Introducing the Intiative
CFA Societies in the MENA region worked together to celebrate the launch of Let’s Measure Up™ global brand campaign with an Ethics Case Study Competition that was open to all regular members of any CFA Society in the MENA region plus all our stakeholders including academics, industry practitioners, regulators, CFA candidates and students.
The case studies submitted explored ethical aspects of our members and stakeholders professional experiences. The Competition facilitated education and discussion, increasing the awareness in our community of ethical issues. We will also use cases in the CFA Society Emirates Ethics Challenge and in other MENA region Ethics Challenges. First prize was a trip to the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference in May 2018, 2nd place was USD $1,000 and 3rd place was USD $500.
We really want Ethics cases with a regional MENA focus and are looking for new cases.
Note that a case can be submitted as a collaborative effort with more than one name on it.
- Please send your cases to firstname.lastname@example.org
Examples of Cases
- This is not a huge task and you do not need to be an expert writer!
- To further develop and or publish cases we have resources from CFA Institute.
- We are looking for good ideas and starting points.
The Samuel Telline case and solution is only five pages!
- Entries should be factual, however in no cases should the original names of any persons or firms be used in your case study unless the case is 100% based on public information.
Case studies should be structured in two parts: Scenario & Discussion or Teaching Note.
The Scenario should set out the pertinent facts of the case.
The Discussion or Teaching Note should highlight the key ethical concerns raised.
Both sections should draw reference to:
- the behaviour of characters;
- the motivations of the individuals involved;
- the role of the firm and colleagues; and
- the consequences of the action taken.
- There is no minimum or maximum length for case studies, but submissions will be considered based on the clarity of structure and presentation of a concise narrative
Case Study Contents
• Please ensure that your case study does not disclose any confidential information.
• Do not include any details that (directly or indirectly) may identify any persons, organisations or other stakeholders involved in the original case.
• If you draw from publicly available material – eg: a regulatory notice such as a SCA Notices – this should be mentioned in a brief acknowledgement at the top of your Case Study.
• Please read and ensure your entry complies with the competition guidelines.
Case Study Anonymity
Wherever possible we will try to publish, or otherwise employ in our educational efforts, strong entries from the competition. Competitors will be able to elect to either have, or not to have, their names associated with a case study made publicly available or otherwise employed in our efforts.
Case Authoring Tools
For many Members, this may their first time writing a case. The following link has valuable information on:
- The Case Writing Process, and
- Authoring Tips and Tricks
Improve your case writing skills, and prepare to write a case with the instructional videos and documents:
CFA Institute also has Ethical Decision-Making for Investment Professionals, an online course which is free to members and non-members.
The Standards of Practice Handbook
The Standards of Practice Handbook grounds the concepts covered in the Code and Standards for practical use. You can use this handbook for guidance on how to navigate ethical dilemmas you might face in your daily professional life.
Review CFA Standards and Practice Handbook, Eleventh Edition
CFA Institute Game-Based Course:
This self-paced, 90-minute online course presents the ethical decision-making framework and uses multi-media case studies to show you how to apply the framework in the real world. Your score is the number of clients earned as a result of the decisions you make.
Visit our Ethics and Advocacy page for more information and further links to CFA Institute content.
Ethics Case Study Guidelines
Throughout our careers we have to make decisions, large and small, every day. Faced with competing pressures, it is often difficult for us to recognise the larger ethical considerations underlying our day-to-day decisions.
Potentially unethical behaviour is often the result not of a single, conscious decision, but rather the accumulated outcome of many smaller activities – activities which taken individually may seem reasonable.
By exploring such activities through ethical case studies we hope to educate fellow members to recognise potentially unethical behaviours as they develop. We hope to provide guidance not just on how to act, but also when to act.
|Setting out the facts (clearly and succinctly)||Drawing out the ethical concerns raised|
|The scenario should set out briefly the background to the case. This should include information on the actors involved, their experience and seniority, and whether they were acting on their own behalf, or on behalf of their firm or their clients||The discussion section should set out the ethical questions raised by the fact-pattern and principles relevant to an appropriate resolution.|
|Scenarios should include a timeline of events with an emphasis on key “decision points”, i.e. when the potentially unethical behaviour took place, any opportunities to mitigate behaviour that were not taken and how events ultimately came to light.||Entrants should focus attention on any ambiguities in the case and encourage readers to consider differing points of view.|
|Set out the consequences of the activity on the individual, their employer, affected counterparties and the markets.||Consideration should be given to how the individuals concerned could have acted differently and what lessons may be learned.|
Considerations for Case Studies
In preparing your case study try to put yourself in the shoes of others. You should also consider determining details to include in the scenario section and points worthy of discussion. Consider the perspective of:
• What motivations led to the behaviour? Was in the individual motivated by personal incentives, and how may they have convinced themselves that they were doing the right thing?
• When the issue was identified, did the individual consider their behaviour to be inappropriate?
• Was the incident based on a one-off mistake or was it part of a wider pattern of behaviour?
• What signs were there that the individual was engaging in (possibly) unethical behaviour? Were others aware that something may be wrong? What ultimately led colleagues to escalate the concerns, and what could have prompted them to do so sooner?
• What approaches did colleagues take, and how did these relate to their roles (e.g. how did managers act compared to colleagues remote from the individual, such as those in a compliance or control function)?
• What potential control deficiencies did the behaviour highlight?
• Were there wider cultural issues that may have led the individual to engage in potentially unethical behaviour (either knowingly or unknowingly)?
• Was any role played by “group think” and “accepted practice” within the firm?
Clients and Counterparties
• What was the impact of the behaviour on clients and other counterparties, such as markets, regulators and shareholders?
• When the behaviour was identified, how did their perception differ from those within the firm? What led to this difference?
Society at Large
• What is the social or public interest in this case?
• How is this interest best protected?