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Investment consulting firms respond to FCA Asset Management Study

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Aon Hewitt, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson together have submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) a package of measures that they say are designed to advance competitiveness and transparency in the investment consultancy and fiduciary management industries.

This package of “undertakings in lieu” (UILs) addresses concerns raised by the FCA which have led to the provisional decision to refer the market to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for a market investigation. The package covers review of services, transparency of performance and fees, and conflicts of interest and was prepared following the FCA’s indication that it was open to considering UILs that would provide a comprehensive solution that is reasonable and practical.
 
The firms have worked together with their external lawyers to ensure adherence to the requirements of competition law in putting together this package of measures.  The firms welcome the opportunity to engage with the FCA on the undertakings. The firms believe that the measures will promote healthy competition and favourable outcomes for clients.
 
Ed Francis, Head of Investment for EMEA at Willis Towers Watson, says: “The UK investment consulting industry has led the way in the development of sophisticated investment approaches over many years.  Recognising the importance of the services we provide, and the complex issues they address, we support measures to improve transparency and accountability. 
 
“The specific measures that we have submitted to the FCA for consideration will, if accepted, help all institutional investors ensure they have the right provider, the right service model, and the right information to judge the quality of our input.  We believe their adoption by all firms operating as investment advisers or fiduciary managers will promote the continuation of healthy competition and strong outcomes for our clients.”

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