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Ethics for the Investment Industry

Investors are not amused. We are being inundated with news of business leaders enriching themselves at the expense of investors. Although many of the leaders openly espouse ethics and even enshrine them in corporate documents there is little trickle down effect. Many of the practices that are widespread in the investment industry could not exist if the industry was controlled by leaders with ethics.

The following is a quote from "Maintaining ethics in today's workplace" by Bob Rosner, September 10, 2003

"In 1932, Herbert Taylor, a Rotarian, took charge of a company teetering on bankruptcy. After observing his competitors, Taylor realized that his only chance was to make his employees the most honest and responsive of any in his industry.

To do this he needed a code of ethics to keep everyone on track. Everything available was either too long or too complex to remember, so he developed a 24-word test that employees could apply on a daily basis. As a result, the company not only avoided bankruptcy, it thrived.

The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than 100 languages.

Of all the things that we think, say or do, Taylor suggested we ask the following four questions:

Is it the truth? Before Taylor ever asked his employees to use the 4-Way Test, he taped a copy of the questions on the corner of his desk. He was amazed at how often he didn't tell the truth at work, in advertisements and with customers and employees.

Is it fair to all concerned? Basic fairness is so often overlooked in business. A Working Wounded poll found that it was the No. 1 thing that most employees wanted from their employers.

Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Taylor believed that you should maintain goodwill and friendships even with your competitors.

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? It would appear that Taylor was an early proponent of the win-win school of negotiations. Rather than always trying to take advantage of others he found value in doing what was best for everyone involved.

Here is a challenge for everyone: keep these four questions on your desk and see if you can apply them each and every day at work."

Reprinted from

Ethics Websites

As assistance to those professionals in the industry who would like to hone up their ethics SIPA provides links to a number of websites on Ethics.

Business Ethics, University of Alberta 

Business Ethics, Career Activist 

Business Ethics and Corporate Stakeholder Relations, University of Ottawa 

Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy

Canadian Real Estate Association

Canadian Resource for Business Ethics

Canadian Source for Professional Ethics

Centre for Accounting Ethics, University of Waterloo

Center for Ethics and Business, Loyola Marymount University

Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia

Center for Business Ethics, St. Thomas University

Centre for Ethics and Business

Code of Business Conduct - COGNOS

Code of Business Ethics, EDC

Code of Ethics, Financial Planners Council of Canada

Code of Ethics, PC Manitoba

Code of Ethics, Quebec Chartered Accountants

Dispute Resolution Qualifications, Standards, Ethics

Enron & Ethics, Special Collection

Ethics Commissioner, Alberta, Canada

Ethics in Leadership, Sheldon M. Chumir

Ethics in the Workplace

Ethics Resource Center

Ethics, Resources for Librarians

Ethics Update

European Business Ethics Network

Government Ethics Campaign, Democracy Watch

Governmental Ethics

Guide to Business Ethics, Voice Nation Live

Institute of Business Ethics, London, England

International Business Ethics

Office of the Ethics Counsellor, Industry Canada

Legal Ethics, Nova Scotia Barristers

Legal Ethics, World Justice