The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services Urges Financial Service Companies to "Get Active" in Ethics Awareness Month

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The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services, the only endowed collegiate center devoted exclusively to the study of values and good business practices for the financial services industry, today called on the industry to actively participate in Ethics Awareness Month activities during the month of March. To aid professionals and their organizations in reinforcing the importance of sound ethical business practices, The American College is sponsoring a variety of activities and information tools. For more information http://www.TheAmericanCollege.edu/ethics

The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services, the only endowed collegiate center devoted exclusively to the study of values and good business practices for the financial services industry, today called on the industry to actively participate in Ethics Awareness Month activities during the month of March. To aid professionals and their organizations in reinforcing the importance of sound ethical business practices, The American College is sponsoring a variety of activities and information tools.

The Center's Ethics Awareness Month effort consists of four major components:

  •     The College has invited companies, offices and individuals who support Ethics Awareness Month to become official endorsers of the event. The College encourages endorsers to let their financial services industry colleagues, consumers and the general public know they support the importance of high ethical standards as part of professional financial relationships.
  •     To aid companies in reinforcing the importance of ethical conduct within their organizations, The American College Center for Ethics has developed an ethics toolkit for the use of companies, producer groups and individual producers. The toolkit includes an array of products individuals or groups can use at various times during the month to deliver effective ethics training and encourage talk about ethical issues in the industry.

     1.    Three downloadable video learning modules with moderator guides: Dealing with Dementia; Life Settlements - Are They a Good or Bad Idea; and Is Business Ethics Really an Oxymoron?

     2.    Three articles on industry issues with questions to stimulate discussion and thinking about the issues.

     3.    Case studies with discussion questions.

     4.    A PowerPoint presentation on ethical decision making with notes for use in discussion.

The ethics toolkits and additional information about them are available at http://www.TheAmericanCollege.edu/ethics

  •     The Center has also developed an online survey that will investigate the attitudes of financial services professionals concerning a number of important ethical issues facing the industry. The survey will assist The College in identifying today's "Top 10 Ethical Issues" for financial services practitioners. The results will be announced at the end of Ethics Awareness Month.
  •     Finally, The Center will offer a webcast, "Making Ethical Decisions as a Financial Planner," with continuing education credits in ethics (CE and Pace). It will be offered on March 28th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm eastern time as the culmination of the center's Ethics Awareness Month activities. While there is a minimal charge for this event to defray costs, continuing education credits are currently pending in most states and participation represents a compelling value for financial professionals. Registration for this event will begin on March 1 and includes an "early bird special" discount. There will also be special company discounts. Online registration and additional information is available at http://www.TheAmericanCollege.edu/ethics

Ethics Awareness Month has a prestigious 17-year history. In December 1990, The American College, along with numerous companies and sister organizations in the financial services industry, initiated a national Ethics Awareness project as part of a weeklong event. Financial services professionals across the country conducted joint meetings to discuss ongoing ethical challenges. In the following year, the ethics awareness event was extended and March has since been designated "Ethics Awareness Month" (EAM) by the financial services industry.

During the past 17 years, as many as 150 insurance companies at a time and more than 100 other financial services-related companies, professional associations, and societies have organized a variety of activities and published ethics-related articles in their employee/agent publications in recognition of Ethics Awareness Month. Insurance and financial services professionals across the country have participated in hundreds of ethics programs and meetings concerning ethical issues affecting the financial services industry. Both companies and individual practitioners have found Ethics Awareness Month to be a useful way to reaffirm their commitment to professional conduct.

"Recent media attention to inappropriate conduct and behavior by business professionals serves to remind us all of the importance of ethics," stated Ronald F. Duska, Ph.D., the Charles Lamont Post Chair of Ethics and the Professions, Professor of Ethics and Director of The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services. "Today, we call on financial services industry leaders to take the time to reinforce the importance of business ethics within their organizations. The investment we make in ethics education today will pay untold dividends in the future through enhanced positive relationships with clients and the public."

The mission of The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services is to assist in raising the level of ethical behavior in the financial services industry. The Center aims to serve as a catalyst for professional and responsible behavior by providing information to multiple stakeholders, stimulating productive dialogue among constituencies, and influencing behavior through a diverse array of programs.

The American College is the nation's leading non-profit educator of professionals in the insurance and financial services industry. Located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, The College is a public charity founded in 1927 and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The American College offers an array of specialized designation programs, Master of Science degrees in several disciplines and customized continuing education programs predominantly on a distance education basis for those pursuing a career in financial services. For more information, visit http://www.TheAmericanCollege.edu

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