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What is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®?

What Makes an AIF® Designee Different from Other Advisors?

While the Practices are available to all advisors, those who have earned the AIF® Designation are formally recognized by the Center for Fiduciary Studies for demonstrating a full understanding of how to implement those processes to help institutional clients fulfill their fiduciary obligations. AIF® Designees are able to use the knowledge and resources they have gained through their training to:

  • Evaluate your current fiduciary practices and recommend actions that address risk areas and help ensure compliance with applicable state and federal law
  • Create and maintain a comprehensive investment policy statement that documents all of the processes and procedures that will be used to manage your portfolio
  • Analyze and optimize your portfolio’s asset allocation strategy to better align with the plan or fund’s specific investment objective or the demographic needs of plan participants
  • Apply objective standards for evaluating and recommending appropriate investment options for your portfolio

The Benefits of Choosing an AIF Designee

Advisors who have earned the AIF® Designation have a thorough understanding of the fiduciary standard of care and its application and agree to conduct themselves as professionals. However, not all AIF® designees offer the same services and different service models provide different protections. You have a responsibility to understand the nature of your advisory relationships before you enter into them.

  • Monitor and report performance of your portfolio and its underlying investments on an ongoing basis and recommending changes when necessary
  • Serve as a resource for education and assistance to help you understand and fulfill your fiduciary obligations with greater confidence

In addition to providing fiduciary guidance and assistance, many AIF® Designees also take on the fiduciary responsibilities for managing assets in a retirement plan or endowment. That removes the burden of day-to-day oversight of those assets from your shoulders. To maintain the designation, all AIF® Designees must complete continuing education training to keep up-to-date with changes in the industry and the ongoing evolution of legal requirements under the fiduciary standard. They also must recognize and formally affirm the principles and obligations stated in the Designee Code of Ethics, which govern their professional and ethical conduct.

Investment fiduciaries and professionals are constantly exposed to legal and practical scrutiny. It is likely that complaints and/or lawsuits alleging investment mismanagement will continue to increase. Many can be avoided by having clear knowledge of who constitutes a fiduciary and what is required of one.