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Press Release

Tuesday 25 September 2012

IMA DIRECTOR SPEAKS OUT AT FSA ASSET MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

The Investment Management Association’s Director of Wholesale, Guy Sears, spoke at the FSA’s Asset Management conference this morning, on the implementation of regulations highlighting how key issues for asset managers arise from how banks and other firms themselves implement changes.  

Guy Sears spoke on these themes:

“The IMA represents 200 asset managers managing over £4.2 trillion of assets on behalf of clients from their UK desks. Many of these are large complex internationally spread businesses.  Even on the funds side of those businesses, the majority of the money managed in the UK is held by funds domiciled in continental Europe (£565bn vs. £765bn).

“Our recently published infographic on the storm of regulation identifies over 30 measures with which the IMA is presently occupied. So my three points will be made under the heading ‘implementation does not stop at the firm’.

“Asset managers are significant users of services provided by others  - some of the services are outsourced, they may include valuation services and transfer agencies; other services relate to the significant role the buyside has in the capital markets, and members presently hold some 34% of the stock exchange capitalisation; so they use MTFs, brokers, algorithms, clearing members and more and more will be involved with CCPs (Central Counterparty Clearing Houses); and their clients engage custodians with which managers need to cooperate.

“Never before have firms had to be so concerned with how others are implementing changes in legislation. Terms being offered by clearing members need to be scrutinised to see they preserve the segregation and porting rights which clients wish to have. Bank recovery and resolution plans can easily forget the critical role some of their services play in the operation of the funds industry and we need to ensure that these are addressed alongside more obvious core services to payments and retail deposit taking.

“So the first point is that implementation risk today extends way beyond the firm.

“Secondly as many of you are aware regulations are exceptionally poor at addressing chains of activity. Indeed any form of complexity - and I won't dwell on the fact that asset managers will shortly be facing four different remuneration codes, I hate to think what would have happened if we had actually caused this financial crisis – but my second point is about chains of responsibility, who is responsible for what between manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor and consumer? The regulations will not address this adequately, and the UK has never resolved what it means by consumer responsibility. So we still need to ask what are our true roles and responsibilities quite apart from what the regulations state? In that regard many commentators appear to consider that by referring to fiduciary duties, they have found a panacea – we think the discussion about fiduciary duties lacks a sound legal underpinning so we shall publish a paper on this, but the question is still good, where do our responsibilities begin and end?

“And finally implementation at a single firm is rarely enough, we depend upon layers and layers of operational connections, messaging languages and reference data and standards. Financial service regulations rarely if ever descend into the technical language needed to ensure operational efficiency and even to allow regulators to see more easily what is occurring. IMA continues to spend significant resources on issues like the solvency II data requirements and working on standards such as the legal entity identifier, ISO 20022 for RDR and we are expanding our work on reference data. As said, the implementation of an FSA rule is commonly expressed in a series of revisions to complex IT and operational processes extending way beyond the single regulated firm concerned.”

The IMA recently published its 10th annual Asset Management Survey which includes responses from senior figures in the industry on regulation, banking, pensions as well figures on investor behaviour and investment funds.

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Navdeep Sidhu, Press Officer
nsidhu@investmentuk.org
020 7831 0898 or 07843 517 618

Mona Patel, Head of Communications
mpatel@investmentuk.org
020 7831 0898 or 07834 089332
 
About the Investment Management Association

  • The IMA is the trade body for the UK's £4.2 trillion asset management industry (retail and institutional) which is one of the world's leading investment management centres.
  • Our role is to represent the interests of the asset management industry to government and regulators both in the UK and internationally.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.

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