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Press Release

For immediate release: Wednesday 23 May 2007

IMA'S OUTGOING CHAIRMAN: CHALLENGES AHEAD ON SAVING AND EUROPE

Speaking at the Investment Management Association's AGM dinner last night, outgoing Chairman, Simon Davies focused on the challenges and opportunities ahead for the investment management industry.  He talked about the good relationships IMA has established with policy makers in the UK and beyond and thanked the Economic Secretary, Ed Balls, for the part he has played in fostering a strong and constructive relationship with the Treasury.  Ed Balls later indicated that this relationship would continue in a Brown administration.  Mr Davies then went on to highlight two challenges for the future.

The first challenge is for the Government to foster more saving in the UK.  The announcement that ISAs were to remain a permanent part of the savings landscape was welcomed and the Government's commitment to establishing personal accounts for those without access to occupational schemes was heralded as a good foundation on which to build.

But Mr Davies cautioned that this was just a start, and it would be important to ensure that other aspects of government policy - tax, regulation, and benefits - work together to support a higher rate of saving.  He recognised the part the industry has to play and said that the IMA was committed to maintaining a measured and responsible dialogue with the Treasury. 

Fund management was becoming more important to the lives of ordinary savers and Mr Davies reminded the industry that it is incumbent on them to keep the interests of ordinary savers at the front of their minds, and to play a full and proper part in public debates.

The second challenge Mr Davies highlighted was that of maintaining the momentum to ensure that the Commission's proposals for a single market in asset management lead to an efficient and competitive market that will benefit both investors and the industry.  The coming period will be particularly critical as draft legislation makes its way through the process, and Mr Davies said the fund management industry looks forward to working with a strong and engaged Treasury negotiating team.

Mr Davies concluded:

"The UK is of course the premier asset management centre in Europe.  And we want to keep it that way.  One area of vulnerability is that we only account for less than 10% of the authorised funds market.  There is a real opportunity to grow this further if we have the right regulatory and tax environments.  Government and industry can work together to make the UK market a stronger and more competitive force in Europe.  With the help of Ed Balls a good process is under way between the Treasury and the industry, and we look forward to seeing the results."

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:
Helen Stephenson, Communications Officer, IMA, 020 7831 0898

Out of hours contact:
Mona Patel, Head of Communications, IMA, 07834 089332

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