"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?"

This symposium has already taken place, but you can scroll down to the bottom of this page to download the slides used.

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"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in Financial Services?”

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If you already know you want to attend

 

Please click on the button below to secure your place; however: please note that the Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and whilst the revenues we generate from our symposia are mission-critical to keeping the Transparency Task Force afloat, if the Standard Ticket Price ($245) is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - please be quick to Email us a request to alter the price for you and we can adjust the price to whatever figure you need it to be, even $0 if genuinely necessary.

 

Our unusual approach to pricing is because the Transparency Task Force is all about bringing the right people together to collaboratively reform the finance sector, so if there are people that truly want to be involved in our activity that do not have the budget to attend we will not let money get in the way of their participation. 

 

If you genuinely require a price reduction please Email andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org advising what price you want to pay. 

 

Of course, if you can afford the Standard Ticket Price please just crack on and use the link below to secure your place, we desperately need all the support we can get !

 

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When and where is the symposium?

Mercer Boston, 99 High Street, 

Financial District, Boston, MA 02110, USA.

 

Registration is at 10:30AM for an 11:00AM start. We'll be having lunch and a mid-afternoon coffee break; then ending the event itself at 5:00PM. 

 

However, for those that want to relax and talk further, delegates can enjoy networking and drinks afterwards at a nearby bar; there will be a great deal to talk about. 

 

Apart from anything else the event will be a very good networking opportunity.

Why are we running this event?

 

Introduction

This symposium in Boston on 12thMarch (and a similar event in New York on 14th March) is part of a major 5-year international effort to deal with a troubling “elephant in the room” issue; the lack of trust in financial services. 

 

We believe our 5-year international project is the first serious attempt to deal with the trust deficit on an international basis, and we are going to attempt to bring together key stakeholders to do it. 

 

We will be tackling a question of immense importance:

 

“How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust

and confidence in financial services?”

 

Executive Summary

 

Many people believe that we are in the “last chance saloon” as far as the public’s perception of financial services is concerned.

 

There is a danger that the drip, drip, drip, of adverse publicity caused by the persistent malpractice, malfeasance and miss-conduct by the minority means that the public at large are getting dangerously close to “the point of no return,” whereby regardless of what we subsequently do the situation may not be salvageable.

 

If people lose all trust in the sector it may never be possible for us to earn it back again. 

 

To be blunt, it is mission-critical that we do not sleepwalk into that situation because the long-term consequences to society and the commercial success of the sector would be dire. 

 

The trust deficit issue is a significant problem for politicians, policymakers, regulators, market participants and the public at large too.

 

However, despite the magnitude of the problem, we do not believe there has ever been a concerted international effort involving key stakeholders to attack the problem head on; until now.

 

The overall purpose of our symposia in Boston (and New York) is to begin to galvanise support for the idea that the finance sector should accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in an intelligently thought-through way i.e. as part of an organised programme of activity involving key stakeholders. 

 

We do not believe it will be possible to solve the problem in any other way; anything else would be to under-estimate the scale of the challenge and the trouble there will be if we do not solve it.

 

It's too big, complicated and serious a problem to be able to solve it without bringing the key stakeholders together; and that is exactly what our 5-year international project is designed to do. 

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

We are a not-for-profit so it is vital that the Transparency Task Force raises sufficient funds to help us keep afloat. One of the ways we try to do this is through our events. The Standard Ticket Price is $245 but if the Standard Ticket Price is genuinely out of scope for anybody they can simply ask us to reduce the price to any figure they want, including $0 if genuinely necessary; and we will, no problem.

Here's the programme thus far*

 

Speaker photos and bios are towards the bottom of the page

 

10:30 AM 

Registration, refreshments and networking.

 

11:00 AM 

Welcome to the event by Jeremiah France, Chief Operating Officer and Partner, Mercer Wealth

 

11:10 AM 

Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair of the Transparency Task Force to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event, explaining the overall intent behind the 5-year international project and how we plan to make it work

 

12:00 AM

Presentation delivered by Sander Eijkenduijn, Co-Founder at Scorpeo and Jonny Ruck, CEO at Scorpeo

 

12:30 PM

Presentation of the Transparency Trophy; a special trophy is awarded to a champion of transparency and finance reform at each of our symposia around the world

 

12:40

Lunch and networking.  

 

13:40

"Short & snappy speaking slots"

 

Several attendees, with a wide range of perspectives will be sharing their thoughts and reflections on the topic, contextualised as:

 

“If I had just 10 minutes to comment on how we can accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services, this is what I’d say…”

 

The line-up for this part of the programme features the following individuals so far:

 

 - Dan di Bartolomeo, President, Northfield Information Services, Inc

 - Bernie Nelson, President, North America, Style Analytics

 - Eric Muraven, VP, Strategic Alliances, Visible Thread

 - Joseph Hosler, Auour Investments

 - Rohanna Wise, Founder & President, Wise Trading Technologies

 - Andrew Eschtruth, Associate Director of External Relations, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

 - Darby Hobbs, CEO/Founder SOCIAL3, Co-Founder & Chairperson Conscious Capitalism Boston Chapter; and Professor, Boston UNiversity

 

Each of their speaking slots and the ideas, insights and issues they refer to will form the basis of a subsequent discussion session

 

15:15

Refreshments and further networking

 

15:45

Presentation delivered by George Kinder, Founder, The Kinder Institute

 

16:15

The Great Big Open Debate; where all attendees and speakers will have the opportunity to freely discuss the key issues raised and explore what action to take in relation to the challenge to accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services. 

