretaker of other people’s money. Third, there are specific factors, grounded in fiduciary principles, that can be managed to build a great reputation.
This whitepaper will compel you to consider your organization’s reputation and take stock of:
- How a reputation is established and defines stakeholder relationships;
- Research demonstrating and quantifying the value of reputation;
- Evidence of the fragility of a position of esteem and the high cost of reputational damage;
- Examples of special regulatory, litigation, and reputational risks retirement plan sponsors and other investment stewards face if they do not carefully attend to their fiduciary obligations; and
- How your reputation can be strengthened, managed and promoted.