Finance cheats more likely to cheat: Study

A University of Texas study has found finance professionals who engage in misconduct at work are more likely to be unfaithful in marriage.

The study looked at financial advisers, chief financial officers and chief executives amongst others using the website Ashley Madison, the slogan of which is "life is short, have an affair".

Those conducting the study found that financial advisers using Ashley Madison, and therefore engaging in an extra-marital affair or hoping to, were more likely to also engage in professional misconduct.

They sought to understand whether there are different moral standards for private relationships compared with business ethics.

To examine whether a financial adviser who cheats on their spouse is more or less trustworthy than a financial adviser who doesn't, the study compared a group of financial advisers with no professional misconduct records with a group that had professional misconduct records.

In the group that had never been accused of misconduct, only 1.4% were paying Ashley Madison customers.

In the group that did have records of misconduct, 3.3% were active on Ashley Madison.

Advisers accused of misconduct were twice as likely to step out of marital bounds.

Financial advisers with misconduct associated with customer disputes, employment separation, regulatory proceedings, and criminal violations were all found to be more likely to use Ashley Madison than their misconduct-free counterparts.

In the study of chief financial officers and chief executives, firm performance was found to have no correlation to Ashley Madison use in the executive suite.

The study's authors concluded: "Our findings suggest that personal and professional lives are connected and cut against the common view that ethics are predominantly situational."

They added that "virtues such as honesty and integrity influence a person's thoughts and actions across diverse contexts".

The study's authors - John Griffin, Samuel Kruger and Gonzalo Maturana - accessed the Ashley Madison data from the hack the website experienced in 2015.

Read more: Ashley MadisonUniversity of TexasGonzalo MaturanaJohn GriffinSamuel Kruger
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