Deconstructing and Developing ‘Value for Money’

In the current financial climate, fund directors and scheme trustees are increasingly expected to report on value for money. Two major questions have arisen in response to these expectations: what is value for money and how is it assessed?

With no widely accepted criteria for determining value for money or consistently applied approach for assessing it, CFA UK set out to find answers to these key questions. In February 2018 the Value for Money Working Group formed. Led by Alistair Byrne CFA and made up of investment professionals Jonathon Parker CFA, Erzsebet Barra CFA, Stephen Dowds ASIP, Josef Steidl CFA, and Shaz Islam CFA, the Value for Money Working Group went on to create industry-wide impact.

Over the course of six months, the Value for Money Working Group developed novel frameworks to assess and report on value for money- something not before attempted in the investment industry. They used feedback from their professional networks to hone and develop these frameworks, bringing the voice of the wider investment sector to the project. Finally, after an extended period of creativity and hard work, they produced a whitepaper on their findings.

On the 30th November 2018, the Value for Money Working Group revealed their landmark paper Value for Money at a live lunchtime discussion. The successful event attracted 38 attendees who shared their thoughts and posed questions to the authors in a vibrant discussion. CFA Society UK has since published the whitepaper. The Times have already picked up the key findings in a story by Patrick Hosking on how Fund Bosses can restore public trust. It will no doubt continue to have major implications on how value for money is assessed for a variety of stakeholders across the UK into the future.

The accomplishments of the Value for Money Working Group demonstrate the positive impact CFA UK volunteers can have on the UK investment sector. As stated by the Value for Money Working Group’s Joe Steidl CFA “it was fulfilling to know we had done something to help move forward education on a very important concept in our industry. Not only that, but it has enlightened my perception and helped improve the way I view things in my own professional capacity.”

If this story of volunteer success has energised you to get involved, take a look at CFA UK’s current volunteering opportunities.