“The woes of Woodford – who needs to learn what?” – plus – “Costs and charges; are we there yet?”

London, Lansons, 24A St John St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4AY - 14/11/2019 12:00 pm

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For queries: andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org

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Here’s the programme, so far*

We start with registration and lunch at 12:00; the meeting proper starts at 13:00 and we wrap up at 17:00**.

  • 12:00 – Registration, lunch and networking
  • 13:00 – Welcome to the symposium by
    • David Masters, Partner and Director, Lansons; Member of the Board of Advisors, QR&P Consulting; former Analyst at Standard & Poors, New York; former Analyst at Micropal and
    • Andy Agathangelou, Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor at the Pensions Policy Institute; Chair, The Interoperability Steering Group
  • 13:30 – Presentation by Sunil Chadda, Project Director, Punter Southall; Advisory Board Member, Association of Professional Fund Investors; Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force; former Associate Principle, Costs & Charges, Grant Thornton LLP on “Costs & Charges – are we there yet?
  • 14:00 – Power Panel on “Costs & Charges – are we there yet?” featuring:
    • Lesley Curwen, award-winning BBC Broadcaster; Financial Journalist
    • Philip Miller, Co-founder, Fair Return; former Co-founder and Head of Client Services, Marland Thomas Solicitors; former Founder, Pension Focus
    • Sunil Chadda, Project Director, Punter Southall; Advisory Board Member, Association of Professional Fund Investors; Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force; former Associate Principle, Costs & Charges, Grant Thornton LLP on “Costs & Charges – are we there yet?
    • + to be advised
  • 14:45 – Presentation of the Transparency Trophy; a special trophy is awarded to a champion of transparency and finance reform at each of our symposia around the world
  • 14:50 – Refreshments and further networking
  • 15:20 – Team photo, with the Transparency Trophy and its winner
  • 15:25 – Presentation by David Masters, Partner and Director, Lansons; Member of the Board of Advisors, QR&P Consulting; former Analyst at Standard & Poors, New York; former Analyst at Micropal on “The Woes of Woodford – who needs to learn what?”
  • 15:55 – Power Panel on “The Woes of Woodford – who needs to learn what?” featuring:
    • Shane Norman, Principal, Business Development for Fund Managers; UK Representative, Fuchs Asset Management SA; Senior Advisor, MontLake Funds Ltd; former Head of Research, ML Capital Ltd
    • Mikkel Bates, Regulatory Manager, FE fundinfo; former Director, Belmont Marketing Services; former Member of the ExCo, Castle Trusts; former Head of Retail and Institutional Marketing, GLG Partners UK Ltd (formerly Societe Genarale Asset Management)
    • Adam Samuel, Financial Services Compliance Specialist; International Dispute Resolution Lawyer; Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster; former Deputy Chief Executive, Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau
    • David Elliott, Director, Flat Mountain; Retirement Strategist, Timeline Tech; Retirement Associate, FinalytiQ; Former Head of Business Development, Foster Denovo
  • 16:45 – Key conclusions and close to the formal proceedings – Andy Agathangelou, Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor at the Pensions Policy Institute; Chair, The Interoperability Steering Group
  • 17:00 – Drinks and further networking
  • 18:00 – Final close

*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change

**The session itself will end at 17:00 but Lansons have very kindly agreed to provide drinks afterwards, for those that want to stay on for relaxed discussion and networking.

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What can you expect at the symposium?

 

The overall purpose of this particular symposium is to shine a bright light onto the important topic of costs/charges, in keeping with TTF’s mission to help fix what’s wrong in financial services, so consumers get a better deal; and trust and confidence can be restored.

You can expect to be amongst progressively minded and collaboratively minded people who are keen to explore how financial services should be reformed.

We’ll be covering two topics:

“The Woes of Woodford” – who needs to learn what?”

The harsh reality is that the Woodford saga is the latest of a very, very long list of issues that have caused significant reputational damage for the financial services sector.

We’ll be seeking to understand issues such as:

  • How could what happened have happened, despite decades of regulatory interventions designed to protect consumers from harm?
  • Was it avoidable or inevitable?
  • What were the root causes of the problem?
  • Did Woodford stay within his fund’s remit, or not?
  • What part did Hargreaves Lansdown play?
  • What does the case tell us about the lack of client-centricity?
  • What damage has been done to the brand of active management in general?
  • Can we initiate some kind of “reputational reboot” for the sector?
  • Could it; or something like it happen again?
  • Is there scope for litigation to seek redress for those that have lost out?
  • Who needs to learn what? – who’ll do the teaching?

