IA lays out vision for the future of the investment management industry

Source: Investment Association

The Investment Association (IA) has today outlined its vision for the future success of the investment management industry, in the UK and internationally.

The industry is committed to meeting the changing demands of savers as they shoulder more of the burden of preparing for retirement, while providing the long-term investment that powers company growth and helps to finance new infrastructure.

The ‘2025 Vision’ report, launched today at the IA’s flagship annual Policy Conference, outlines three key areas of development:
• A more value-focused industry in which sustainability and stewardship are at the forefront, particularly in the context of the challenge of global climate change. Greater clarity of approach in the area of sustainable investment will be a critical foundation. More consistent definitions, labelling and disclosure will help customers navigate this new landscape with confidence.
• A dynamic and responsive UK investment fund regime, better designed to meet the needs of both UK and international customers. This includes the IA’s proposals to create a Long-Term Asset Fund, a new fund structure which will enable investment in a wider range of assets, thereby unlocking new long-term investment opportunities for savers and providing companies and infrastructure projects with much-needed funding.
• The greater adoption of technology to drive innovation, improve operational efficiency, lower costs to customers and protect against increasingly complex and borderless cyber threats. Through the IA’s FinTech innovation hub, Velocity, and by working with regulatory initiatives, the investment management industry is collaborating with FinTechs to find new cutting-edge solutions.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:
“The investment management industry is at an inflection point. The needs of our customers are changing rapidly, societal expectations are rising and technological advances will be transformative. The IA is today setting out a series of concrete actions, building on existing initiatives that will help to ensure we can deliver in the UK and globally.

“With three-quarters of UK households using the services of an investment manager, our vision for the future is focused on our customers, ensuring they can get sustainable, long-term returns from their investments. In getting this right, we will also make sure that funding flows effectively through the economy, helping companies grow and public infrastructure to be financed, meeting the needs of future generations.”

Commenting on the proposed Long-Term Asset Fund, Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:
“The IA’s proposals to help develop a new Long-Term Asset Fund will respond to changing customer needs and support the financing of companies and public projects. With the UK set to leave the EU over the next few months, these proposals will also help future proof the UK’s investment landscape, ensuring it can remain competitive on a global scale and allowing international investors to benefits from innovation in our country’s fund regime.”

In order to achieve these ambitious aims, there are three critical elements, which the trade body will work with the industry and regulator to achieve:
• A healthy culture, aligned with the needs of customers. This includes strengthened governance structures and a more diverse and inclusive workforce. An increasing body of research shows that diversity results in better decision-making and long-term financial performance.
• Better communication to ensure both transparent and effective disclosure in an increasingly digital world. The aim here is for all customers - whether advised or not - to be able to access the products that best help them achieve their financial goals.
• A policy and regulatory environment that supports innovation and international competitiveness. The industry supports a well regulated environment, and proposes practical measures which build on successful FCA initiatives in recent years.

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