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

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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 select the reduced ticket price option and pay what you can afford.

 

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When and where is the symposium?

Registration is at 10:30 for an 11:00 start; ending at 17:00 on Tuesday 18th June at:

 

CharlesRussell Speechlys SA

Basteiplatz 7
8001 Zürich
Switzerland

Why is this event so important?

 

According to The Edelman Trust Barometer, banking and financial services is routinely ranked as the least trustworthy of all industry sectors. 

 

That's a huge problem for a sector that has to be trusted to function succesfully. 

 

This symposium is part of a major international effort to deal with a troubling “elephant in the room” issue; the lack of trust in financial services. 

 

It is widely accepted that the public are becoming increasingly distrusting of society's once-respected institutions. 

 

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

 

There is a very real danger that the drip, drip, drip, of adverse publicity caused by the persistent malpractice, malfeasance and miss-conduct by the "mischievous 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.

 

The trust deficit issue is a significant problem for politicians, policymakers, regulators and market participants.

 

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.

 

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

 

The overall purpose of our symposium is 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 around the world.

 

We will be tackling a question of immense importance:

 

“How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust

and confidence in financial services?”

 

The Thinking Behind Our Question

 

Our question has important characteristics:

 

 - The question is very deliberately future-orientated; we must learn from the past but not live in it – this is not about apportioning blame for sins of the past
 
 - The question is very deliberately solution-orientated; we avoid the temptation to just pose the question – we want answers

 

 - The question is very deliberately palatable to all stakeholders such as politicians, policymakers, regulators, academics, thought-leaders, subject-matter experts, progressive commercial organisations, trade bodies, professional associations and so on
 
 - The question is very deliberately able to function as a gateway through which dialogue can move into the underlying causes of the trust deficit

 

Our Approach to Solving the Problem

 

We will be bringing together key stakeholders from around the world including politicians, policymakers, regulators, professional associations, trade bodies, thought leaders, academics, civil society leaders, campaign groups, progressive market participants and so on; in fact anybody that has a genuine interest in positive, progressive and purposeful finance reform.

 

People from right around the world are volunteering to play their part in this major international effort. We are going to be working in a collaborative, collegiate, consensus-building and coordinated way, internationally.    

 

In practical terms we are going to be running special meetings around the world. We are going to be holding them in every financial centre, building a global network of like-minded people who want to be part of the solution. We are looking for people that have a “stand up rather than stand-by” mindset; people that care about the wellbeing of the sector and the people it should be serving well. 

 

 

The Transparency Task Force View

 

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 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, systematic and systemic improvements can 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

 

 

The 2019 Meetings

 

Here’s our programme of meetings for 2019:

 

  • Boston on 12th March, kindly hosted by Mercer and completed successfully

 

  • New York on 14th March, kindly hosted by Davies Ward Phillips Vineberg and completed successfully

 

  • London on 16th May, kindly hosted by Newgate Communications and completed successfully

 

  • Dublin on 29th May, kindly hosted by Azon and completed successfully

 

  • Amsterdam on 6th June, kindly hosted by AON and completed successfully

 

  • Zurich on 18th June, kindly hosted by CharlesRussell Speechlys SA

 

  • Brussels on 20th June, kindly hosted by CFA Institute  

 

  • Washington D.C. on 10th September HOST WANTED

 

  • New York on 11th September, kindly hosted by Grant & Eisenhofer

 

  • Boston on 12th September, kindly hosted by First Republic Bank

 

  • Hong Kong on 10th October, kindly hosted by RPC

 

  • Sydney on 15th October, kindly hosted by Dimensional Fund Advisors

 

  • Melbourne on 17th October, kindly hosted by Mercer

 

  • Singapore on 22nd October, venue wanted

 

Furthermore, let us know if you have contacts that may want to host an event at each of these other locations:

 

Chicago, Washington D.C, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Toronto and Paris.

 

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

Here's the programme thus far*

 

Speaker photos and bios will be added towards the bottom of the page as they are finalised 

 

10:30 

Registration, refreshments and networking.

 

11:00

 - Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event, explaining the overall rationale for the major international project we have embarked on; and how we plan to make it work. 

