@2002-11-09 22:36:54

The Assn. for Investment Management and Research has brought on Citigate PR as part of an international effort to position its member chartered financial analysts as objective, ethical researchers.

"Our member CFAs asked us to be more visible on ethics and standards," Rich Wyler, VP of public communications for AIMR, told this website. "They have felt tainted by the scandals around Wall Street, so we are trying to raise awareness of research objectivity and their commitment to proper conduct."

Two ads produced by Citigate pitch 'CFA' designation: 'Three letters that spell confidence for investors worldwide' and 'More than an achievement, It's a commitment.'
Wyler said Citigate PR was brought on recently to bolster an international, multi-million dollar print and radio ad campaign aimed at investors and the financial community which kicked off last week.

Fleishman-Hillard has handled international PR for the group over the last two years and continues in that role. Wyler added that elements of the group's PR plan have yet to be rolled out.

Citigate's Chicago office is coordinating PR efforts, while Citigate's New York office handles ads, which are running in Barron's, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio, among other outlets.

Wyler said AIMR CEO Thomas Bowman has increased his public role with appearances and speeches in and out of the U.S. as part of the campaign.

CFAs pledge a code of ethics each year and are required to disclose any allegations of misconduct against them at that time. Ads are aimed at highlighting that code and explaining the "CFA" designation.


Peter Madden, President, AgileCat (11/6):
A combined effort of smart, focused public relations, Wall Street tours to convey this message with as much weight as possible, and advertisements in what sounds like a smart media buy should ensure success over time, though don't expect to bat .1000. There will always be the few that simply don't get it.

David Shen (11/6):
AIMR has not put out a single word about Merrill Lynch analysts that were recommending stocks that internally were "sells" nor has it defended analysts who were subject to pressures and got fired by crooked CEOs. In the meantime, AIMR continues to suspend members if they fail to return their annual dues. Great way to show AIMR's commitment to ethical standards. Look at the many critical comments posted on AIMR website.

Retired but still paying attention (11/5):
A few rotten apples shouldn't have to spoil the bunch. A little PR and a few ads should help out the analysts. The profession is a bit of a mystery to most people anyway.

Remus, Atlanta (11/5):
Oh, how this reminds me of "APR." Take the ethical conduct pledge, call yourself a Certified Financial Analyst, then work in an industry that is corrupt to its core. What's an analyst, anyway, except a dope with a rope? Give him enough rope, etc.


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