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2015 Ethics in Finance—Robin Cosgrove Prize

Washington, D.C.
IMF HQ2, Conference Hall 1, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

September 21, 2015


Ethics—the set of moral values and behaviors guiding society—play a key role in the growth and stability of the economy, and in finance in particular. Good ethics, through nurturing consistent and reliable behaviors, are necessary for building the trust that helps facilitate transactions, especially in an increasingly complex business world. In contrast, poor ethics erode trust in the financial system, leading to a breakdown of transactions—and worse, bank runs and financial instability.

The 2008 global financial crisis continues to shadow the discussion of ethical problems in the financial sector. Ethics in finance go beyond uprooting outright fraud, dishonesty, and the flagrant violation of laws and rules. They focus on the excessive and reckless risk taking to pursue personal gains regardless of losses and damages borne by others and the society.

The solutions are broad, ranging from laws, regulations, compliance, governance, and remuneration structure, to changes in culture and individual behaviors.

The International Monetary Fund will host the Cosgrove Foundation for a discussion of these crucial issues and a prize-winning ceremony for the winners of the Robin Cosgrove prize, on September, 21st 2015.

The "Ethics in Finance—Robin Cosgrove Prize" was established in 2006 to commemorate the life of Robin Cosgrove, an investment banker who passed away at a young age, and to advance his belief that young professionals in finance should seize the opportunity to influence ethical standards in the world of finance. The Prize is based at the Observatoire de la Finance, a not-for-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The mission of the Prize is to stimulate innovative ideas for promoting ethics and integrity in the finance sector.

September 21, 2015

3:00–3:05 pm

Welcome Remarks by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF   

3:05-3:10 pm

Video Message by the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

3:10-4:10 pm

Discussion between panelists on ethics in finance


    Sean Hagan, IMF General Counsel


    Lee Buchheit, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb

    Sarah Dahlgren, Executive Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Paul H. Dembinski, Professor University of Fribourg, Switzerland, Director of Fondation Observatoire de la Finance, and Co-President of the Cosgrove Prize

    Sally Dewar, Managing Director, Head of Regulatory Affairs for Europe, Middle East and Africa, J.P. Morgan

4:10-4:30 pm

Announcement of 2015 winners and brief acceptance speeches Cosgrove Prize manager Paul Dembinski to announce the winners with Dr. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, co-founder of the Cosgrove Prize. Prize winners to deliver brief acceptance speeches.

4:30-5:30 pm

Cocktail reception