 

This part of the programme will include an explanation of the Finance Development Goals that are being created as a framework for finance reform:

  • Be transparent
  • Be Evidence-Based
  • Govern well
  • Create a client-centric culture
  • Design products that deliver
  • Communicate authentically
  • Act with purposefulness
  • Incentivise responsibly
  • Manage risk
  • Stabilise the ecosystem
  • Raise awareness through education
  • Protect consumers from harm

12:00

Presentation delivered by

 - Guy Spier, CEO, Aquamarine Capital. Guy will be speaking about an issue of tremendous importance if we are to solve the trust deficit problem; how we need to create an authentic alignment of interests between the financial services sector and its clients. 

 

12:30

Presentation delivered by

 - Dr. Willi Brammertz Ph.D, Managing Director, Ariadne Business Analytics. Willi will explain the powerful role that technology and data analytics can play in creating a more transparent, truthful and trustworthy finance ecosystem. 

 

13:00

 - 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

 

13:05

 - Lunch and networking; followed by Team Photo 

 

14:00

The mid-afternoon part of the programme will feature a series of punchy presentations from insightful individuals who will share their candid thoughts on our central question: 

 

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

 

 - Ian Park, Director, Financial Media Solutions AG

 

 - Jeremy Cohen, Founder, Simplewealth AG

 

 - Morgan Deane, CEO, Baader Helvea Group

 

 - Boris Galonske, Managing Director, Silverbergh Partners

 

 - John Hucker, President, Swiss Finance and Technology Association

 

 - Peter Schmid, Founder & Managing Partner, Iamdix

 

 - Jonathan Bayliss, Financial Services Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys

 

 - Additional speaker to be announced

 

15:30

Refreshments and further networking

 

16:00

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 can be taken to rebuild trust and confidence in financial services. 

 

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

 

17:00

Final close

*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change

The other special meetings so far:

 

The Boston symposium; held on 12th March:

 

 

The New York symposium; held on 14th March:

 

 

The London symposium; held on 16th May:

 

 

The Dublin symposium; held on 29th May:

 

 
The Amsterdam symposium; held on 6th June:

The Finance Development Goals

 

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.

 

Central to that well organised and carefully coordinated programme of change will be the Finance Development Goals.

 

The Finance Development Goals will provide a                       much-needed framework for finance reform.

 

Here's an overview of the latest iteration of the Finance Development Goals; note they are an active work-in-progress and feedback from each f our special meetings will help to evolve them further:

 

BE TRANSPARENT

“Sunlight is the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman” - Justice Louis Brandeis

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • The need for transparency on costs & charges
  • The need for transparency on any risks the client may be exposed to
  • The need for transparency on performance metrics
  • The need for transparency on the agenda and motivations of actors
  • The need to harness the full potential of technology to drive greater transparency
  • The development of a Global Transparency Index

 

BE EVIDENCE-BASED

“In God we trust, all others bring data.” - W Edwards Deming

 This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Decision-making being underpinned by relevent and reliable data
  • Benchmarks and indices being free of bias and distortion
  • Having metrics to measure, monitor and manage trust
  • Credit Rating Agencies being fit for purpose
  • Relevant thought leadership and academic research being properly considered

 

GOVERN WELL

“Good governance is the art of putting wise thought into prudent action in a way that advances the well-being of those governed.” - Diane Kalen-Sukra

This FDG covers topics such as: 

  • Compliance
  • Regulatory reform
  • Auditing effectively
  • Custodianship
  • Stewardship
  • Encourage greater inclusion and diversity
  • Developing an “International Regulatory Master Plan”

 

CREATE A CLIENT-CENTRIC CULTURE

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” - Potter Stewart

 This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Ethics
  • Values
  • Professionalism, 
  • “Principle Before Profit”
  • “Morals before money”
  • Fairness
  • The need for a cultural transfusion
  • Values-Based Leadership
  • The use of Moral Quotient
  • Integrity
  • Mandating for higher standards of conduct
  • The effective use of oaths, codes of conduct, standards boards and pledges 
  • Trade Bodies and Professional Associations to realise their potential role as cultural architects
  • Individual, Organisational and Market Integrity
  • Encourage diversity of ownership structures such as Mutuals, Coops and FairShare

 

DESIGN PRODUCTS THAT DELIVER

“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” - Irene Au

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Products to be engineered to a high standard
  • Products to be fit for purpose
  • Products to be free of fundamental flaws
  • Product Accreditation
  • Transparency Accreditation
  • Providing value for money 

