From Team Performance to Investment Returns: Ted Lasso and GIPS Standards

What do the GIPS Standards and Ted Lasso have in common?

The third season of Ted Lasso began in March 2023. For those that have not seen the show, it is about a small-time college football coach from Kansas named Ted Lasso, who is unexpectedly hired to coach a struggling English Premier League soccer team, AFC Richmond, despite knowing very little about soccer. While it may seem that Ted Lasso and the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) have nothing in common, we invite anyone working with GIPS compliance to explore the important similarities below and feel as good about what they bring to work as what Ted brings to his coaching.

At its core, Ted Lasso is about ethics, transparency, teamwork, and continuous improvement, and we are using the GIPS Standards framework to help clients tackle similar challenges every day.

Ethics: Ted and the GIPS Standards focus on ethics. Ted Lasso is known for his strong moral compass and commitment to doing what is right. Similarly, the GIPS Standards require investment managers to adhere to a strict code of ethics when reporting performance data, ensuring that they are not misrepresenting their results or misleading their clients. Choosing to be ethical is more than just following the rules; it’s the foundation for all of the decisions that come after.

Transparency: In the show, Ted is known for his open and honest communication style, an understated superpower that helps to build trust and rapport with his team. The GIPS Standards provide a powerful framework for investment managers to provide transparent and accurate performance data to their clients to build trust and confidence in their investment strategies.

Teamwork: Of course, a soccer show is about teamwork, but so is GIPS compliance. It applies to the whole firm, not just the back office or the front office, and the best GIPS compliance teams have representatives from executive leadership, compliance, operations, technology, marketing, and portfolio management.

Continuous Improvement: Ted is constantly looking for ways to improve himself and his team, even when things are going well, just as the GIPS Standards require investment managers to regularly review their performance reporting processes and make changes as needed to ensure they are meeting the highest standards of accuracy and transparency.

And the list goes on….

Attention to Detail: Both Ted Lasso and the GIPS Standards place a high value on attention to detail. Ted is known for his meticulous planning and attention to small details that can have a big impact on the success of his team. Anyone that’s worked with the GIPS standards knows compliance requires fiduciaries to pay close attention to the details, quarter after quarter, to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Standards of Excellence: Finally, both Ted Lasso and the GIPS Standards are focused on achieving high standards of excellence. In the show, Ted Lasso sets high expectations for himself and his team and is always striving to improve and achieve their goals. When the GIPS Standards were created, they were designed to provide the investment management industry a pathway to achieve the highest standards of accuracy, transparency, and ethical behavior for investment performance reporting, for firms (and now asset owners) to build credibility and trust with their clients and constituents.

While the connections between Ted Lasso and the GIPS Standards may seem tenuous at first, both share a commitment to excellence, ethics, transparency, teamwork, and continuous improvement. They also emphasize the importance of thinking long-term, paying attention to detail, and building trust through open and honest communication. Additionally, both have a strong focus on teamwork and collaboration, whether that’s between the characters in the show or between investment managers and their clients. Ultimately, these shared values and principles can help individuals and organizations achieve success in their respective domains, whether it’s on the soccer field or in the investment management industry.

Cascade Compliance has over 34 years of combined experience working with SEC Regulations, the GIPS standards, and performance. Our employees have worked with hundreds of firms in the U.S. and abroad. One of the best parts of working with clients is getting to share expertise and knowledge of best practices across the industry. Whether you are a client of ours or not, we are here to help you get better at what you do and answer any questions you may have. Contact us at