IMEA Celebrates 50 Years

Shaping the Industry’s Future

(May 10, 2021)—The Investment Management Education Alliance (IMEA) is celebrating its 50th year in support of the investment management industry. Since its founding in 1971, the Alliance has played a unique role in influencing the future of the investing. From its original goal of educating investors about the benefits of mutual funds, to strengthening the processes and practices that enable companies to serve advisors and investors today, the IMEA has grown in its scope and influence. At the heart of the organization are its Executive Councils, where active discussions about best practices take place and ideas are born that shape major decisions facing today’s investment management companies.

“The first Council was really comprised of our Board of Governors, but that was when fund company presidents oversaw everything,” says Michelle Smith, Managing Director of the Alliance from 1990 through 2010. “The discussions were wide-ranging, frank, and collegial, but we soon realized the need for like-minded executives to exchange views with their counterparts in key business areas. With that, the IMEA Executive Council concept was born.”

There were milestones along the way. It was 25 years ago that the Alliance was the first to recognize the need to bring together company “website” executives to discuss user experience. Now, IMEA’s Digital Council focuses on wide-ranging issues like data and technology literacy and developing dynamic content.

In 2011, the organization was the first to formally recognize the needs of product development and management executives. As product discussions were dominating topics among distribution leaders with issues such as merging products and reporting structures for teams, IMEA launched its Product Council that now takes on increasingly complex issues like the potential for thematic offerings, and cryptocurrency product development.

Current chairman of the Alliance, George Riedel, Head of U.S. Intermediaries at T. Rowe Price, puts it’s succinctly, “IMEA is where the work gets done and T. Rowe Price has been committed to its mission of education since its founding. I’m honored to be one of three T. Rowe Price executives to hold the Chairmanship of the Alliance over the years, including the very first IMEA Chairman and a founder of the organization in 1971, Charles Schaeffer, T. Rowe Price past president.”

It all started with the need to educate investors about mutual funds. Now, 50 years later, IMEA’s education roots are still fundamental to its mission and its commitment continues through its Investor Education Center (imealliance.com) and its Advisor Education Center (advisoredcenter.com). These education hubs provide content and commentary from leading investment firms.

As the group looks forward, there is an exciting future ahead as it continues as an influencer of best practices and leadership development, including the formation of its newest Executive Council—the ESG Council—focusing on the escalating environmental, social and governance issues of increasing concern to the investor community.

Throughout 2021, IMEA will acknowledge key milestones and remind its members, investors, advisors and its audiences of its response to change over five decades as an influencer of the fund business and investor behaviors. To learn more about the IMEA’s 50th Anniversary or upcoming events, contact Kimber Lintz at klintz@imealliance.com or 816.454.9422, ext. 110.

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