US – Following a string of corporate scandals, the Association for Investment Management and Research has made a plea for investors’ interests to come first.

“Investor interests must always come first. Before our own. Before our employers’. And before the interests of any public company or its management,” the US-based AIMR says in an advertisement placed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times and other newspapers around the world.

“We felt it was time to take a leadership role,” said AIMR president and chief executive Thomas Bowman in a phone interview. “We just feel it’s our responsibility.”

He said he expected an “extremely positive” reaction to the ad from the AIMR’s members and the wider investment community. “I think this will resonate very well with investors.”

Bowman said he testified before the US Senate and House of Representatives in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals. The AIMR also had a hand in helping to draft the new Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance legislation.

The AIMR has no regulatory authority though Bowman says the body “has right on our side”.

Around 10% of AIMR’s 50,000 membership is in Europe and 20% of candidates for the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification are from Europe, Bowman said. And three of its board members are from Europe.

It says its mission “is to serve its members and investors as a global leader in educating and examining investment managers and analysts and sustaining high standards of professional conduct”.