Phoenix  (May 14, 2003) -- An estimated one in 10 directors serving on the boards of top public companies around the world are investment professionals, according to an investment advocacy group.

"When you look at the make-up of corporate boards around the world, you see CEOs and CFOs sitting on each others' boards," said Association for Investment Research president Thomas A. Bowman during a media briefing at the group's annual conference held here. "CEOs and CFO's think like CEOs and CFOs, not like investors. It only makes sense that having more investment managers and advisors at the board table can make for a more investor-focused board."

AIMR research found that investment professionals comprised an average of 11 percent of some 4,515 directorships on the boards of public companies in eight major global markets.

"Well trained and disciplined asset managers, investment strategists and investment advisors have a great deal to offer as directors of corporate boards," Bowman said. "They have professional training in dissecting financial statements from the user's perspective."

Financial planning expert and certified financial planner Harold Evensky offered a different assessment of adding investment professionals to public boards. "I think that more people that think like investors should be on the boards but I don't necessarily think that investment professionals think like investors," he said. "Financial planners do, but analysts don't necessarily. What we need on boards is more honest people. The problems we've had are not from a lack of knowledge but a lack of responsibility.

-- Tracey Miller-Segarra

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