Asset management market study

Terms of reference
18/11/2015
Open consultation: Interim report
18/11/2016
Interim report consultation closed
20/02/2017
20/02/2017
Final report
Q2 2017

We have published the interim findings of our market study. We are seeking feedback on our interim findings, our proposed remedies and our intention to refer the investment consultancy sector to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Show MS15/2.2 Interim report (PDF)

Our interim findings

The UK’s asset management industry manages nearly £7tn of institutional and individual assets. Over three quarters of UK households with occupational or personal pensions use the services asset managers offer.

We found that price competition is weak in a number of areas of the industry. While the price of passive funds has fallen, active prices have remained stable. Despite a large number of firms operating in the market, the asset management industry has seen sustained, high profits over a number of years.

Investors are not always clear what the objectives of funds are, and fund performance is not always reported against an appropriate benchmark.

There are a wide range of investors in the institutional market. This includes many small pension schemes which rely heavily on the advice of consultants. We have found concerns about the way the investment consultant market operates.

Proposed remedies

We propose a significant package of remedies to make competition work better in this market, and protect those least able to actively engage with their asset manager. These include a strengthened duty on asset managers to act in the best interests of investors, reforms to hold asset managers to greater account, introducing an all-in fee to make it easy for investors to see what is being taken from the fund, and measures to help retail investors identify the most appropriate fund.

We have also published a provisional decision to make a market investigation reference on investment consultancy services.

We published the Terms of Reference on 18 November 2015, to begin a market study to assess how asset managers compete to offer value for money.

Annexes

Research and reports

Next steps

We are consulting on both our proposed remedies and our provisional decision to refer investment consultancy services to the CMA.

Please send your comments to assetmanagementmarketstudy@fca.org.uk by 20 February 2017.

We will publish our final report and remedies in 2017.