 

This is perhaps the most important part of the whole event!

 

Ultimately, we shall seek to build consensus on the best way to make the 5-year plan to accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services work succesfully in the USA; with the idea of driving progress in a constructive, collegiate, collaborative and civilised way. 

 

Every attendee will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on which workstream they are best aligned to (if any); and whether they want to play a part in leading the project in the USA, by becoming part of the USA Steering Committee.

 

17:00

Further networking over drinks and nibbles.

Immediately after the event you can enjoy further networking at a nearby bar (Society on High) which is conveniently located in the same building as Mercer's offices.

 

Post-event networking is actually more important than it might seem. Having run many Transparency Symposia so far we know that there is nothing better for the creation of lasting connections and the formulation of compelling campaign ideas than relaxed, sociable discussion after a full-on event. 

 

Who knows what your post-event networking and conversations might lead to!

 

18:30

Final close

 

*The programme will continuously evolve and is therefore subject to change

Further Information

 

What do we believe?

 

We believe that there has been so much poor conduct in the sector that we are now at a critical point in time. The question to be asked is whether the sector can do what is necessary to salvage its reputation; or whether it's more a case of “a leopard can’t change its spots”.

 

At the Transparency Task Force, we believe that:

  • The innocent vast majority are paying a heavy reputational price for the poor conduct of the "mischievous minority"
  • Whilst we are not be to blame for the situation we have it is in our collective interest to try to solve it
  • Everybody involved in the sector has a moral, ethical and professional duty to help rebuild trust and confidence
  • If the key stakeholders work together in an organised and coordinated manner, serious and systemic improvements would be made
  • Margaret Mead was right when she famously stated that “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”
  • Whilst we do not know how successful our attempts to make a difference will be; we do know that the only way we can truly fail is to not even try

 

Part of an international effort

 

Our special meetings in Boston on 12th March (and New York on 14th March) are part of an international effort to help the finance sector get a grip with the trust deficit problem. 

 

Here’s our programme of meetings for 2019:

  • Boston on 12th March
  • New York on 14th March
  • Amsterdam on 1st May
  • London on 16th May
  • Dublin on 29th May
  • Washington D.C. 10th September
  • New York 11th September
  • Boston 12th September
  • Hong Kong on 10th October
  • Melbourne on 17th October
  • Singapore on 22nd October
  • Plus dates to be confirmed for Chicago, Washington D.C, Brussels, Zurich, Frankfurt, Toronto and Paris. 

Beyond those listed above our plan is to run events in any major City with a significant financial services community where we can find a room that takes 15+ people and facilities to use for free. We will take care of everything else including the speakers, promotions and marketing. 

 

Please do let us know if you/any of your contacts might be able to provide a room we cn use in any suitable City. 

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

Please note that the motivation for creating and leading the Transparency Task Force has never been about making money. 

 

In fact a substantial reduction in income and earnings has been experienced as a direct result of moving from running a successful consultancy business built over 15 years to now running a collaborative, campaigning community dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency, truthfulness and trustworthiness in the financial services sector. 

 

However, if the Standard Ticket Price ($245) is beyond your budget, no problem: just email andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org, to let us know what you want your ticket price to be. 

Our Approach

 

How could the trust deficit be solved?

 

In general terms, we believe the best way to solve the trust deficit is to bring together the key stakeholders, internationally, and to embark on a well-organised and carefully coordinated programme of change.

 

That is exactly what we are going to be doing and we are starting off on a 5-year project to do it.

 

It will take more than 5 years to solve the problem but by the end of the first 5 years we believe we can:

 

  • Assemble the key component parts needed
  • Organise them into a well-planned project
  • Put in place metrics to measure, monitor and manage trust
  • Create a global network of engaged stakeholders willing and able to make a difference 

The project will involve multiple work streams with each work stream focused on a particular theme. These are the work streams that are on the “drawing board” so far:

 

  • Academic, Research, Thought Leadership and Evidence Base
  • Culture, Ethics, Values, Professionalism, “Principle Before Profit”, Values-Based Leadership, MQ, and Leadership Development
  • Market Integrity
  • Asymmetries of Information
  • Compliance, Regulatory, Legal, Governance, Audit, Custodianship, Risk Management and Stewardship
  • Technology, Fintech, Online Data Integrity & Privacy, Cyber Security, Data Analytics and Reporting
  • Product Design, Product Accreditation and Transparency Accreditation
  • Communications, Consumer Engagement, PR, Reputation Management and Social Media
  • Metrics to measure, monitor and manage trust
  • HR Strategy, Incentive Design, Responsible Reward, Cultural Transfusion, Inclusion and Diversity
  • Purposefulness, Impact Investing, Sustainability, Climate Change, ESG, Socially Responsible Investing and Social Finance
  • The Codes of Conduct & Professional Oaths of Trade Bodies, Professional Associations and Standard Boards
  • Whistleblowing and Litigation
  • Alignment of interests through progressive fee structures
  • Shareholder Primacy evolving into Stakeholder Primacy
  • Financial Stability
  • Diversity of ownership structures
  • Revision of the Credit Rating Agencies

 

We won't be waiting until the end of the 5 years to get those workstreams up and running, we'll make as much progress on them as we can; as quickly as we can. 

