NEW YORK: The Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR), a nonprofit organization that serves the embattled investment-research community, has chosen Ogilvy PR Worldwide to serve as its global agency of record. The account will be managed out of Ogilvy's New York, London, and Hong Kong offices. Fleishman-Hillard continues to be in charge of the account in Canada, and AIMR is currently seeking an agency for its Japanese office.
Ogilvy won the account following a three-month review that included 20 of the world's top PR firms. The account, according to AIMR VP of PR Rich Wyler, is worth "north of $1 million."
With more than 50,000 investment practitioners and educators in over 100 countries, AIMR's role will be one that has grown continually more important during the investment scandals of the past few years. AIMR offers guidance in professional conduct, and education to investment professionals worldwide.
The investment-research profession has suffered several high-profile blows to its reputation in recent years as the Wall Street analyst scandal of the early 21st century led many to question the value of the investment research churned out by the Street. An investigation into research practices of stock analysts, spearheaded by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, uncovered unseemly conduct at several firms that garnered headlines for months in both the business and mainstream press. During the height of that scandal, the investment-research profession became identified with numerous infamous Wall Street figures, such as Merrill Lynch's former dot-com wunderkind Henry Blodget and Salomon Smith Barney's Jack Grubman.
"Every incident, whether it is exposed or not, hurts the investor and the reputation of the industry," Wyler said. "People make the assumption based on the actions of a few people."
The group said that hiring Ogilvy is the first step in the aggressive communications initiative.
"Partnering with Ogilvy is an essential first step toward achieving AIMR's newly articulated Strategic Vision 2008, which emphasizes building the organization's brand and its reputation into everything we do," Wyler said.
He also emphasized that Ogilvy will be charged with a continued effort to make known the role of chartered financial analysts, as well as "to increase our public voice on the issues of investment ethics and financial reporting quality," Wyler said.