Rebuilding trust behind CFA Institute’s US$100m brand campaign

‘Let’s Measure Up’ is a call-to-arms to the investment management industry to help build a better world, says global brand leader

A lack of investor trust, and the fallout from the GFC a decade on, is behind CFA Institute’s new US$100m, three-year global brand campaign to raise standards across investment management.

The integrated campaign, ‘Let’s Measure Up’, launched in mid-January, is a call-to-arms to the investment management industry to help build a better world for investors by upholding values and ethics, while broadening awareness of the CFA Institute’s charter.

‘Let’s Measure Up’ challenges the industry to uphold the same values promoted by CFA Institute and its 150,000 global members, highlighting the themes of ethics, investor rights, diversity, retirement security, transparency, technical expertise, and more. It also aims to add to the overall brand ambition of CFA to reinforce the value CFA charterholders bring to investment industry employers.

Head of global brand and communications at CFA Institute, Anne O’Brien, said the campaign aims to change the industry as a whole.


“It’s a rather aspirational cry of ‘Let’s Measure Up’; we are asking everybody to strive for higher standards and to do better than we’ve done in the past, and we include ourselves in that,” she told CMO.

“It’s been 10 years now since the GFC, but we’re still seeing the effects, including a lack of trust on behalf of retail investors. A lot of people within the industry still understand there is a perception some professionals don’t put investors’ interests first.

“Trust is central to the rehabilitation of the industry in the eyes of investors, and we need to acknowledge this as an industry. CFA Institute believes finance can be a force for good in the world, and the investment management industry needs to acknowledge its part, and the part it played in the past in perhaps not living up to those ideals and those standards."

CFA Institute will invest more than US$100 million over a three-year period into print, digital, TV, out-of-home, and social channels, as well as a dedicated website, event activations, social media and public relations support. Markets include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, the UK, and the US. Amplification will extend to many of the 148 member societies across the globe in 2018.

“CFA Institute is not-for-profit and it has a mission to raise standards of professionalism within investment management for the ultimate benefit of society,” O’Brien said.

“It’s a fairly grand vision and one that is now being taken up by the likes of Larry Fink [CEO of BlackRock] in his recent letter to investors talking about the need for companies to really think more about what finance is for, what the purpose of capitalism is, and about the larger societal good. We’re delighted to see this, as it’s what we have been talking about for years."

The catalyst for the campaign came from the members.

"We have thousands of charter members around the world and we survey them regularly to ask what’s important to them in terms of value and service CFA Institute can provide. One of the top two things they tell us is raising awareness of the CFA charter is one of the most important things we can provide for them," O'Brien explained.

“The campaign just launched, but anecdotal feedback has been good. Given we have 150,000 members in some 148 countries, we have a lot of stakeholders and they love the fact we’re making an impact and showing what CFA Institute is and what the industry stands for." 

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