 

COMMUNICATE AUTHENTICALLY

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Presenting data and information clearly and intelligibly
  • Encouraging greater consumer engagement
  • Active PR and Reputation Management
  • Asymmetries of information to be minimised
  • Use of Simple Benefit Statements
  • Communicating with integrity, credibility and authenticity

 

ACT WITH PURPOSEFULNESS

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary projects, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great new and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." - Patanjali

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Impact Investing
  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • ESG
  • Socially Responsible Investing
  • Social Finance
  • Social Stock Exchanges

 

INCENTIVISE RESPONSIBLY

“Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome” - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway

 This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Responsible Reward
  • Fully account for human nature and “What’s in it for me?” mindsets
  • Manage out conflicts of interest where possible; fully disclose where not
  • Alignment of Interests; dealing with the “Principal-Agent Problem."
  • Use fee and payment structures that align interests wherever possible
  • Alignment of goals, returns and risks 
  • Adopt Fiduciary Duty, Duty of Care and Best Interests thinking

 

STABILISE THE ECOSYSTEM

“Remember when nurses, carers, teachers and students crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No, me neither.” - Fuad Alakbarov

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Minimise the risk of systemic market failures that may lead to shocks to the system

 

RAISE AWARENESS THROUGH EDUCATION

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  - Benjamin Franklin

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Financial literacy for consumers
  • Better education on industry dynamics for people in the sector

 

PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM HARM

“To not do what you can to protect someone, that's cowardly.” - Jodi Lynn Anderson

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Minimise the risk of fraud and scams
  • Properly support and care for those that have been scammed
  • Be alert to policy failures that expose consumers to risk of harm e.g. pension freedoms
  • Financial Consumers' Bill of Rights
  • Use litigation to provide redress and proactively drive changes in market practice
  • Encourage and facilitate worry-free whistleblowing
  • Safeguard data integrity
  • Develop resilient and robust Cyber Security
  • Operational and administrative excellence

 

MANAGE RISK

“Not taking risks one doesn't understand is often the best form of risk management"  - Raghuram G. Rajan

This FDG covers topics such as:

  • Ensuring risks are identified and mitigated wherever possible
  • Ensuring that the inter-connectivity of risks and risk contagion are properly accounted for 
  • Ensuring that risk management models are not contaminated with inappropriate assumptions or algorithms; particularly if there are systemic consequences of risk management failure

 

The Subject-Matter Experts

 

The Finance Development Goals will be defined by the subject-matter experts working on them. We are recruiting subject-matter experts from the existing Transparency Task Force community of over 650 people; plus new individuals we meet as a result of the meetings taking place around the world.

 

The subject-matter experts will work collaboratively and will have responsibility for developing the thought leadership for each of the Finance Development Goals. 

 

 

The Scientific Committee

 

The Scientific Committee will be made up of world-class academics, researchers and think-tank leaders who will have technical and governance oversight for the Finance Development Goals, the Book and the project overall.

 

Their thinking and decision-making will be guided by academically-robust evidence-gathering. 

 

The Book

 

We are going to be writing a book; but the book will be more than just a book - it will be a key part of the change management process we will be using to drive the positive, progressive and purposeful reform that is needed.

 

The title will be:

 

“Why we need to accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services; and how we can do it”

 

Chapter 1: Our Strategy for Driving Change

 

The Transparency Task Force Strategy for Driving Change is about bringing together the thinking of two very important groups:

 

#1, those with a sense of passion & purpose about what needs to change, such as our Ambassadors and the members of our Special Interest Groups

 

#2, those with the power & position to make change happen; such as the politicians, policymakers, regulators, leaders of key trade bodies and professional associations, thought leaders from commercial organisations

 

- Reference to the 1,000 most influential people listed in the Appendix as being the “power and position” group for whom the book has been written

 

- The book is a clarion call to that group

 

- Through the book we will bring the 1,000 into dialogue and we will seek their ongoing involvement

 

Chapter 2 - The Problem Statement

 

The Problem Statement will give an Evidence-Based account of:

 

- What the Trust Deficit is

- What has caused it

- The consequences of having a Trust Deficit

- Why it is so important it is managed away

 

Virtually 80% of Chapter 2 has already been written; we will be repurposing the White Paper that we have written with Newgate Communications

 

Chapter 3- The Vision Statement

 

The Vision Statement is where we

 

- “Dare to dream” of having a transparent, truthful and trustworthy financial services sector
 
- Articulate a deliberately utopian view that will help us envision what it will mean for society if trust and confidence in financial services was restored
 
- Show the contrast/compare between the Problem Statement and the Vision Statement to give the book a sense of progression and purpose
 
Each of the rest of the Chapters - the FDGs
 
Each of the rest of the chapters will be dedicated to a Finance Development Goal. 
 
