Back to Behavioral Advisor Forum

Herman Brodie

Founding Director, Prospecta Limited

Herman is a specialist in behavioral economics, an accomplished speaker, and a trainer of decision-makers. Herman is the author of The Trust Mandate: The behavioral science behind how asset managers REALLY win and keep clients (2018, Harriman House). He also co-wrote and teaches the professional investment course, A Practical History of Financial Markets.

Behavioral Ethics: Not Only for 'Bad People'


The typical approach to promoting ethical business behavior has been, firstly, to draw a clear line between good and bad, i.e., a code of conduct. Secondly, we seek to reward the former and sanction the latter. This carrot-and-stick approach, though, seems to assume that people faced with ethical dilemmas conduct a conscious, deliberate, cost-benefit analysis before making decisions. Yet, the behavioral sciences have shown us that our decision-making is often non-conscious and automatic. Even ‘good people’, therefore, could stumble into bad choices. This observation does not mean that we are all unethical. On the contrary, studies have revealed that people cheat less than they can get away with. But they do still cheat. Our moral compass is not broken, but the magnetic north is sometimes obscured and continuously moving. 

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 

10:20 - 11:10 a.m. EST