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Educational Alpha: Leadership in Redefining Professional Best Practices

March 7, 2024

By William (Bill) J. Kelly, CAIA, CEO of the CAIA Association.


A significant milestone for the CAIA Association was recently announced—the initiation of a comment period for our new set of ethics principles.

Recognizing the rapid transformation within our industry, we identified the need for ethics principles tailored to reflect the evolving nature of alternative investments. These principles are instrumental in reaffirming our distinct position as a leader in the field, and to underscore our responsibility for the clients’ assets under our care.

The expertise and perspective of our respected CAIA Members and that of all investment industry professionals are invaluable in shaping these ethical tenets. We highly value their commitment to excellence and believe their input will contribute significantly to the refinement of these principles.

Once finalized, these ethics principles will become an integral part of the global CAIA Membership's professional commitment in 2025. Furthermore, they will form a crucial component of the CAIA Charter Program curriculum, commencing with the 2026 exams.

To develop these ethical guidelines, we have collaborated with a globally representative workgroup of CAIA Members and partnered with the Thinking Ahead Institute, a thought leadership organization who, like us, is dedicated to influencing ever higher degrees of professionalism within the complexities and conflicts of a very large and global industry.

Through May 31, 2024, we invite all investment professionals to share their comments and feedback on the initial slate of eight core ethical principles outlined below:

  • Embracing ethical and professional behavior.
  • Aligning with the client as both peer and partner.
  • Putting the client first.
  • Emphasizing transparency to ensure the highest standards of conduct are maintained.
  • Establishing the highest standards of practice, rooted in evidence-based rigorous thinking.
  • Prioritizing professionalism, particularly in the quality of research and due diligence performed.
  • Committing to continuous learning.
  • Fostering collaboration both within an organization and across the profession, creating a stronger community designed to best serve the end investor.

Thoughtful comments and insights will help to ensure the principles capture and resonate across the diverse perspectives of all in our community. Investment community engagement is crucial as we collectively work towards a modernized and relevant ethical foundation for the investment industry.

Please visit the CAIA Association to learn more, share your comments, and be a part of this essential conversation.


About the Author:


William (Bill) J. Kelly, is the CEO of the CAIA Association with 30+ years in institutional asset management in successive CFO, COO, and CEO roles. A former CEO of Boston Partners and one of the founding partners of the predecessor firm, Boston Partners Asset Management, he's a global speaker and advocate for shareholder protection. Bill serves as Chairman of Boston Partners Trust Company and is an Advisory Board Member for the Certified Investment Fund Director Institute, which seeks to bring the highest levels of professionalism and governance to independent fund directors around the world. As a member of the board of the CAIA Association, Bill also represents CAIA in similar capacities via their global partnerships with other associations and global regulators.