New York-based asset management giant BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) has signed on to the industry code of conduct established by the CFA Institute, which requires firms to give priority to their clients’ interests.
The CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. Its code of conduct establishes the ethical and professional responsibilities of firms that manage assets on behalf of clients.
Among other things, the code requires managers to follow professional standards, including that they must act for the benefit of clients; with independence and objectivity, and that they will communicate with clients in a timely and accurate manner. Managers must also pledge to uphold the rules governing capital markets.
The CFA Institute says that the code provides a benchmark of ethical conduct that investors should expect from asset managers, “and offers a higher level of confidence in firms that adopt the code.” It reports that, along with BlackRock, more than 1,000 firms worldwide claim compliance with the code.
“Trust in the investment profession remains at risk, and it’s a critical moment for investors and the future of the financial system,” said Jonathan Boersma, head of professional standards at CFA Institute. “We applaud BlackRock, and all firms that have adopted the code, for displaying a steadfast and tangible commitment to professional ethics and putting investors first.”
“Investors deserve and should expect the highest level of professional conduct in the firms and individuals with whom they entrust their investments,” said Rob Goldstein, BlackRock’s chief operating officer. “Our clients entrust BlackRock to manage more assets than any other firm in the world, they are our number one priority. Adopting the Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct is one more demonstration of our commitment to placing the needs and interests of our clients above all else.”