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Many thanks to Morningstar for hosting this important Symposium
"TIME FOR TRANSPARENCY - THE FCA'S INVESTMENT PLATFORMS MARKET STUDY"
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When and where is it?
About this Symposium
WHAT IS THE FORMAT GOING TO BE?
This Transparency Symposium is a full day's event, wholly dedicated to the Financial Conduct Authority's Investment Platforms Market Study.
The event will be about hearing first-hand from the FCA about why this Market Study is being undertaken, its primary objectives and how it may improve competition in the market for the benefit of the consumer.
We will also hear about what actions the FCA may take as a consequence of their Study.
Furthermore, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the FCA through Q&A and facilitated general discussion and debate.
In addition, delegates will be able to listen to and engage with credible subject-matter experts whose insights and experience will aid understanding and the development of well-considered views.
Relevant market participants will also be given a platform (excuse the pun) to explain how they see this important regulatory development.
WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT?
In keeping with their mission and statutory purpose, The FCA is able to promote competition by using their diagnostic tools, including market studies, to make judgements on whether competition is working well as a result of the way markets are structured and/or the relationships between consumers and providers in the market.
On 12th July The FCA published the Terms of Reference for their Investment Platforms Market Study, setting out the scope and topics to be covered. This market study is intended to enable the FCA to diagnose whether competition between investment platforms is working well for consumers.
The Investment Platforms Market Study follows on from the FCA’s Asset Management Market final report published in June, which highlighted a number of potential competition issues in the platforms sector.
Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA has commented:
“With the increasing use of platforms, and the issues raised by our previous work, we want to assess whether competition between platforms is working in the interest of consumers. Platforms have the potential to generate significant benefits for consumers and we want to ensure consumers are receiving these benefits in practice.”
Given the size of this fast-growing market any such competition issues could be significant.
According to the FCA, Investment Platforms are increasingly used by consumers and financial advisers to access retail investment products and to manage investments. The platform market has steadily grown over the last 8 years, with Assets Under Administration for both adviser and direct platforms increasing from £108 billion in 2008 to £592 billion in 2016.
Interestingly, Adviser platforms have grown around 1.5 times faster than direct platforms.
Many platforms offer investors and their advisers a range of information and tools to help them make investment decisions and some also offer their own investment products. As part of the study, the FCA will explore whether platforms help investors make good investment decisions and whether their investment solutions offer investors value for money.
In principle, platforms allow retail investors to pool their money and achieve better investment returns. The FCA are looking into how platforms compete in practice and whether they use their bargaining power to get investors a good deal.
To provide investors access to retail investment products and information about these products, platforms interact with other platforms, advisers, asset managers and fund ratings providers. The FCA will be assessing whether these relationships work in the interests of investors.
For the purposes of their study the FCA defines ‘platforms’ broadly. The study will look at both investment platforms and firms that provide similar services by allowing investors or their advisers to access retail investment products through an online portal.
WHAT WILL THE SYMPOSIUM COVER?
The FCA’s Investment Platform Market Study raises many issues and questions that will be considered by speakers, panelists and delegates at this hot-topics event.
Here are the type of issues and questions that will be covered:
FOR WHOM IS THIS A 'NOT-TO-BE-MISSED EVENT'?
Given the scope and potential seriousness of the Study, the range of people that have very good reason to be at the event include:
WHAT MIGHT THE FCA DO AFTER THEIR MARKET STUDY?
The FCA aims to publish an interim report about their Investment Platforms Market Study by summer 2018, setting out their analysis and preliminary conclusions including, where appropriate, possible remedies to address any concerns identified.
If they find that competition is not working well, the FCA may intervene to promote more effective competition and can do this in a number of ways, including:
In light of all those possibilities, the Transparency Task Force is especially pleased to organize this Symposium as it creates a great opportunity to shine a bright light on all the important issues whilst providing a useful forum for all market participants, thought leaders, stakeholders and even the FCA to discuss and debate the key questions in a constructive and collegiate way.
This is a great chance to share your thoughts with the FCA and all other attendees as there will be ample scope for facilitated open discussion and debate.
What changes, if any, do you think the FCA should make to the regulatory framework for the Investments Platform market and associated market participants?
Please note that whilst we expect that some of the different perspectives will make for an interesting, challenging and perhaps even somewhat ‘edgy’ meeting, Transparency Task Force events have rightly earned a reputation for being an environment where consensus-based views are formed, guided by what we call the ‘North Star question’, i.e.