Each of these FDG Chapters will be a collection of essays written by relevent subject-matter experts

 

Each of these FDG chapters will also have a Suggested Action Plan written collaboratively by members of The Scientific Committee

 

The Action Plan will be written for the 1,000 most influential people referred to in Chapter 1

 

The unique structure of the book will mean that it is far more than just a book; we will be using it an ever-evolving roadmap for finance reform.

 

Our Plan for the First Five Years

 

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

 

 - Initiate and facilitate a global conversation about the problem and how a collaborative, coordinated effort can solve it

 

 - Create a global network of engaged stakeholders willing and able to work together to make a difference 

 

 - Recruit an international Dream Team of subject-matter experts for each of the Finance Development Goals

 

 - Develop The Finance Development Goals

 

 - Recruit an international Scientific Committee of world-class academics

 

 - Put in place metrics to measure, monitor and manage trust

 

 

Be Part of the Solution

 

We believe that our cause is both necessary and noble.

 

Be sure to step up to the plate and do your bit by getting involved. 

 

We're going to be trying very hard to make a difference 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*

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

Dr Willi Brammertz,

Managind Director,

Ariadne

 

Dr. Brammertz obtained his PhD in Economics with a major on econometrics from the University of Zurich. His doctoral thesis discussed the elementary parts of finance which form the basis of any financial analysis.

 

While maintaining the foundation laid in his thesis, the concepts were continually refined and developed with a special focus on integrating statistical modelling. He co-founded early 1996 Iris ag in Zurich and applied these insights in the analytic platform for banks – riskpro™ – which has been sold to date to more than 300 banks in about forty countries worldwide.

 

The success of riskpro™ derived from its simple core – the idea of Contract Types – which led to an unparalleled clarity of design, consistency, transparency and completeness on the analytic level – risk management, finance and regulatory reporting. Iris was sold in 2008.

 

Brammertz published widely in the field and is a speaker at conferences.

 

Currently Brammertz works on the next logical step which is the Open Source implementation of the standard Contract Types. In this capacity he is chairman of the ACTUS User Association.

Parallel to this, he is managing director of ARIADNE, a company specialized on financial analytics especially financial planning based on statistical results. ARIADNE is built on the ACTUS standard.

 

He also teaches on this subject in a regular masters and PhD course at the University of Zurich/ETH Zürich.

Jeremy Cohen,

Founder,

Simple Wealth

 

Jeremy graduated as an engineer from Ecole Centrale Paris, worked at McKinsey, at UBS and at Leonteq.

 

He has also worked with private banks on their strategy and operations.

 

He believes in creating a new, easier way to invest and manage investments.

Morgan Deane,

CEO,

Baader Helvea Group

 

Mr. Morgan Deane is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Baader Helvea Group, an international investment bank, based in Zurich, Switzerland. There, he is responsible for business operations in Switzerland, Germany, the UK, the US and Canada as well as activities across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.


Previously Mr. Deane was Vice President of Legal & Compliance at JPMorgan covering EMEA Investment Banking & Offshore Fund Servicing. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Legal & Compliance at Bear Stearns covering Derivatives & Distressed Debt businesses in Europe & Asia-Pacific.


Mr. Deane holds B.A, M.A, LL.B & LL.M degrees, an Int. Dip in Regulatory Compliance and is a US Attorney, admitted to the Federal and Supreme Court (New York). He is a Fellow of the International Compliance Association, a member of the New York State Bar Association and is a regular speaker on matters ranging from International Regulatory Law to Executive leadership He has published papers on matters of International corporate law and is a contributor and member of the Panel of Experts at the Operational Database Management Systems Organization


He sits on the Board of Group Company subsidiaries in Switzerland, the UK and the US, and he is a member of the Board of Trustees for Employee Pensions in Switzerland.

