Celebrated UK economist and author, John Kay, will air his harsh critique of the financial services industry next month in New Zealand as guest of the local CFA Society.
Kay is booked for a two-hour CFA luncheon at Auckland’s elite hangout, The Northern Club, on February 11 to expound on his argument that the global financial services industry has grown too big for its boots.
The noted economist, author and Financial Times columnist put the case in his latest book, ‘Other people’s money’, that an oversized financial sector has “detached itself from ordinary business and everyday life”, according to promotional material.
“[Finance] has become an industry that mostly trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by reference to standards which it has itself generated,” the publishing blurb says.
“And the outside world has itself adopted those standards, bailing out financial institutions that have failed all of us through greed and mismanagement.”
Jeffrey Stangl, CFA Society NZ president, said while Kay’s views might prove controversial they “dovetail” with the organisation’s agenda to lift standards across the industry.
“We invited [Kay] to stir the pot a bit, to get people thinking,” Stangl said.
“The CFA Society and Institute are all about creating a better-informed marketplace and thought-leadership for the financial community.”
For example, he said the CFA ‘Investor bill of rights’ chimes with Kay’s agenda to restore trust in the capital markets by raising ethical standards, transparency and consumer engagement.
“As part of that we’re promoting the ‘Investor First’ month in May this year,” Stangl said. “Change needs to start from the grass roots. “If investors demand more they have a great power to change the market.”
As well as his academic roles that include visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, Kay is a director of a few listed companies.
Stangl said tickets were still available for Kay’s Northern Club gig, which seats a maximum of about 150. Professional continuing education credits are available for attending.