“Taking everything into account, what’s best for the consumer?”
It’s a wonderfully powerful question that often provides swift direction and consensus; and helps to nip potentially harmful division ‘in the bud’. It’s a sensible question because it is difficult to defend a position that is not aligned with what is best for the consumer.
We find ourselves having to ask that question less and less, because everybody in our community understands that all our work is aligned to what’s best for the consumer, recognising the way that greater transparency can drive positive transformational change into the market.
That's what the TTF is all about.
So if you and your organisation have a client-centric outlook i.e. you are ethically and professionally-minded we think you will welcome the opportunity to contribute to what is likely to be a particularly valuable Symposium.
Conversely, people with an agenda that is different to promoting what is best for the consumer tend not to be involved with Transparency Task Force events
What's the Programme?
9:00 Registration, reshments and networking
Director of Manager Research
“The Primary Drive for Transparency Across Financial Instruments & Markets"
Jackie Beard is the Director of Manager Research Services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Morningstar. She leads Morningstar’s engagement with the due diligence teams of institutional investors who engage with Morningstar for external support in the evaluation of active and passive funds, investment strategies and asset management firms.
Jackie joined Morningstar in September 2008 as Director of Fund Research for Morningstar UK, leading the roll out of Morningstar’s qualitative fund research and ratings for funds available for sale to UK investors.
From mid-2010, Jackie focused on the UK investment trust market, and in 2012 led the launch of Morningstar’s qualitative research and ratings on closed-end funds for the UK. She is a leading industry voice on investment trusts and has pioneered greater transparency from closed-end funds on their holdings, authoring the paper “Investment Trusts: Why Transparency Matters”. She is a regular presenter to fund boards, investors and advisors.
Before joining Morningstar, Jackie spent seven years at Forsyth Partners where her role included fund research, the management of the group’s broker client funds, and the development of proprietary research and information tools.
Jackie started out in the financial services industry in 1991, initially at private bank Hill Samuel before moving to stockbrokers Albert E Sharp and Quilter, where she switched from private client management into fund research.
Jackie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and an MSI Diploma holder.
Jackie is also an Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force
Transparency Task Force
Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.
Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.
That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of our collaborative, campaigning community which is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant'.
Since 6th May 2015 he has recruited, organised and mobilised over 250 volunteers around the world into 12 Teams:
- The Banking Team
- The Foreign Exchange Team
- The Market Integrity Team
- The Costs & Charges Team
- The Scams & Scandals Team
- Team PAM (Progressive Asset Managers)
- Team PISCES (Purpose; Impact Investing; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Environment, Social & Governance; Socially-Responsible Investing)
- The Financial Stability Team
- Team APAC
- Team EMEA
- Team Americas
- Team GTI (Global Transparency Index)
Our 12 Teams are the 'engine room' of the Transparency Task Force's work. Each Team is focused on a particular set of opacity-related challenges whereby subject-matter experts work together on a completely voluntary basis to develop and implement strategies to overcome those challenges.
Andy is also:
Head of Wholesale and Investments Competition, The Financial Conduct Authority
"About The FCA’s Investment Platforms Market Study"
Robin Finer is the Head of Wholesale & Investments Competition, having joined the FCA in January 2014.
Prior to working at the FCA, Robin was a Director of Economic Analysis at the Competition Commission, where he worked on mergers, market investigations and regulatory inquiries across a wide range of sectors. He has also worked as a Project Director and economist at the Office of Fair Trading and in the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission.
Robin is currently leading on the FCA’s Asset Management and Investment Platforms Market Studies.
11:30 Refreshments and networking
Mike is consulting director, and sole-proprietor of the lang cat Isle of Wight office. A driver and survivor of platform mergers, migrations and RDR he held a number of senior roles at Skandia and Old Mutual Wealth, most recently Head of Platform Marketing.
His favourite platform is platform 4 at Southampton.
Head of UK,
Dan Brocklebank is a Director and Head of UK at Orbis Investments. Having studied PPE at Brasenose College, Oxford he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen. Bitten by the investing bug in the wake of the collapse of the dot com bubble, he joined Orbis Investments in 2002 as part of the investment team.
Orbis currently manages approximately $30bn in a small number of primarily equity strategies globally. For the last 9 years Dan was responsible for Orbis’ team of global industry analysts based in London. At the same time, he has worked with Orbis’ institutional and retail customers to help them understand Orbis’ long-term, fundamental and contrarian investment approach.
