Many individuals act in a fiduciary capacity and aren’t aware of their legal responsibilities under the law. Retirement Plan Sponsors often assume that one of their service providers are responsible for complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA.) Many foundation trustees aren’t aware that they could be held personally liable under the Uniform Prudent Investor Acts (UPIA) or Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA.) Fiduciaries usually act with the best of intentions, but many remain unaware that they are stewards and subject to fiduciary obligations which are among the “highest known to the law.”
As an independent fiduciary consulting practice, we offer the following services to assist you in understanding and fulfilling your fiduciary obligations in order to certify that your organization is ensuring proper stewardship:
Whether a board, investment committee or an individual fiduciary has never had any formal fiduciary education, or whether new fiduciaries merely need to be brought up to speed, understanding and adhering to the Global Fiduciary Standards of Excellence is a fiduciary best practice. Many believe that their advisors are acting in a fiduciary capacity and therefore provide fiduciary protection, but as outlined in Retirement Plans, The Wizard of Oz & You, that is often not the case.
For organizations that feel that they are adhering to fiduciary standards, an independent assessment can confirm this or identify opportunities for improvement.
Few organizations realize that they can delegate a significant amount of their fiduciary responsibility (and any associated risk) to a properly appointed professional fiduciary. In situations where a service provider or investment manager must be replaced, an objective fiduciary process is required.
The ultimate goal of any organization might be to achieve a Fiduciary Certification provided through the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX). This independent fiduciary certification process is the gold seal of fiduciary excellence and provides numerous benefits, including:
- A CEFEX Certification assures members, donors, and current and potential board members, that the organization is adhering to the highest fiduciary standards and disassociates your organization from the sorts of unfortunate events that sometimes occur with non-profit organizations and their board
- The insurance industry recognizes the value of a CEFEX Certification so your organization can qualify for up to a 25% discount on your Professional Liability insurance coverage. If you provide a copy of your current policy, we can determine in advance the exact amount you would save in annual
- Achieving a CEFEX Certification can also help protect the good reputation of your organization as well as its leadership as explained in Strategy+Business Magazine
For a quick check on how well your organization is complying with fiduciary best practices, please review the questions on page three of our Self-Assessment of Fiduciary Excellence.