A compelling argument for why stewardship of wealth and service to others should be our highest financial priority
Stewardship is the journey of financial insider John Taft towards understanding and affirming the importance of stewardship—which he has come to define as "serving others"—as a core principle for the financial services industry, the global financial system, and society at large.
By defining the attributes of authentic stewardship, this book presents a path forward by analyzing the success of Canadian banks in weathering the financial crisis; evaluates the effectiveness of global financial reform efforts in making the financial system safer, sounder, and more secure; offers wealth management prescriptions for individual investors; evaluates the potential of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investment processes as a way to instill stewardship behaviors among corporate CEOs (particularly at financial services firms); and, ultimately, calls for a return to stewardship's core principles as the key to not only minimizing the scope and consequences of future failures, but also to addressing other societal challenges.
- Argues for a return towards stewardship, with financial services companies doing right by their customers
- Analyzes the response of Canadian banks to the financial crisis to provide meaningful advice for investors and businesses alike
- Inspired by Taft's experience running one of the largest wealth management firms in the country during the financial crisis and his direct participation in subsequent legislative and regulatory efforts to rewrite the rules under which the U.S. securities industry operates
From the man who made the decision to reimburse clients affected by the collapse of a money market mutual fund comes a compelling look at why financial service companies should start doing what's right for their customers.
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About the Author
John G. Taft is CEO of RBC Wealth Management U.S. He is a leading figure in the U.S. securities industry and served as Chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in 2011. He is a direct descendant of U.S. President William Howard Taft and Senator Robert A. Taft.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Core Principles: The Ground Beneath Our Feet 1Interlude—Learning from Failure: Acquainted with Grief 7
Chapter 2 Finance Run Amok: Selfishness Trumps Stewardship 9Interlude—Occupying Wall Street: Too Rich and Too Poor 19
Chapter 3 Stewardship Defined: Feeding Your Flock First 23Interlude—Greed, Glorious Greed 32
Chapter 4 World’s Safest Banking System: Canada, the New Switzerland 35Interlude—Americans Are from Mars, Canadians Are from Venus 47
Chapter 5 Making the System Stronger: In Defense of Dodd-Frank and Basel III 51Interlude—Too Small to Save? 74
Chapter 6 Making the Investor Safer: In Defense of New Fiduciary Rules 77Interlude—An Obligation of Honor 84
Chapter 7 To Investors Standing on the Wings: Prepare for the Next Crisis 87Interlude—Predatory Volatility 109
Chapter 8 Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing: Could It Be the Answer? 113Interlude—It’s a Long Life: The Trouble with Short-Termism 129
Chapter 9 Communities, Caring, and Commitment: Reconnecting with Our Stewardship Responsibilities 131
Appendix A Balanced Financial Regulation 147
Appendix B Basel III Regulatory Accord 151
Appendix C Creating a Clear Path Forward 161
Glossary of Selected Financial and Regulatory Reform Terminology 179
Author’s Guide to Supplemental Readings 191
Additional Sources 197
About the Author 205