In the midst of the worst market collapse since the Great Depression, John Rogers took the helm of the CFA Institute in January, succeeding Jeffrey Diermeier. This weekend, about 1,000 portfolio managers and financial analysts from around the world will flock to the CFA Institute's annual conference in Orlando to try to make sense of the crisis and to divine ways to invest going forward.
Mr. Rogers brings a global perspective to the job particularly important because nearly half of the CFA Institute's 95,301 members live outside the U.S. and that's where the educational, research and advocacy group has experienced its greatest growth in recent years. Mr. Rogers spent the first 13 years of his career in Asia, primarily in Japan, eventually serving as president and CIO of Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Ltd. He was promoted to CEO and co-CIO of Invesco Global Asset Management and, in 2000, was named president and CEO of Invesco's worldwide institutional division. He left the Atlanta-based manager in 2007 to set up Jade River Capital Management.
Mr. Rogers admits he was not a particularly active member of the CFA Institute or its predecessor organizations, so I am paying my physical dues now, paying back and paying it forward now.
The Obama administration is drafting a regulatory overhaul that would subject many alternatives managers to regulation. What is your view? It's important to note that the situation that we're in was not, per se, caused by alternative asset managers by hedge fund or private equity managers. Separately, the reality is that alternative asset managers have grown significantly as a class of participants in the marketplace, both in terms of size and activity and acceptance by institutional investors ...
(T)here comes a time when financial institutions, no matter what their activity, reach a level of prominence where a higher degree of transparency (and) formal registration and some degree of regulation is appropriate. With success comes responsibility. And with success comes some responsibility for a higher degree of scrutiny. And we would be of the view that that time has arrived ...
There have been a number of initiatives that have been announced by industry associations and industry groups that you're aware of. That's a good step, but in our view that's not enough. For example, one provision of the proposed self-regulation is what we would call comply or explain. So if a manager feels its activities are outside of the predefined list of alternative investments arenas, they don't have to comply with the regulations but they have to explain why. That to us is simply not an appropriate way to handle this. So we are in favor of a higher degree of scrutiny, a higher degree of transparency of activities without the ability to opt out.
(Click below to listen to an audio clip from the interview with Mr. Rogers.)