 

If you believe it is worth trying to fix things please become part of the solution by getting involved in what we are doing. The more good people we have involved the more progress we can make. 

 

We're going to be trying very hard to make a difference. The cause is both necessary and noble; and we're not afraid to ask for help. That's what the symposium is all about. 

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

Background and Context

 

Why does this really matter?

 

The finance sector needs to be trusted to truly flourish but the harsh reality is that it isn’t trusted as much as we’d like it to be.

 

Within the Transparency Task Force we fully understand that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and we have first-hand experience of succesfully harnessing the transformational power of transparency to help fix what's wrong. 

 

Interestingly, some people think of the trust deficit problem as a cultural issue; some as a commercial issue; but many as both. Regardless of what you think the underlying causes might be, there is clear consensus that the trust deficit costs the finance industry a fortune in lost revenues.

 

For example, in the UK we now have the lowest savings ratio since records began in 1963, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics; and that means a fortune in lost business for the banks, pension companies, asset managers, financial planners and pretty much the whole value chain.

 

Why should all stakeholders be asking..

 

“How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust

and confidence in financial services?”

 
The Trust deficit is a problem for government departments and policymakers who are struggling to implement policies that result in people making full use of the many great products and services the sector can provide; and it’s also a problem for the financial regulators, whose very existence is all about creating safe and trustworthy markets. It is crystal clear that the “establishment” needs and wants a trustworthy finance sector; and the sector would benefit enormously if it were to be trusted; but there is a mountain to climb to get there. 

 

It is clear that the trust deficit is a problem for all stakeholders; and that’s why we believe that bringing all stakeholders together to work collaboratively to drive up trust and confidence in the sector makes complete sense.

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

An overview of the project

 

What is its purpose?

 

The project is about managing out the trust deficit in financial services, globally; because the trust deficit is a systemic problem that casts a long shadow over the financial services sector and it gets in the way of the sector realising its potential as a force for good in society.

 

The trust deficit is also a drag on the commercial success of the sector - it acts like a “ball and chain” and therefore constrains the profitability of the market as a whole. 

 

It is a problem for everybody including policymakers, regulators and of course financial services companies; so whether you look at the problem from an altruistic or commercial perspective it adds up to the same thing - a problem that needs taking care of. 

 

What is the project NOT about?

 

This initiative is NOT about pointing fingers or attributing blame for what has happened in the past. This is not about "banker-bashing" or anything like that. 

 

We are future-focused. Yes, we will be referring to the past to make sure we learn lessons from it. We believe that “progress begins with realism” so it is vital we create a safe environment where we can have candid conversations about where we have been and where we really are; but the emphasis will be on looking forward and solving the problem, not looking back to place blame. 

 

The whole approach is to be solution-orientated.

 

We need to collectively display the honesty, maturity and integrity to recognise where we are on the trust rebuilding journey and to explore how to get to where we all want to get to.

 

It’s all about moving from distrust and low confidence to trust and high confidence in financial services; and that can only be done if we find ways to move forward together. 

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

What will get covered at the events?

 

What will we be doing at the events?

 

Our plan is to:

 

  • Provide insight on a special White Paper we have commissioned. The Paper explains how the public have responded to the malfeasance, malpractice, misconduct and miss-selling by the "mischievous minority" that has plagued financial services in recent years. It is a compelling Paper that contains insight and analysis on a wide range of related issues

 

  • Have speeches from thought leaders focusing on particular issues relating to their subject-matter expertise.

 

  • Have short presentations by a wide range of stakeholders including regulators, politicians, leaders of trade bodies/professional associations, senior representatives of financial services firms (banks, insurers, asset managers and so on), civil society leaders, campaign groups, academics, asset owners, pension funds and so on. They will be sharing their thoughts on “How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?” Some of the speakers will be Ambassadors of the Transparency Task Force. You can see who they are here: https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/ttf-ambassadors/

 

  • Have “Discuss and Report Back” sessions to enable all attendees to explore their own thoughts on “How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?” This will be a particularly energised and engaging part of the programme.

 

  • Provide an outline of the full 5-year project that will act as the vehicle to drive forward the output from all the events around the world, harnessing the camaraderie, collegiality and willingness to collaborate that the project will cultivate. Because the Transparency Task Force always applies a highly inclusive and consensus-building approach to our work we are confident we will get good buy-in. We are finding the question “How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?” is a question that people want to respond to and engage with. It is like a “watering hole” that people want to come to and is therefore a rather rare thing in the world these days – a unifying influence around which consensus can be built and energies can be aligned and combined.

 

  • Give an explanation of the multiple work streams that are going to be created. The central premise we are working to is that the best answer to the “How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?” question is to have a multi-faceted response, with carefully and intelligently co-ordinated efforts around key themes.

 

  • Provide an explanation of how we will apply constraints theory to decide what our priorities are and therefore the one project that each workstream will focus on

 

  • Begin the recruitment of a Steering Group (Strategy) and a Project Management Group (Operational) for each geography.

 

  • Explore the idea of video interviews being arranged of the key stakeholders. This will enable the messaging to get to a much wider audience than just the attendees at each of the special meetings. We will be able to use social media to raise awareness of the video content and thereby attract further interest to the project from right around the world.  