Dan has a particular interest in Orbis’ goal of making long-term investing simple and accessible to all and he is a Director of Orbis Access, Orbis’ UK retail platform.
He tweets under @OrbisDanB
The Transparency Trophy is a top-quality transparent star, awarded to a winner at each of our Transparency Symposia.
Winners get to keep their Transparency Trophy.
The star-shape is significant.
People can navigate across seas using the stars so the star shape has been chosen to symbolise the idea that the winners are helping to navigate the industry towards a more transparent, competitive and enlightened state.
Here are the previous winners:
- February 2016: Tomas Wijffels, Senior Policy Advisor, Pensioen Federatie
- April 2016: Rachel Haworth, Senior Policy Officer, ShareAction
- June 2016: Jackie Beard, Director of Manager Research for EMEA, Morningstar
- September 2016: Gina & Alan Miller, the Founders of the True & Fair Campaign
- October 2016: Robin Powell, Principal, Evidence-Based Investor
- November 2016: Daniel Godfrey, former Chief Executive of the Investment Association and now Co-Founder of The People’s Trust
- December 2016: Ralph Frank, Co-Head of Defined Contribution, Cardano
- February 2017: Con Keating, Head of Research, Brighton Rock Group
- May 2017: David Pitt-Watson, Executive Fellow, London Business School
- July 2017: Mike Barrett, Consulting Director, the Lang Cat
- September 13th 2017: Steve Conley, Founder, The Values-Based Adviser
- September 28th 2017; George Kinder, Founder, The Kinder Institute
- November 15th 2017; Angie Brooks, Founder, Pension Life
- November 23rd 2017; Dr. Chris Sier, Indep Chair, FCA's IDWG
Who'll win the Transparency Trophy on 30th November?
13:15 Lunch and networking
15:00 Refreshments and networking
Head of Intermediary Research,
Miranda is Head of Intermediary Research at Platforum where she focuses on adviser platforms, UK fund distribution and workplace savings.
She has a particular interest in the evolution of financial advice and the impact of policy, regulation and market developments on the distribution of retail funds and investments in the UK.
Before joining Platforum, she was Head of Marketing Communications at Marketforce Business Media.
Miranda read Ancient and Modern History at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and has an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in International Studies and Diplomacy focussing on international relations and international law.
The GREAT BIG open debate!
This is perhaps the most important part of the whole event!
It's where all attendees plus our panellists will have ample opportunity to reflect on the issues covered and to discuss and debate the key questions.
Ultimately, we shall seek to build consensus on the best way to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services is needed, particularly in the Investment Platforms market; and how to go about driving progress in a constructive, collegiate, collaborative and civilised way.
Who are your panellists?
Dr. Anna Tilba,
Director of Corporate Engagement at Newcastle University Business School
Dr. Anna Tilba is a researcher and a Lecturer in Strategy and Corporate Governance and a Director of Corporate Engagement at the Newcastle University Business School. She joined NUBS in 2012 from the University of Liverpool Management School where she obtained her PhD in corporate governance and where she was teaching Strategy both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Her research interests include pension fund investment, financial intermediation and networks, accountability, corporate governance and investor engagement. Anna has an emerging record of publications in top tier academic journals. She also reviews papers for such scholarly journals as Corporate Governance: An International Review, Organization Studies, European Management Review, Business History and her papers appear at various international conferences.
Anna has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries for the Law Commission. The Consultation Paper on Fiduciary Duties is commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and arises from the Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making.
More recently, Anna has carried out research for the UK Financial Conduct Authority on the Effectiveness of the Oversight Committees as past of the FCA's Asset Management Market Study.
Furthermore, Anna is a member of the Transparency Task Force’s Costs & Charges Team and the International Best Practice Team; and she frquently participates at TTF events.
Head of Investment Management,
Grant Thornton Financial Services Group
David Morrey is a partner and Head of Investment Management in Grant Thornton’s Financial Services Group (FSG). David sits in the regulatory risk management practice where he helps clients dealing with the challenges of current regulation or emerging requirements.
He is one of the most active individuals in the UK carrying out 'Skilled Person Reviews' instigated by the regulator, alongside which he also frequently advises firms on how to respond to a regulatory investigation.
David has specialist expertise in a wide range of conduct matters, both wholesale market issues within the securities and investment management sectors, and retail issues within the wealth management, advisory and lending sectors. He has also been active over many years in client asset and client money issues while projects he has run on effective risk management frameworks and on improving product governance have given him exposure to a broad sweep of the financial services industry.