 

He acts as a mentor & advisor to startup companies with particular focus on disruptive technologies.   

Guy Spier,

CEO,

Aquamarine Capital

 

Guy Spier,

CEO,

Aquamarine Capital

 

I run the Aquamarine Fund which is an investment partnership closely modelled on the original Buffett Partnerships, investing primarily in equities. In 2014 I published a book titled, "The Education of a Value Investor" which has sold more than 50,000 copies in English and has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polish and Vietnamese amongst other languages. Investors in my fund include friends and family, high net worth individuals, their family offices, private banks investing on behalf of their clients and even some institutional investors and pension funds. One of my best learning experiences to date was my $650,000 lunch with Warren Buffett, on which Mohnish Pabrai and I successfully bid and won in 2007.Investors and business leaders that I admire include my father, Seth Klarman, Joel Greenblatt, Li Lu, John Mihaljevic, Thomas Edison, Mahatma Gandhi, Edward Shackleton, Marcus Aurelius, Anthony Robbins, Don Keough, Charlie Munger. My Investment process includes the using checklists - as was written up in Atul Gawande's book, "The Checklist Manifesto".

 

Education

 

I did an MBA at Harvard Business School (class of 1993). I did my undergraduate degree at Brasenose College, Oxford in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) where I did some tutorials with David Cameron. I graduated in 1988 with a First-Class Degree and the George Webb Medley Prize for the top performance in Economics. I serve on the boards of UN Watch, and of Swiss Friends of Oxford University. I also serve on the advisory boards of Horasis and World Minds. In the past, I served on the Alumni Board of the Harvard Business School, the Dakshana Foundation and Weizmann Science and Business Club . I have been a TEDx co-Host in Tel Aviv and in Zurich with Maya Elhalal - Levavi, Peter Hogenkamp and Tim Duhrkoop and Hugo Schotman.

For more on me, go to http://www.aquamarinefund.com or to http://www.guyspier.com

 

My Experience:

 

Aquamarine Capital, CEO, February 1995 – Present. I manage the investments of the Aquamarine Fund, an investment partnership closely modelled on the original Buffett Partnerships. Investors include high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs, institutions and family offices. 

TEDxZuriberg, Co-Host, June 2018 – Present, Zürich Area, Switzerland. 

 

Swiss Friends of Oxford University, Member Board Of Directors, January 2018 – Present, Zürich Area, Switzerland. 

 

ZURICH.MINDS Foundation, Advisory Board Member, December 2012 – Present, Zürich Area, Switzerland. ZURICH.MINDS is a non-profit foundation set up in 2008 by Rolf Dobelli. The goal of the ZURICH.MINDS Foundation is "to create a bridge between the science, business and cultural communities". Its annual meeting has received some coverage in local media, such as the Switzerland edition of The Wall Street Journal, Swiss national television amongst others, members include Nobel prize laureate Kurt Wuthrich, former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder, philosopher John N. Gray of the London School of Economics, director at the Max Planck Institute Gerd Gigerenzer, writer and politician Matt Ridley, economist Paul Romer, neuroeconomist Ernst Fehr, and experimental psychologist Roy Baumeister. 

 

Harvard Business School, Alumni Board Member, October 2012 - June 2015 (2 years 9 months). The HBS Alumni Board works to advance the interests of alumni worldwide. Board members are selected from the pool of active alumni volunteers. The HBS Alumni Board is a group of approximately 50 alumni, comprising current and former club officers, class secretaries, Fund agents, reunion volunteers, and other active alumni from around the world. It provides an important link between HBS alumni and the School. The purposes of the Board are to: Communicate the interests and concerns of HBS alumni worldwide to the Dean, faculty, students, and staff of HBS Propose actions to enhance the well-being of HBS alumni. Encourage communication of the School's activities, priorities, and educational resources to alumni. This year, the Board is continuing to support clubs and associations, while also focusing on additional areas of current interest to the School and its alumni: enhancing alumni engagement, and improving volunteer interaction. 

