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CFA Ethics Challenge 2018

The Chartered Financial Analyst Society held its annual Canadian Ethics Challenge on Saturday, February 10, with teams from Acadia University, Saint Mary’s University, the University of Prince Edward Island, and host Dalhousie University participating. Annika Corbett, Ella Murphy, Sean Ostling, and Tess Robertson represented Acadia. Before participating in the competition, teams familiarized themselves with CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. From the Code of Ethics comes the directive: Practice and encourage others to practice in a professional and ethical manner that will reflect credit on themselves and the profession. And from the Standards of Professional Conduct: Members and Candidates must not engage in any professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit or commit any act that reflects adversely on their professional reputation, integrity, or competence. With exhortations for ethical behavior ringing in their ears, students were ready to interpret the case.

Under the watchful eye of Michael Schroer, CFA Malaysia, whose image adorns a CFA Society poster, Acadia BBA students (L-R) Annika Corbett, Sean Ostling, Tess Robertson, and (front) Ella Murphy, participate in the CFA Ethics Challenge 2018.

The case, said Acadia team member Ella Murphy, was a complex mix of multiple ethical issues happening in an asset management firm. Issues ranged from insider trading, neglect, dishonesty, breaking company policy, and many gray areas such as whether or not relationships were in a conflict of interest. There were probably 20 contentious issues happening in the case all at once. The takeaway for Ella was practical as well as ethical. Getting the chance to interpret how we perceive the issues in front of a panel of judges with extensive knowledge is a privilege in itself, but these judges actually provided us with feedback after the competition. That’s something I won’t forget and their insight into these ethical issues is impressive. Overall, a wonderful experience. Faculty advisor to the team, Dr. Stephen MacLean, was enthusiastic about the team’s performance. Over the past month Annika, Ella, Sean, and Tess spent many hours preparing for this event and their effort showed. They did a fantastic job representing Acadia and I’m proud of what they accomplished!

Acadia University’s Fred C. Manning School of Business is located in the town of Wolfville in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Home to over 600 undergraduate students it offers a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration program with majors in six areas including accounting, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, employment relations, and technology management. Students enrolled in our program may also take advantage of international study and co-op education opportunities. More information can be found on the Fred. C. Manning School of Business homepage.