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December 14, 2018

Poor competition triggers reforms in UK investment consultancy sector

Britain’s competition regulator has unveiled various reforms in the £1.6 trillion UK investment consultancy and fiduciary management market citing competition concerns.

The reforms are the culmination of a probe into the sector by the Competition and Markets Authority. The probe began last September.

The investigation found that some pension trustees choose the same provider as their fiduciary manager that serves as their investment consultant.

Only a third of pension trustees have been found to ask fiduciary managers to compete through a tender.

However, under the new rule, pension trustees are mandated to run a competitive tender if they intend to delegate investment decisions for more than 20% of their scheme assets to a fiduciary manager. The tender should be carried out with a minimum of three firms.

A tender is now also mandatory for those pension trustees who have already appointed a fiduciary manager without the same. In their case, the tender has to be run within five years.

The regulator also directed fiduciary management firms to offer clients clarity regarding fees.

Furthermore, these firms will have to adopt a standard approach to portray their performance.

CMA chair of the investment consultants market investigation John Wotton said: “This is an extremely important sector that influences how well millions of people’s pension savings are invested, yet we’ve found that many pension trustees may not be getting the best value for money for their members.

“Some lack the information they need to compare providers and so could be sticking with their existing investment consultant or fiduciary manager when there are better options available.”

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