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7 best practices of effective investment committees

James A. Bergeron
Advisor Education Consultant
Chairs along a conference table

While the standards for financial professionals continue to rise, investment committees have become increasingly important as teams look for scalable ways that embrace structure and accountability to inform sound decision-making. In addition to helping satisfy regulatory requirements, an investment committee can also provide an added level of credibility to your clients and prospects. Earning and maintaining trust is one of the most crucial aspects of the client relationship. An investment committee can serve as a powerful tool to building credibility and trust through communicating the value of a disciplined approach to investing. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all structure, there are several best practices that can help ensure a successful committee approach:

1. Utilize a committee charter

2. Ensure an investment policy is in place with clearly stated goals

3. Make committee members aware of their responsibilities

4. Build a committee of proper size

5. Consider the impact of diverse thought

6. Distribute a thoughtful meeting agenda in advance

7. Proactively address efficiency obstacles in planning

Overcoming efficiency obstacles
Obstacle Preventive Action
Group Think
Conforming to a group thought process in order to minimize conflict and/or avoid critical evaluation. Recruit a diverse committee.

Ensure time for independent evaluation prior to meetings.
Confirmation Bias
Filtering new information or evidence in a way that confirms preexisting opinions and beliefs. Encourage questioning and exploring thoughts and beliefs without judgment.

Provide access to an unbiased third party view.
Overconfidence Bias
Overestimating our talents and abilities. Play devil’s advocate and respectfully challenge one another.

Consider the risks before making a decision.
Herding Bias
Rationalizing a course of action is the right one because everybody else is doing it. Take time in making decisions.

Make a conscious effort to form a unique validated opinion.
Action Bias Favoring action over inaction, often to our benefit. Evaluate the pros and cons of each possible response outcome.

Give equal consideration to both action and inaction.

A thoughtful approach to an investment committee can help ensure a successful effort. For more business building ideas, contact your Nuveen advisor consultant or explore additional advisor education content. 

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