Integrity in the arena

By Bhavin Patel

Panel audienceI recently attended an on-campus panel, titled ‘Ethics in Financial Services’. The experience left me with a renewed optimism about the industry that many argue has lost its way.

Each of the featured guests had current insights related to the demands on ethical systems and managers, as well as the recent west coast insider trading case. Federal prosecutor Jonny Frank told us to expect certain companies to increasingly utilize big data analytics to uncover and discourage rogue employees. PwC ethics & compliance partner Patricia Mulvaney stressed the importance of mentor relationships and preparation. She said, “think ahead [and] don’t go it alone”. When asked about preparing to face ethical dilemmas in the workplace, director of Rosenfarb LLC Roman Matatov said, “the profession you are part of is distinct from the business you are in”. Everyone agreed that personal maturity and early introspection were key requisites to withstanding pressure and temptation.

At one point Larry Zicklin highlighted the finance industry’s attraction to those who are motivated to “eat what they kill”. In that moment, several of my peers from the full-time MBA program looked to me. His stories on the changing finance world spoke to me on a personal level and I was reminded of, as Theodore Roosevelt eloquently put it, “the man in the arena” and his responsibility to grab the baton and lead the way in creating a culture of excellence and integrity.

This is the career I have chosen, and I am glad to be part of a community that takes business integrity seriously. Some people think being ambitious runs against behaving ethically. At Baruch, we take ethical decision-making as an integral condition for achievement and success.

Lively discussion
The Ethics in Financial Services Panel was held 25 April 2013. The Association for International Business at Baruch College (AIB) is a multidisciplinary graduate student organization for student-led learning experiences relevant to our global business environment.

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