Women's Journal

Ethics in Finance: Dr. Kara Tan Bhala’s Pioneering Contributions and Seven Pillars Institute’s Impact on Shaping Ethical Practices in the Global Financial Landscape

Ethics in Finance: Dr. Kara Tan Bhala's Pioneering Contributions and Seven Pillars Institute's Impact on Shaping Ethical Practices in the Global Financial Landscape
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Kara Tan Bhala

Dr. Kara Tan Bhala, the President and Founder of Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics USA, is a prominent figure in the realm of financial ethics. An Honorary Research Fellow and a respected figure in various global organizations, she has significantly contributed to shaping ethical practices in the finance sector.

With a diverse academic background spanning business, liberal studies, and philosophy, Dr. Tan Bhala has lived and worked in several international cities, bringing a global perspective to her work. As the U.S. Ambassador for the Transparency Task Force (U.K.) and a Jury Member for the Ethics and Trust in Finance Global Prize, her influence extends across borders.

Seven Pillars Institute, under Dr. Tan Bhala’s leadership, plays a pivotal role in advancing the field of ethical finance. As the world’s only independent think tank dedicated to the research, education, and promotion of financial ethics, the institute focuses on producing publicly available research that informs and influences the perspectives of the public, academics, and practitioners.

The organization has made significant strides in reshaping the prevailing world view in finance, advocating for a clearly articulated purpose within financial institutions and critiquing the shareholder primacy and profit maximization credos. Since the financial crisis, the consideration of ethics in finance has gained legitimacy, and Seven Pillars Institute has been at the forefront of this paradigm shift.

The core areas of focus and research within the institute are diverse, encompassing case studies, Ethics 101 instruction, ethics training videos, and the journal Moral Cents. With nearly 200 case studies available, topics range from the 2008 financial crisis to climate finance, cryptocurrency, impact investing, Asian financial scandals, and even a series on Goldman Sachs.

Dr. Tan Bhala’s book, “Ethics in Finance: Case Studies from a Woman’s Life on Wall Street,” provides insightful perspectives on ethical decision-making in finance. Drawing from her extensive experience, she delves into cases of conflict of interest, fulfilling unethical client requests, insider trading, and implicit bias and gender discrimination. The book serves as an informative memoir, offering valuable lessons in navigating ethical challenges in the financial world.

Addressing the current ethical issues and challenges in finance, Dr. Tan Bhala emphasizes the need to reevaluate the neo-liberal economic system, especially in the face of critical problems like climate change and inequality. She also highlights the evolving landscape of ESG investing and the importance of developing standardized measurement frameworks. Additionally, she underscores the necessity of incorporating financial ethics as a required course in business schools.

For ordinary consumers looking to support and promote ethical finance in their communities, Dr. Tan Bhala suggests speaking up against unethical behavior by financial institutions and other organizations dealing with money. She encourages consumers to write to local representatives to voice concerns about unethical practices and emphasizes the importance of teaching children the value of ethical values in financial decision-making.

In summary, Dr. Kara Tan Bhala and Seven Pillars Institute are instrumental in shaping the narrative around ethical finance, providing valuable insights, and advocating for positive change within the financial sector.

Download Ethics in Finance Today!


Published By: Aize Perez

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