Implementing ethical culture across the Australian financial landscape

Richard Brandweiner, Partner, Leapfrog Investments and Susan Morey, Head of Advocacy, CFA Societies Australia

Abstract: This paper invites readers to think about:
● The worsening issue of cultural integrity and why it has become a concern for the financial services industry, specifically in Australia and at a broader global level;
● The purpose of the financial services industry, the importance of factors such as trust and reputation that are associated with culture based in high standards of integrity and professionalism versus short term market gains;
● The concept of stewardship of other people’s money and the dilemmas and conflicts for industry behind that concept of stewardship, the relevance of stewardship to industry’s moral compass and the relevance of culture in being good stewards;
● Identifying what culture is, why it matters and why the community deserves an industry with strong cultural integrity to be stewards of their money;
● The role of professionalism in culture, how the foundations of culture are built and sustained through the core components of professionalism: competency, compliance and ethics; and
● The benefits to industry that adopts and sustains such a culture. This paper aims to build awareness and knowledge of culture and the vital role it plays in the long-term sustainability of the financial services industry.


Keywords: culture, cultural integrity, professionalism, competency, compliance, ethics


Richard Brandweiner CFA is a partner at global impact investment firm, Leapfrog Investments. Richard has over 20 years of investment experience and prior to joining Leapfrog in January 2017, he was Chief Investment Officer for First State Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.

Susan Morey is Head of Advocacy for CFA Societies Australia and CFA Society New Zealand, member societies of the CFA Institute. Sue has over 20 years’ experience in senior corporate affairs and investor relations roles across diverse industries working for listed and non-listed entities and in government.




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