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

From 2020 and beyond

 

What is planned for the balance of the 5-year project after 2019. i.e. 2020 through to 2024?

 

We will be repeating the events in each location at least once a year, building momentum form year to year. There will also be ongoing activity with all engaged stakeholders throughout the period, with emphasis around supporting each of the work-streams being able to create worthwhile output that will make a difference.

 

Of course, we do not think the extensive reputational damage the sector has suffered over several decades will be repaired in just 5 years. Our realistic expectation is that in the 5 year period we will be able to:

  • Develop a global network of key stakeholders including politicians, regulators, trade bodies, professional association, campaign groups, think tanks, civil society groups, subject-matter experts, practitioners, thought leaders and so on; all actively engaged in responding to the question “How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?”

 

  • Put in place metrics so that the trust deficit can be measured and monitored; and thereby managed

 

  • Carry out further primary, secondary and meta-study research to guide the best way forward; we will continue to be Evidence-Based

 

  • Gather valuable thought-leadership and subject-matter expertise

 

  • Run numerous collaborative projects to advance the cause

 

  • Made a positive difference

 

  • Put in place a very well-considered plan for the next 5 years i.e. through to 2029; and the whole process can be repeated until the finance sector has the kind of reputation we can all be proud of.

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

What's the scope?

 

What questions and concerns will we be addressing?

 

Whilst the over-arching question is

 

“How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust

and confidence in financial services?”

 

...within that that great big question, there are many issues and concerns to be dealt with including:

  • Why must the trust deficit must be treated as a top priority?

 

  • Can transparency really be a powerful driver for transformational change?

 

  • The commercial value of values

 

  • A constructive critique of the Corporate Governance paradigm

 

  • The significance of the Information Matrix

 

  • To what extent are the US financial regulators behind the curve compared to other markets such as the UK and the Netherlands?

 

  • Why is there a need for a cultural transfusion in Financial Services; and what needs to happen for it to occur

 

  • Why regulation alone can never be the answer

 

  • The damage caused by asymmetries of information

 

  • Why transparency, in and of itself, is a condition necessary, but not sufficient

 

  • Who/what is preventing the pursuit of best interest outcomes?

 

  • How can the tension between the pursuit of profit and the application of principles be reconciled?

 

  • What are the latest developments on the Fiduciary Rule?

 

  • What role should politicians be playing in the finance reform agenda?

 

  • Which politicians seem the most committed to help rebuild trust and confidence in financial services?

 

  • Which financial trade bodies and professional associations are part of the solution; which ones might be part of the problem?

 

  • What is “parading the problem” and why does it work?

 

  • What impact does the media have? Do they typically “bring the truth?”

 

  • What is the correlation between transparency, truthfulness and trustworthiness? …and why does it matter

 

  • How much of the “heavy lifting” can be taken care of by important advances in technology that are under development right now?

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

Who should be included?

 

For whom is this a not-to-be missed event?

 

We want to improve things for all right-minded market participants including financial planners, investment consultants, fiduciaries, asset managers, pension planners, bankers, brokers, custodians and so on.

 

Anybody that truly deserves to call themselves a “financial services professional” and who wants to “stand up rather than stand by” should want to put their weight behind this initiative.

 

If that includes you, then please be sure to attend and take part in the symposium – your views matter and we want to hear them. 

 

Beyond market participants, this event will also appeal to:

 

 - Economists

 - Retail and Institutional Investors

 - Industry Observers, Commentators, the Media in general

 - Academics and Researchers

 - Campaign and Civil Society Groups

 - NGOs

 - Policymakers

 - Fiduciaries, Trustees, Fiduciary Managers 

 - Members of the Department of Labor

 - Bankers and representatives of Banking organisations

 - Risk Management Professionals

 - Compliance Professionals

 - Legal Professionals

 - Technologists

 - Pension Professionals

 - Actuaries; and in addition, the initiative requires policymakers, politicians, trade bodies, professional associations and so on to get behind it; and the signs are very encouraging that they will. 

 

Let’s not under-estimate the potential for like-minded people to drive transformational change so please do whatever you must to get to this event – just rearrange your schedule if you have to, because your input and response to what we're going to be covering might make the difference that makes all the difference; and if it is physically impossible for you to take part, at the very least make sure your organisation is represented – you are welcome to forward a link to this information to your colleagues and contacts if you personally are unable to attend.

 

If you are ready to book your place use the button below; but if you want further information, do please read on: 

The rest of the story so far

 

Please read on if you would like to know more about the Transparency Task Force and what we have been doing to get to this point.

 

The trust deficit is recognised as a serious and systemic problem that adversely impacts everybody. The trust deficit is a lose/lose situation and our ambitious international project is our contribution to solving that problem.

 

This is the first ever attempt to respond to the question “How can we rebuild the trust and confidence in financial services?” in a serious and coordinated way. It is an ambitious project that gets to the heart of the trust deficit problem; a problem that is a serious worry for politicians, policymakers and regulators right around the world.

 

We are initiating a global push for finance reform that will help to rebuild trust and confidence in the financial ecosystem as a whole and we are confident of its success because our message of “let’s all work together to drive the cultural transfusion the finance sector needs” is being well-received everywhere we go.

