September 24, 2010 16:08 ET

AARP & IMSA Convene Ethics & Compliance Experts at Financial Services Ethics Summit in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 24, 2010) -  AARP and IMSA co-hosted an Ethics Summit Meeting, entitled Understanding Ethics on a New Financial Services Frontier, at AARP Headquarters in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Experts in compliance and ethics from AOL, the U.S. Sentencing Commission and Taft & Partners, as well as representatives from leading life insurance companies, gathered to explore the changing role of ethics in financial services and insurance.

"Older Americans make difficult, complex decisions every day when dealing with their money for retirement and life circumstances," said Jean Setzfand, Director of Financial Security for AARP. "Each individual deserves to work with financial and insurance professionals who are not only the best at what they do, but are held to the highest standards and are held accountable. A high ethical standard among financial and insurance professionals is essential and AARP has long fought for these protections for investors -- most recently, through our efforts in financial reform. Forums like this one play an important role in understanding the impact of setting these standards for all Americans."

"Contemporary ethics challenges facing the financial services marketplace require contemporary solutions," said IMSA President & CEO, Brian K. Atchinson. "With the frank participant dialogue, expert presenter input, and open exchange of leading practices which occurred at this event, new compliance territory can be better navigated by all."

Both presenters and participants explored numerous compliance and ethics issues, including what companies are doing to establish an ethical culture and why it is important to address reputational risk.

"Legal and ethical is not always the same thing," explained Oliver Quinn, Senior Counsel, Taft & Partners. "You can have a situation where something is legal, but is not ethical, and good people can find themselves in ethical dilemmas. Contrary to what your grandfather told you, following the golden rule is not always easy or clear-cut." Quinn, who previously served as the Chief Ethics Officer at Prudential Financial, adds: "Effective compliance and ethics programs address the complexities of doing business successfully while adhering to a set of values. All of this needs to be understood in an era of accelerated speed of information and increased financial pressures that test the character of organizations."

About IMSA
IMSA is the premier standards-setting and compliance solutions organization for the life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance marketplace for individually sold products. Qualified companies commit to maintaining high ethical market conduct standards and to being fair, honest, and open in the way they advertise, sell and service their products. For more information and a list of IMSA-qualified companies, visit

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Contact Information

  • For information, contact:

    Jennifer Kalita

    Alejandra Owens