Institute for the Fiduciary Standard Establishes Frankel Fiduciary Prize
Knut A. Rostad, President, Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, offers this dire assessment of “The Retirement Gamble,” the provocative PBS Frontline piece that aired on April 23, 2013: “the film serves as another vivid reminder why, indeed, the absence of fiduciary principles deserves far greater attention and should be considered a serious national problem.” And he was quick to back up his words with actions. On the very same day the controversial show was broadcast, Rostad’s group announced the establishment of the “Frankel Fiduciary Prize to honor individuals who advance fiduciary principles.”
“We want to recognize those who have worked to advance fiduciary principles, be they researchers, scholars, policymakers, regulators, or tireless advocates,” Rostand told FiduciaryNews.com. Unlike other similarly named awards, he doesn’t expect the winner to be someone who merely provides superior fiduciary service for their clients. “While we applaud and encourage the role of the practitioner in fulfilling the fiduciary promise,” said Rostad, “we established this award to recognize a person who has made significant contributions to the preservation and advancement of fiduciary principles in public life.”
The prize is named in honor of Professor Tamar Frankel, the Michaels Faculty Research Scholar, at the Boston University School of Law. “Professor Frankel is regarded by many as the dean of fiduciary law in the United States,” said Rostad.
John C. Coffee, Committee Chairman, and the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, says, “Professor Frankel has dedicated her life to researching and teaching fiduciary law. The Committee is very pleased to honor her contributions through the establishment of the Frankel Fiduciary Prize.”
Professor Frankel told FiduciaryNews.com, “The Prize is not in my personal honor but in the honor of fiduciary law about which I wrote. Yet, my words were backed by many writers. I did not invent them. Therefore, the prize is in the honor of Fiduciary Law, which this country has established and follows.”
She said her passion for fiduciary issues comes from “an enormous, almost overwhelming satisfaction from giving.” Professor Frankel continues, “Fiduciaries are those who are given power for the benefit of others. As I taught corporations, securities regulation and mutual funds regulation as well as other situations where people hold other people’s money I found a similar satisfaction. For me writing on these subjects was fulfilling a need of the legal practitioners and regulators. In 1978 when I published the regulation of money managers, mutual funds were quite small and struggling. In 1991, when I wrote about Securitization it was hardly known. But the topics were interesting and there was a need. That was satisfying.”
Profession Frankel hopes the prize inspires “public interest in the duties of those who hold other peoples’ money and on whom we depend. I hope that our trusted financial services will feel satisfaction in serving their investors. I hope that investors will understand how hard it is sometimes to fulfill their expectations and I hope investors continue to trust.”
Members of the selection committee include: Brooksley E. Born, Retired Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP; John C. Coffee Jr., Committee Chairman, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Deborah A. DeMott, David F. Cavers Professor of Law, Duke Law; Andrew K. Golden, President, Princeton University Investment Company; and, Knut A. Rostad, President, Institute for the Fiduciary Standard
The nomination deadline is coming up soon – May 23, 2013 – and should be emailed to Knut A. Rostad, firstname.lastname@example.org, and to John C. Coffee, email@example.com.