David spent 10 (of his 25-plus) years working in the industry in senior risk and regulatory management roles in some major organisations, and feels he has a good sense of what regulated firms can accomplish in practice, as well as a strong sense of what the regulator needs to see.
When not working David is kept busy supporting the ever-expanding hobbies and social lives of his three daughters. Any time which remains is spent as an avid fan of American football – there is always a football close to hand at his office desk.
Head of Research,
Brighton Rock Group
Con has been a member of the steering committee of the financial econometrics research centre at the University of Warwick. He has held senior positions at several international institutions including the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies, Societe Universitaire Europeene de Recherche en Finance and the OECD’s private pensions committee.
Con has published widely on the regulation of financial institutions and pension systems and has developed new statistical tools for financial data analysis. Con is involved with many of the Transparency Task Force’s Teams and is a winner of the Transparency Trophy. He is also an Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force.
Special Adviser, Retirement,
Copia Capital Management
With a background in Law, Heavy Engineering, and public Administration, Malcolm has specialised in all aspects of management in Financial Services at senior level for the last 35 years.
He spent 14 years with Norwich Union, latterly at operating Board level in Life and Pensions, and 5 years at Merchant Investors, a specialist high net worth investment and pension provider in Bristol.
More recently, as Managing Director of Lyncombe Consultancy, Malcolm has specialised in the regulatory, policy and operational aspects of pensions, and a wide range of other retail financial services. With a particular interest in, and experience of, Distribution in the UK, he has been involved in a number of initiatives building new businesses in this field.
A past policy adviser on retirement at the Institute of Directors and also Chair of the Investment and Life Assurance Group, a practitioner trade body, he also has a strong presence in public affairs and public policy work. He is a speaker, and author, on industry topics focussing on pensions, ageing and retirement. He was until February 2014 Policy Director at TISA, leading the work of the organisation in Pensions, Distribution, Platforms and savings policy more widely. He is also a Non-Executive Director of B&CE Insurance, provider of The People’s Pension.
Malcolm is currently a Special Adviser, Retirement, at Copia Capital Management. He joined Copia back in August from Retirement Income Alliance which he set up in 2015 to help the public navigate pensions freedom. Copia Capital Management is the investment management division of Novia Financial plc. Malcolm works alongside Henry Cobbe, Hoshang Daroga and the Copia team to support the development and outreach of the Copia Retirement Income propositions which were launched earlier this year. He also helps to raise awareness of the key issues facing Advisers and Clients considering decumulation in the context of pensions freedom.
Head of Policy Development,
Lloyds Banking Group
Pete has been with Lloyds Banking Group for nearly 28 years, starting out in Scottish Widows which is now also the Insurance Division of Lloyds Banking Group.
Pete has held many and varied senior positions including head of Individual Pensions and Head of Workplace Pensions before taking on the policy brief for long terms savings 3 years ago.
Priorities for Pete in recent years have included Pensions Tax Reform, Auto Enrolment and initiatives which make the market work more effectively for its customers.
Neil Esslemont, Head of Industry Liaison,
The Pensions Regulator
Neil and his team are responsible for engaging with suppliers of products, services and advice, as well as employers, regarding their understanding and readiness for workplace pensions reform.
Our aim is to help them fully understand their own or their client’s duties, including the duty to automatically enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme; and the duties of trustees in both the public and private sector.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with large companies in both private and public sector. Neil has previously worked as a client director for BT and Siemens, and as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Neil has a technology background in computer software engineering, gained after graduating from Exeter University with a Maths & Physics BSc.
17:00 End to the 'formal' proceedings, followed by....
Networking and drinks
Immediately after the Symposium delegates can enjoy further networking; courtesy of Morningstar.
18:00 Final close.
Be sure to secure your place today
There is limited availability and all places must be booked in advance - please use the link below.
If the Standard Ticket Price £245 is genuinely beyond your budget, please be quick to Email me a note to that effect as subject to availability we have some reduced price tickets available.
If there are any left we will organise a suitable price reduction for you as a gesture of goodwill, but please be quick as places are limited.
You can pay through credit card or invoice.
The Great Divide
You can read the speech by Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.
The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.
Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:
..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.
For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...
Please click the green button below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:
..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.
Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.
Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity.
At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.
Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.
Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.
So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.
That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.
The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...
Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:
..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour. A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.
The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.
More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...
Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:
If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below: