Examples of Following the Code
When we think about the NAIFA Code of Ethics, we are a third of the way through 2022, and this is a good time to review how some of the key activities either about to occur or that have already occurred reflect on our ethical standards.
2022 Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C.
One of our key activities that occurs each year and will soon be held is the 2022 Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C. We can be proud of the active involvement of NAIFA members in the political activities that ensure our democracy in our country will survive and thrive.
The Congressional Conference advocates on behalf of clients, consumers, businesses, as well as insurance and financial services professionals. The Conference will be held May 23-24, to allow the meeting of our lawmakers and provide a voice for our clients and our businesses. This year again the sustained involvement of NAIFA members fulfills the last of our nine obligations in our Code of Ethics: To protect the financial interests of my clients, their financial products, and my profession through political advocacy.
COVID – Reduced but Not Yet Gone
Within the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen signs of significant struggles early in the spread, and signs of hopeful reduction of COVID-19 as the number of persons vaccinated has grown. However, the virus is still very much with us. In this light, the NAIFA Family Response Fund was created as an emergency relief fund for members and their legal dependents. We can be proud to see our organization develop a number of informative and helpful programs for those affected by COVID-19. You can see the description of these developments at advocacy.naifa.org/covid-19. These actions address several of the nine obligations, but two stand out:
- To work diligently to satisfy the needs of my clients by acting in their best interest
- To cooperate with others whose services best promote the interests of my clients
The Importance of Diversity
NAIFA has returned to the In-Person Diversity Symposium for 2022 on May 23, 2022, in Washington D.C. This symposium provides a forum for discussing strategies to create and promote diversity in the financial services industry. Chad Cooper, MBA, was announced as NAIFA's 2021 Diversity Champion. Cooper has been a center of influence in the business community as well as the NAIFA-New Mexico 2022 President. He and his firm developed financial literacy training for monthly seminars about the financial issues of concern to African Americans. Currently, Cooper's clients include all segments of the population in Albuquerque. Among more than one of the Code of Ethics obligations Cooper exemplifies, these are notable:
- To render timely and proper service to my clients and ultimately their beneficiaries
- To conduct all business dealings in a manner that would reflect favorably on NAIFA and my profession
Revising the NAIFA Quality Award
As a final example of adherence by NAIFA members, we should note and remember that the NAIFA Quality Award was revised and refreshed in 2020. Qualifiers are measured on their professional success, the quality of client service, and strict adherence to the NAIFA Code of Ethics. Qualifiers for the award granted in 2021 numbered more than 1,000 recipients. These recipients were fine examples of professionals acting in accord with ethical conduct, with consideration for all nine provisions of our ethical standards.
Frank C. Bearden, PhD, MSM, CLU, ChFC, is Managing Member at Frank C. Bearden LLC, author of "The Subtle Influence: Conflicts of Interest in Financial Planning", and a contributing columnist for Advisor Today on the topic of ethics.