Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street

Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118190197
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Core Principles: The Ground Beneath Our Feet 1
Interlude—Learning from Failure: Acquainted with Grief 7

Chapter 2 Finance Run Amok: Selfishness Trumps Stewardship 9
Interlude—Occupying Wall Street: Too Rich and Too Poor 19

Chapter 3 Stewardship Defined: Feeding Your Flock First 23
Interlude—Greed, Glorious Greed 32

Chapter 4 World’s Safest Banking System: Canada, the New Switzerland 35
Interlude—Americans Are from Mars, Canadians Are from Venus 47

Chapter 5 Making the System Stronger: In Defense of Dodd-Frank and Basel III 51
Interlude—Too Small to Save? 74

Chapter 6 Making the Investor Safer: In Defense of New Fiduciary Rules 77
Interlude—An Obligation of Honor 84

Chapter 7 To Investors Standing on the Wings: Prepare for the Next Crisis 87
Interlude—Predatory Volatility 109

Chapter 8 Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing: Could It Be the Answer? 113
Interlude—It’s a Long Life: The Trouble with Short-Termism 129

Chapter 9 Communities, Caring, and Commitment: Reconnecting with Our Stewardship Responsibilities 131

Afterword 145

Appendix A Balanced Financial Regulation 147

Appendix B Basel III Regulatory Accord 151

Appendix C Creating a Clear Path Forward 161

Notes 165

Glossary of Selected Financial and Regulatory Reform Terminology 179

Author’s Guide to Supplemental Readings 191

Additional Sources 197

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

Index 207

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