 

Weizmann Science and Business Club, Co-Chair, June 2011 - May 2014 (3 years), Zurich. The purpose of the Weizmann Science and Business Club (WSBC) is to act as a conduit for support of the Weizmann Institute. The WSBC will support the activities the Swiss, European and other committees of friends of the Weizmann Institute. In addition to supporting the existing committees, the WSBC will seek out new, and younger supporters of the Weizmann Institute by: Bringing valuable scientists and members of the Weizmann Institute to events in Switzerland and in Europe together with WSBC members for learning and discussion. Facilitating and enabling networking between members of the WSBC amongst themselves and the broader Weizmann community. 

 

Horasis, Advisory Board Member, June 2010 - June 2013 (3 years 1 month), Zurich. Horasis: The Global Visions Community is an independent international organization committed to enacting visions for a sustainable future. Horasis is a visions community - together with our members we explore, define, and implement trajectories of sustainable growth. Horasis provides strategic foresight to public and private entities who envisage growing into global and sustainable organizations. Horasis hosts annual meetings to advance solutions to the most critical challenges facing corporations today. Participants jointly identify globally relevant business issues and develop sophisticated and interdisciplinary solutions. Participants then leverage these solutions to enhance corporate performance and long-term growth. Among the participants are the Chief Executive Officers of the world's most respected corporations as well as key business leaders from emerging markets. Also participating are renowned thought leaders and relevant public figures including heads of government and ministers. 

 

Oxford Alumni Association of New York, President, 2005 - 2007 (3 years), Ran the Oxford Alumni Association of New York with Amanda Pullinger.

 

European Commission, Stagaire, 1990 - 1991 (2 years), Cellule de Prospective / Forward Studies Unit. 

 

Braxton Associate, Research Associate, 1988 - 1990 (3 years)

 

Education

 

Harvard Business School, MBA · (September 1991 - June 1993)

 

Oxford University, BA, PPE - Politics, Philosophy & Economics · (September 1984 - June 1988)

 

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Certificate, German studies · (1984 - 1985)

 

Boris Galonske

Managing Director

Silverbergh Partners

 

Boris has more than 20 years’ experience as a top management consultant.

 

He has conducted strategy design and implementation projects as well as large scale

turnarounds and change programs.

 

Since the late 1990s he has also been an advisor on

risk-return decision making serving financial and strategic investors. Today, he also works with technology start-ups on their strategic propositioning and digital business model.

 

Previously, he was a partner and co-founder of Oliver Wyman´s Global Risk & Trading practice. Prior to joining Oliver Wyman, he was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. During his time at Oliver Wyman he also co-founded Marsh & McLennan Companies

cross-opco Infrastructure practice.

 

He has been an advisor to the OECD, the World Economic Forum, the World Energy Council and the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC).

 

He contributes to the T20 Task Force.

Peter Schmid

Founder & Managing Partner

Iamdix

 

“Making a difference” is what’s driving me!

 

“The trust of customers” is what’s rewarding me!

 

 

PROFILE & EDUCATION

• Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Finance, University of Berne &

• Master in Science (MS) in Wealth Management, University of Rochester - Simon Business School

• Master of Advanced Studies (MAE) in Applied Ethics, University of Zurich

• Executive Development Program, University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

• Alumnus Swiss Finance Institute (Swiss Banking School, Executive Program)

 

EXPERIENCE

 

iamdix.com LLC 2018 Founder & Managing Partner

Addressing change in the Wealth-Management industry

 

UBS Wealth Management, Zurich

2015 - 2017 Head Operating Office

IPS Capital Markets & Banking Products Intl., Managing Director

2010 - 2015 Head Fixed Income Platform Shelf Management & Client Advisory Services, IPS

2008 - 2010 Head Investment Writing & Projects P&S Communications & Marketing

2006 - 2008 Head P&S Consulting North-, East- & Central-Europe, P&S

2002 - 2006 Head Product Development & Structured Products Distribution

WM CH P&S UBS Investment Bank, Zurich, New York, London, Tokyo

1997 - 2002 Country Representative Switzerland Global Credit Derivative Trading

1995 - 1997 Trader & Product Manager Eurobonds Tokyo

1993 - 1995 Head Trader CHF Bonds London

1991 - 1993 Deputy Head CHF Bond Trading Zurich

1986 - 1991 Various training and junior assignments (sales) within Securities Dept. Zurich & NY

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 select the reduced ticket price option and pay what you can afford.

 

You can pay through PayPal 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 Transparency - How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services"
TS Zurich 18th June 2019.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [6.2 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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