Investment stewards are responsible for overseeing investments within employer retirement plans, trusts, endowments and foundations. They are constantly exposed to practical and legal scrutiny. It is likely that complaints and/or lawsuits alleging investment mismanagement will continue to increase. Many occurrences can be avoided by having clear knowledge of who constitutes a fiduciary and what is required of one.
Many investment stewards believe that they are meeting their fiduciary requirements by implementing investment recommendations made by outside investment advisors. However, not all advisors are bound by the fundamental requirement of the fiduciary standard which is to act solely in the best interests of and with undivided loyalty to the plan or fund and its beneficiaries. Even if an advisor can meet this threshold, is he/she providing consultation in an independent capacity separate from the plan’s or fund’s investments?
An AIFA Designee can help mitigate this risk and potential legal liability. While any advisor can attempt to assist investment stewards with their responsibilities, an AIFA designee is formally trained by fi360 and its’ Center for Fiduciary Studies. fi360 is a leading provider of services that helps institutional clients gather, grow and protect assets through better investment and business decision-making. The AIFA Designee is recognized by the Center for demonstrating a full understanding of how to implement those processes to help institutional clients fulfill their fiduciary obligations.
AIFA Designees are the few people in the country with knowledge in both a prudent investment process and assessment principles. An AIFA can not only provide all of the above functions relating to fiduciary standards of care, but can also conduct assessments (informal or comprehensive) to gauge the strength and deficiencies in critical areas of an investment steward’s responsibilities, such as:
An AIFA Designee can recommend actions for redressing risk areas. Also, an AIFA Designee can use the comprehensive assessment process to prepare an organization for a CEFEX (Centre for Fiduciary Excellence) Certification.