Monday, 3 July 2017

Fund management needs shake-up

Towards the end of last week, a report by the Financial Conduct Authority made headlines only in the business section of newspapers. It found that "price competition is weak, investors are not always clear what the objectives of funds are and fund performance is not always reported against an 'appropriate benchmark'" (The quote is from the i newspaper.)

According to Gina Miller, who runs a totally transparent fund management company, the final report has been watered down.  On Radio 4's "Money Box" last Saturday she accused the authors of being got at by the industry after the interim report went out for consultation.

One can sense that this has taken place from the largely self-satisfied responses of the big asset managers quoted in City A.M. last week.

From early on, the fund management business was rather more blasé about Brexit than industry and commerce in general. It seems that while individual investors may see their wealth decline, the asset managers will continue to thrive because of their arcane charging structures. Indeed, the halt to the integration of the City of London into a more regulated but more competitive EU financial régime may also help them.

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