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International Investment Funds Association
World’s Investment Groups Adopt Statement Of Principles
Global Industry Underscores Responsibility To Investors
Washington, DC, October 21, 2005 – The International Investment Funds Association concluded its 19th annual meeting today by adopting a statement of principles that recognizes the important role of investment funds in the global financial markets and in serving investors worldwide.
This week’s IIFA meeting – the foremost gathering of fund industry association executives in the world – brought together more than 75 delegates from 34 fund associations across the world to discuss broad industry trends, regulatory compliance, leading industry practices, and other matters of common interest. Worldwide, investment funds manage some $16 trillion in assets.
“Our global industry has grown substantially over recent years. So too have the issues we all face,” said Paul Schott Stevens, president of the Investment Company Institute, host of this year’s meeting. “The thread that binds us together is the recognition that the investment funds industry must encourage sound business practices and adherence to high ethical standards. More than most businesses, ours is built on a foundation of trust between fund managers and investors. We must do all we can to maintain and build upon that foundation.”
Emphasizing the key role that investment funds play in serving the interests of investors, the IIFA adopted the following four principles:
- Investment funds should be operated at all times in the interest of their investors.
- Investors in investment funds should be provided with the information needed for informed investment decisions.
- The process by which investment funds are sold by intermediaries should be transparent and have as its goal the provision of suitable advice.
- Investment funds should be able to compete in the marketplace on a level playing field with other savings and investment products.
“The principles were adopted unanimously,” said Azim Zabidi, Chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional. “For me that underscores our collective view that, in our business, the interests of and benefits to the investor are paramount.”
The IIFA meeting included a presentation by Hubert Reynier, Chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) working group on investment management. The IIFA reflected the importance of an active dialogue with IOSCO, to which 181 of the world’s financial regulators belong. “We applaud IOSCO for its willingness to reach out to the fund industry and consider our views on the issues that they take under review,” said Alexandre Zakia Albert, Vice President of the ANBID Investment Funds Committee. ANBID is the Brazilian fund association.
The statement of principles also made reference to international accounting standards. Following the adoption of the principles, the IIFA also adopted a common position on the impact of international accounting standards on investment funds.
“Although each market is at a somewhat different state of development in the fund industry, it was striking how similar our concerns and opportunities are in so many ways,” said Tom Hockin, President of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.
Stefan Bichsel, President of EFAMA, the European Fund and Asset Management Association, added, “This meeting helped all of us in finding common approaches to advance the interests of our investors.”
Next year’s IIFA meeting will be held in Istanbul, Turkey.