“Costs & charges – are we there yet?”

It is widely accepted that costs and charges in pensions and investments have a significant impact on net returns, particularly for long-term investors such as pension savers. Understanding total cost is vitally important in being able to seek and obtain value for money so it is not surprising that there has been extensive regulatory intervention into this space and that the bright light of scrutiny has also been shone onto the subject by many academics, though-leaders and campaign groups, right round the world.

To say “there is a lot going on” in relation to costs and charges wouldn’t be an exaggeration; and the picture is getting increasingly complex.

We have therefore organised this special symposium to help bring all the strands together – to enable delegates, speakers, panellists and the press to get a fresh and comprehensive overview of where we have got to in the journey towards true costs transparency and what needs to happen next.

On the basis that “progress begins with realism” we will be facilitating the kind of candid yet constructive discussion that is needed to help move matters forward – we are expecting this to be a particularly lively symposium because we will be creating a forum for people to “say it as they see it” and there is no doubt that many people are disappointed with the sector’s slow progress towards transparency.

If the topic of investment costs/charges is of interest to you then this is a not-to-be-missed event – it will be a first-class opportunity to “say it as you see it” in response to questions such as:

  • Are asset managers finding ways to evade transparency under MIFID II and PRIIPs; if so, is that opportunistic opacity on their part; or a necessary, innocent and pragmatic response to the shortcomings of the regulations?
  • Are any organisations failing to comply with the rules that are already in place; if so, which ones?
  • Where has the Cost Transparency Initiative got to? – is it stuck in the long grass?
  • Has the DB transfer market got tied up in regulatory knots as far as costs disclosure is concerned?
  • Are retail investors getting the clear and intelligible information they need? If not, what (or perhaps even who?) is preventing that from happening?
  • What’s the likely Government response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s Report on Pension Costs and Transparency? – will they shift to a compulsory disclosure mindset?
  • What are the next regulatory interventions that can be expected in the costs/charges space from the Financial Conduct Authority, the Pensions Regulator, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Competition and Markets Authority?
  • Are the inherent cost advantages of passive beyond dispute? Does passive win the value-for-money debate hands-down? Is it game over for active management because of cost drag?
  • What are the Trade Bodies and Professional Associations doing to protect the interests of consumers in relation to costs/charges? – is there a tension between them doing that properly whilst also caring for the commercial interests of their members?
  • Is it safe to assume that the costs data disclosed is going to be accurate; or should there be independent data verification?
  • Are Closet Trackers a reality or just the manifestation of the over-active imagination of campaigners?
  • Is the Ad Valorem fee model becoming obsolete; and if so, what might replace it?
  • What scope is there for the new Simplified Statement to be the best way forward in helping pension scheme members get the cost information they want in a clear and consistent way? Can the progressive thinking behind it be applied to other areas of the value chain beyond occupational pensions? – asset management, for example?
  • Will we ever get to a “one single figure” to represent costs? – could we ever have “one single figure” to represent value for money?
  • What are the latest developments in terms of cost disclosure utilities for cost control and reporting?
  • How do all the “moving parts” set in motion by the various regulators connect; or don’t they? Is there a Master Plan being implemented by the regulators or is it all as disjointed as it sometimes seems?

Here’s an explanation of our very flexible pricing policy:

We are a not-for-profit and we desperately need funds to cover our costs and keep our many finance reform initiatives alive – we’re just about surviving.

Therefore, unless you genuinely cannot afford it, please select the Standard Ticket Option (£245).

However, if that is genuinely beyond your budget, select the Discounted Ticket Option and choose the amount you wish to pay; please be as generous as you can afford to be.

Furthermore, if you genuinely need to apply for a Complimentary Ticket Option, please Email andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org but note any complimentary places must be agreed in advance and are by arrangement only.

If any of the above requires clarification, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can pay through PayPal, Credit Card or invoice.

Thank you!

This event has now taken place. You can download the slides using the link below.

Further information about the TTF

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