 

To fully understand the project it is necessary to first understand what the Transparency Task Force is all about…

 

What is the Transparency Task Force all about?

 

The Transparency Task Force is unique. We seek to operate in a collaborative, collegiate and consensus-building way; focusing on solutions not blame. We seek to effect the change that the financial services sector needs and the consumer deserves. 

 

Here’s an overview of what we are about and what we have been doing:

  • Since May 2015 we have worked very hard to build a collaborative, campaigning community dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services. Our community is made up of people who are motivated to work together, collaboratively, to help improve the way the finance sector works for the benefit of its own reputation and the millions of people it serves

 

  • We believe there is a strong correlation between transparency, truthfulness and trustworthiness; so if we want the finance industry to regain trustworthiness we all need to act in a consistently transparent manner. Our community believes that high levels of transparency are a pre-requisite for fairer, safer more stable and more efficient financial markets being able to drive better outcomes and better value for money for consumers. The people involved in our community share the view that the financial services sector is profoundly important to the wellbeing of society; but also that there is a great deal wrong with it that needs to change

 

  • We have organised and mobilised over 530 people into 21 Special Interest Groups; with each Special Interest Group having a clearly defined finance reform objective. For example, we have Special Interest Groups on Asset Management, Pensions, Banking, Foreign Exchange and so on. For more information about our Special Interest Groups see here: https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/teams-of-volunteers/

 

 

  • We have created a highly credible Advisory Board, Chaired by John Howard, former Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services Consumer Panel. John also presented the BBC’s consumer programme, "You and Yours" for over fourteen years. For details of who else is on our Advisory Board, see here:https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/about-1/advisory-board/

 

  • We have already run 26 successful symposia; each one carefully designed to galvanise support for the idea of finance reform. Most of these symposia have had direct involvement from the financial regulators and each one has  built momentum for the cause from one to the next

 

  • We have been regularly featured in the trade press; and we have been mentioned in the national newspapers including an important piece that covered some of our research which appeared on the front page of the Financial Times. We have been on BBC Radio 4 three times; the most recent being in a special programme entitled The Transparency Detectives. You can listen to it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09nxznc

 

  • We have responded to numerous regulatory consultations and published several White Papers. We have an excellent working relationship with the UK regulators

 

  • We have published the Transparency Times every month since May 2016. It carries articles from people wanting to share their insights and experiences and it now goes to well over 10,000 people each month

 

  • We have awarded 25 Transparency Trophies to champions of campaigning and finance reform

 

  • We have developed a strategy for driving change, which is to bring together two groups of people: 

 

#1, those with a sense of ‘passion & purpose’ about what needs to be done – such as the members of our Special Interest Groups and our Ambassadors. They are  ethically-minded financial services professionals, enlightened market participants, pro-consumer campaigners and leading academics who are involved in our community; and...

 

#2, those with the ‘power & position’ to make change happen – such as the regulators, politicians, financial services leaders, trade bodies and professional associations. 

The build-up:

About our Special Events at the

House of Commons

 

Our international project is very ambitious. We are very confident of its success in the UK because we have unusually high levels of connectivity and engagement with all the key stakeholders including regulators, politicians and the main financial services trade bodies and professional associations.

 

Of course, it is going to take time to build a similar supportive network in other countries but we have a plan to do that and our events outside the UK in 2019 are part of that plan. 

 

We have run 3 special events in the UK at the House of Commons. They are being explained now to show that we have managed to convene successful meetings in the past:

  • Our first was a very a successful Summit, held on 12th September 2016 at the House of Commons. It was Co-Chaired with Tom Tugendhat MBE MP (who is now the Chair of the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee). The Summit was all about the lack of transparency in financial services, and the main focus was the pensions market. We had speeches from all the relevent regulators who were represented at a senior level; plus numerous senior executives of financial services trade bodies/professional associations; plus progressive financial services thought leaders and so on. The event was very successful - it led to the opening of an enquiry by the Work and Pensions Select Committee on Pensions Costs Transparency (at which we gave evidence in person in September 2018, at the House of Commons).

 

We had approximately 50 people in attendance; here is a picture of some of them; and beneath that some pictures of the inquiry it led to:

  • Our second was on 26th June 2017, at the House of Commons. It was Co-Chaired with Lord Cromwell and was about the need for reforms in the banking sector. The Transparency Task Force’s Special Interest Group on Banking presented a White Paper to the Financial Conduct Authority about the need for the Banks to be more transparent on how they make money when customers fall into unapproved overdraft. Our thoughts were fed straight into the FCA’s policy consultation on banking reform. Here’s a picture of some of the people that were there, which includes the Financial Conduct Authority's Head of Retail Banking, Karen McTeague: 
  • Our third was on 7th February 2018 at the House of Commons. It was Co-Chaired with Lord Cromwell, about the need for an All Party Parliamentary Group on “How can we mitigate the risk of another Global Financial Crisis?”. All the relevent regulators were represented including The Bank of England/Prudential Regulatory Authority, The Financial Conduct Authority, The Pensions Regulator; and so on. We also had several parliamentarians, some of whom spoke (Such as Sir Vince Cable). We are proud to explain that the APPG we campaigned to create is being launched. Lord Lindsay has assisted in writing the draft purpose statement for it: “The Purpose Statement for the new APPG on Financial Stability is: to respond to the universal shared interest in avoiding another Financial Crisis by providing a helpful forum for parliamentarians to work cross-party, developing fledgling policy initiatives to buttress the resilience of our financial system; supported by participation from industry, academics, experts, think tanks, civil society, campaign groups and regulators”. Here’s a picture of some of the people that were there:

We can bring people together, build consensus and campaign for positive, purposeful and progressive change

 

In many ways, a key success factor for the overall project is whether we can bring key stakeholders together. We believe we can do that very well, and one reason for that is we already have a good working relationship with a very extensive network of key people. 

 

As Founding Chair of the Transparency Task Force, Andy Agathangelou has an extensive contact base of key stakeholders such as:

 

 

 

 

 

But in addition, the other roles he holds now or has held in the past also help to provide a large, natural network of interested parties, enabling the bringing together of many people including the key stakeholders who can drive positive, purposeful and progressive change that is in the interest of both the consumer and the finance sector itself. 

 

The other relevent roles are:

 

  • He conceived, helped to create and lead the Association of Member Nominated Trustees, becoming the Founding Chair of its ‘Friends of’ Group. The AMNT provides a unique community for pension scheme trustees who have a very important part to pay in the governance and stewardship of pension schemes

 

  • He conceived, helped create and lead Friends of Automatic Enrolment, becoming its Founding Chair. This group helped ensure the successful implementation of the Government’s policy on pensions automatic enrolment by bringing togethor all stakeholders including the Pensions Regulator, technology bodies, pension companies, asset managers, payroll bodies and so on. It was instrumental to the development and successful launch of PAPDIS, the Pensions and Payroll Data Interface Standard

 

  • He is the Chair of the Interoperability Steering Group whose membership includes senior representatives from The Financial Conduct Authority, The Pensions Regulator, The Department for Work and Pensions, The Digital Cabinet Office, The Competition & Markets Authority, the Tax Incentivised Savings Association, The Pensions Administration Standards Association and many more. The Interoperability Steering Group is working collaboratively to drive up the levels of interoperability of data throughout the financial services sector, which will lower the cost base of the sector and thereby improve outcomes. We are looking at the UK initially but with an eye on what improvements can be made internationally too

 

  • He is also a Governor of the UK’s Pensions Policy Institute, which is the independent research and educational, organisation with a charitable objective to inform the policy debate on pensions and retirement income provision.

 

  • Fellow, of the RSA, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Its purpose is to enrich society through ideas and action. The RSA believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment. The RSA has 29,000 Fellows around the world, sharing powerful ideas, carrying  out cutting-edge research, building networks, and creating opportunities for people to collaborate, helping to create fulfilling lives and a flourishing society. 

If you want to read testimonials about our previous events see here: https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/upcoming-events/testimonials/

 

If you want to know anything else about this ground-breaking, pioneering project please connect through andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org

 

…or better still why not come get involved by attending one of our events!

Bios of key participants

provided thus far*

Rachel Wheeler,

Principal, Global Business Solutions Group,

Mercer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Wheeler is a Principal in Mercer’s Global Business Solutions group and currently supports their global leaders on research and special projects.

 

In 2016 Rachel was seconded to the World Economic Forum and led their Retirement Investment System Reform project. In previous roles, Rachel led the development of the Mercer Pension Risk Exchange, a new solution for Defined Benefit Pension clients that provides clients with access to regular annuity price updates.
 

Prior to joining Mercer, Rachel has worked for Mercer’s sister companies, Marsh and Oliver Wyman, and has experience working with banks, private equity, and sovereign wealth funds in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

 

Rachel holds an MSc in Chemistry from Cambridge University, UK.

Darby Hobbs,

CEO/Founder SOCIAL3;

Co-Founder & Chairperson, Conscious Capitalism Boston Chapter;

Adjunct Professor, Boston University

 

Darby Hobbs is a visionary, social innovator, motivational presenter, educator, author, and strategic marketeer. Focused on Relationship to LIFE, Oneself and Mankind and building the bridge between what individuals value through understanding their LivingWellTM Model and their whole life plan including investments.

 

It’s about connecting the heart, to the mind, to the wallet.

 

Working with company business leaders, investment firms and financial advisory groups to develop a deeper understanding of how to apply ESG/SRI and Impact Investing criteria into business decisions and to understand the value drivers of individuals ready for being part of the new investment experience - fusing brand and sustainability principles for asset growth.

 

Darby has also developed programs geared towards academia; targeting social entrepreneurship and innovation as well as student-led impact investing funds. 

 

Through SOCIAL3 ‘Telling the Story’ – Conscious Business Show - becomes paramount as she produces this through various mediums to educate, build brand awareness and engagement with the marketplace.

 

Her passion in creating positive change, along with the belief that businesses exist for profit and purpose, and that the financial system and the value drivers connected to this today is both a key challenge and opportunity to unlock.

 

Darby is also a member of the Transparency Task Force's Americas Special Interest Group and a Transparency Task Force Ambassador.

Rohanna Wise,

Founder and CEO,

Wise Trading Technologies

 

Rohanna Wise is the founder and CEO of Wise Trading Technologies, and the creator of WiseRisk, a software platform that automates the implementation of currency hedging strategies.

 

She has worked in buy-side trading and/or trading technology since 1996, starting with energy commodities before moving to fixed income (including currency), and focusing exclusively on currency from 2012. In 2015, Rohanna launched Wise Trading Technologies to offer a low-cost solution for asset managers to systematically eliminate unwanted currency risk. 

 

She is the author of Hedging Wisely: A Non-expert’s Guide to Expertly Hedging Currency Risk. 

 

She holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Columbia Business School

Sander Eijkenduijn,

COO,

SCORPEO US LLC

 

Sander Eijkenduijn is co-founder and board member of the SCORPEO Group and COO of Scorpeo US LLC.

 

He is responsible for directing and overseeing all financial, legal and operational activities of the firm. Before founding SCORPEO, he was responsible for Delta One Structuring at Nomura, having joined from Barclays Capital where he was Vice President.

 

Sander began his career at PWC in Amsterdam. He then moved to London as a senior manager in the PWC FS Tax Group where he advised on cross-border investment structures.

 

He also headed the Financing Sustainability initiative for FS Tax. Sander holds a Master’s Degree in Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam, and a post-doctoral in European Tax Law from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

 

He has published various articles in Dutch law reviews. Sander is an FCA Approved Person.

Jonny Ruck

CEO,

SCORPEO US LLC

Jonny Ruck is co-founder and board member of the SCORPEO Group and CEO of SCORPEO US LLC.

 

Jonny has 15 years’ experience in all facets of corporate actions trading before founding SCORPEO.

 

He was the head of corporate event arbitrage for Nomura and his previous roles include corporate event trading at Paloma Partners and Lehman Brothers.

 

Jonny holds an LLB and LPC in Law from the University of East Anglia. Jonny is an FCA Approved Person.

Andrew D. Esctruth,

Associate Director for External Relations,

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

 

 

Andrew Eschtruth is associate director for external relations at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.  He directs the Center’s communication activities, including publications, press relations, and social media.  Mr. Eschtruth also manages relationships with the government, foundation, and corporate communities, and speaks to a variety of audiences on retirement-related topics. 

 

He is the co-author (with Charles D. Ellis and Alicia H. Munnell) of Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It (Oxford University Press, 2014).

 

Before joining the Center in 1999, Mr. Eschtruth was a senior research analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) specializing in Social Security, federal fiscal policy, and the economic implications of an aging population.  While at the GAO, Mr. Eschtruth served on a special assignment as an aide to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  Mr. Eschtruth earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in public policy from Duke University.

George Kinder,

Founder,

The Kinder Institute

of Life Planning

 

George Kinder is a Harvard educated economist, philosopher, financial planner, Buddhist teacher, and the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, a network of over three thousand financial advisers on six continents trained to inspire consumers to recognize and achieve their lives of greatest meaning.

 

The recipient of many financial industry awards including the first ever Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the 29,000 member Financial Planning Association, he was recently named the first of the fifteen most transformational financial advisers whose vision most changed the financial planning industry.

 

George’s expertise has been widely featured in the press across six continents including The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Time Magazine, Fortune, NPR, and many others.

 

George is also a member of the Transparency Task Force's Americas Special Interest Group and a Transparency Task Force Ambassador.

Joseph Hosler CFA

Managing Principal,

Auour Investments

 

Joseph Hosler, CFA, brings 23 years of investment experience serving the needs of large institutional clients.

 

His background includes portfolio management and investment analysis, predominantly focused on domestic and international public companies. Prior to the founding of Auour Investments, Joe led investment activities within various sectors at Pioneer, Babson Capital, Putnam Investments, and Independence Investment Associates (IIA). While at IIA, Joe drove the effort to design, develop, and launch one of the first quantitatively driven tax efficient investment approaches focused on individuals and taxable organizations.

 

Joe holds an MBA from The Darden School of the University of Virginia, as well as, a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. He is an active volunteer within his community and currently sits on the Boston Security Analysts Society’s Strategists/Economists Subcommittee.

 

Joe resides in Wenham, MA with his wife of 25 years, two children and three dogs (soon to be four).

 

Joe is also a member of the Transparency Task Force's Americas Special Interest Group and a Transparency Task Force Ambassador.

Bernie Nelson,

President, North America, Style Analytics

 

Bernie Nelson is President of Style Analytics North America and is based in Boston, USA.
 
Prior to joining Style Analytics, Bernie held positions as Head of Risk and Head of Quantitative Analysis at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, then the asset management arm of Lloyds TSB and one of Europe’s largest asset managers. He was responsible for developing portfolio risk management and integrating quantitative techniques into a fundamentally based investment process.
 
He has also managed structured products and index funds and has financial engineering experience as a derivative products analyst.
 
Bernie has also been a speaker at international investment conferences on Factor Investing, Smart Beta, Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Investing, and Style and Risk Analysis in asset management.
 
Bernie holds an Honours degree in Mathematics from Edinburgh University. He is an Affiliate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals, a member of the CFA Institute, a member of the CFA Society Boston.
 
Bernie is also a member of the Transparency Task Force's Americas Special Interest Group and a Transparency Task Force Ambassador.

Paul Bates,

Senior Counsel,

Bates Barristers

 

Paul Bates is a Canadian senior litigation counsel with 35+ years of experience in complex commercial litigation. Paul is also a member of the UK Bar, and professionally associated with Outer Temple Chambers in the London, U.K.

 

Paul maintains an extensive practice in financial services, including collective redress, with an emphasis on retail and institutional investor compensation for regulatory contraventions by financial institutions and intermediaries.

 

Paul serves as a member of the Ontario Securities Commission Investor Advisory Panel to assist the Commission to identify investor interests in Canadian regulatory developments. Paul also leads competition claims for consumer redress.

Dan diBartolomeo,

President and Founder

Northfield Information Services, Inc.

 

Mr. diBartolomeo is President and Founder of Northfield Information Services, Inc.  Based in Boston since 1986, Northfield develops quantitative models of financial markets.   He sits on boards of numerous industry organizations include IAQF and CQA, and is past president of the Boston Economic Club.  

 

His publication record includes thirty-five books, book chapters and research journal articles. In January of 2018, he became co-editor of the Journal of Asset Management.   Dan also spent numerous years as a Visiting Professor at Brunel University.

 

In 2010 he was given the “Tech 40” award by Institutional Investor magazine in recognition of his role in the discovery of the Madoff hedge fund fraud.  He has been admitted as an expert witness in litigation matters regarding investment management practices and derivatives in both US federal and state courts.  

Jeremiah France,

Partner & COO of Wealth US,

Mercer

 

Jeremy has held this role since since October of 2016 and has been with Mercer since March of 2005. 


As the COO of Wealth US, Jeremy is responsible for managing the operations of the Wealth division in the United States, which is comprised of Actuarial and Investment consulting teams, Administration, Delegated Solutions and Sales support.   Jeremy and the operations team support the Wealth business with financial, strategic, policy based and client initiatives across our spectrum of specialty areas, products and services including Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and Not-for-Profit.  The team is responsible for helping to manage the legal entities supporting the businesses of Mercer Investment Management, Investment Consulting and the Trust Company.

Before assuming his current role, he was the COO of North American Investments and Head of US Delegated Operations at Mercer for 11 years.  Prior to joining Mercer, he was Director of Strategic Alliances and Operations for Mellon Securities LLC and FSF Insurance Agency subsidiaries of Mellon Financial Company since 2002, where he focused on building new business initiatives through integration of acquired companies to support the distribution of investment products.

Jeremy is a graduate of Bryant University with a major in Applied Actuarial Mathematics.

Andy Agathangelou, 

Founding Chair,

Transparency Task Force

 

Andy's overall objective for the event is to galvanise support for the idea that through bringing together good, collaborative people, who would "rather stand up than stand-by" it is possible to accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services. 

 

Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was about how the Financial Services sector seems to have a pre-disposition to reputational self-harm, through displaying untrustworthy behaviour; and the part that greater transparency could play in fixing some aspects of what is wrong in financial services. Andy believes that 'sunlight is the best disinfectant'. 

 

Since 6th May 2015 Andy has recruited, organised and mobilised over 500 volunteers around the world into 21 Special Interest Groups, namely:

 

 - Market Integrity

 - Foreign Exchange

 - EMEA

 - Pensions 

 - Fintech

 - Communications

 - Banking

 - Financial Planning

 - Anti-Scams

 - PISCES

 - Asset Management

 - Financial Stability

 - Global Transparency Index

 - APAC

 - Americas

 - Investment Consulting & Fiduciary Management

 - Compliance / Legal / Audit / Regulatory / Governance / Custodian / Risk Management

 - Private Equity

 - Hedge Funds

 - Whistleblowing

 

Our 21 Special Interest Groups are the 'engine room' of the Transparency Task Force's work. Each SIG is focused on a particular set of opacity-related challenges whereby subject-matter experts work together on a voluntary basis to develop and implement strategies to overcome those challenges.

 

 Andy is also:

  • Chair, the Interoperability Steering Group
  • Governor, Pensions Policy Institute
  • Fellow, the RSA
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of Auto Enrolment
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees

To secure your place 

 

Please click on the button below to secure your place; however: please note that the Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and whilst the revenues we generate from our symposia are mission-critical to keeping the Transparency Task Force afloat, if the Standard Ticket Price ($245) is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - please be quick to Email us a request to alter the price for you and we can adjust the price to whatever figure you need it to be, even $0 if genuinely necessary.

 

Our unusual aproach to pricing is because the Transparency Task Force is all about bringing the right people together to collaboratively reform the finance sector, so if there are people that truly want to be involved in our activity that do not have the budget to attend we will not let money get in the way of their participation. 

 

If you genuinely require a price reduction please Email andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org advising what price you want to pay. 

 

Of course, if you can afford the Standard Ticket Price please just crack on and use the link below to secure your place, we desperately need all the support we can get !

 

You can pay through PayPal, credit card or invoice. 

 

Thank you!

If you haven't been to one of our events before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:

Please click on the PDF icon below to download the slides that were used at the event.

Slides used at: "Time for Transprency: How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in Financial Services?”
TS 12th March 2019 Boston slides.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.5 MB]

The Great Divide

You can read the speech by  Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.

 

The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.

 

Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:

 

..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.

 

For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...

 

Please click the green button  below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:

 

..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.

 

Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.

 

Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity. 

 

At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.

 

Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.

 

Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.

 

So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.

 

That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.

 

The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...

 

Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:

 

..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour.  A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.

The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.

 

More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...

 

Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:

If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below:

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