What it means

Adherence to a Fiduciary Standard

CEFEX advisory firms adhere to the Global Fiduciary Standard of Excellence. This means they act in the best interest of investors. This is contrasted with a firm that lacks a fiduciary process or operates according to a ‘suitability’ standard.

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Verified by Annual Audits

CEFEX advisory firms voluntarily undertake annual audits by independent fiduciary experts. This verifies their adherence to the fiduciary standard and is supplemental to the oversight performed by most financial regulators, who require advisors to meet a minimum compliance standard.

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Why it matters

Investor Benefits

A CEFEX-certified advisory firm places your interests first and will realize investment objectives sooner, better align investment services to expenses, and be accountable for actions taken.

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Advisor Professionalism

Annual audits maximize professionalism within the advisory firm because management is required to keep up to date with best practices.

The CEFEX audit helps foster a culture of continuous improvement within the firm.

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What's in the CEFEX Certification Audit?

CEFEX assessment is based on the international standard, ISO 19011: Guideline for quality management system auditing. The assessment is evidence-based, and all work is reviewed by the CEFEX Registration Committee to ensure impartiality and consistency.

The assessment includes document review, client file sampling, on-site visits, a background check and interviews with senior representatives at the firm. The assessment is conducted by CEFEX Analysts who must hold the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst ® designation and maintain annual training by CEFEX.

The assessment methodology includes attorney-developed schedules based on regulation.

The CEFEX certification audit is based on the standard described in the document: "Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors" published by fi360, Inc. It can be downloaded here.

Certified Advisory Firms