Press Release

PIMFA Annual Summit debates the New Investment Horizon

31st October 2018

The Annual PIMFA Summit was kick started today (31st October) with an address from the conference chair, ITV News Presenter Nina Hossain who then opened the day’s proceedings by introducing the Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, as the event’s opening keynote speaker discussing the key issues currently facing the Treasury Select Committee in relation to Financial Services and offering a view of what the future looks like for the industry.

As Chair of the Committee, Nicky began by saying that there was ‘not much in the budget for our industry’, partly because of so much uncertainty regarding Brexit and that in the event of a  ‘no deal’ there would be a new Spring Budget, with the proviso that the cost of a ‘no deal’ would far outweigh the bill for leaving currently on the table, which stands presently at £39 billion. She went on to say:

“When I became Chair of the Treasury Committee, I wanted to hold inquiries into issues that are of most relevance to our constituents. This included household finances, on which we published a report over the Summer. We made a number of recommendations to address the financial pressures that many UK households are facing.” She then drew her speech to conclusion by thanking the industry for its engagement and asking for consultation responses to “keep on coming”, stating that constant dialogue is needed in these changing times.

The debate then moved on to discuss regulatory matters as Richard Monks, Acting Director of Strategy at the Financial Conduct Authority, explored intergenerational challenges for the Financial Services industry and regulation, asking, with new technologies emerging for future generations, what are the needs of Millennials and what the impacts of this are. Monks also announced at the event that there would be a review of the current FCA handbook, expressing a desire to tailor the UK system to the idiosyncrasies of the UK market – highlighting the current Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) regulation as an example, stating that when there is evidence that change is needed, the FCA will listen and act and encouraging input via PIMFA.

Up next was PIMFA CEO Liz Field who took to the stage to present PIMFA’s vision for the future of the sector, using highlights from the PIMFA Members’ Manifesto to illustrate the key areas PIMFA are working on to achieve this vision for the industry.

She said: “PIMFA are in constant dialogue with Regulator, Government and other key stakeholders on our members’ behalf and are the only body representing this sector at these meetings. We are also (a defacto) part of your compliance team – these are just some of the ways we add value for members.”  Her theme was People, Value, Trust and emphasised the need for long-term partnership with the members and stakeholders.

The first panel of the day saw Dr. Eliza Filby, Visiting Lecturer at King’s College and Historian of Contemporary Values; Gavin Oldham, Chairman of the Share Centre and Tony Stenning, Member of the Implementation Taskforce for social impact investing, debate the shape of investment both now and in the future, the driving factors for modern investors – including a look at the infrastructure for promoting ESG investing – and the key considerations in attracting new and engaging with existing clients. As Dr Filby summarised “people talk a lot about disruption these days; the real disruption is not coming from tech, its coming from people”.

After the mid-morning break, the second panel featured Richard Charnock, CEO, Standard Life Wealth, Camilla Stowell, Head of Wealth & Investment Management, Private Office and International, Coutts & Co. and Andy Thompson, CEO at Intrinsic, who shared their views on the key trend shifts in the success of attracting new employees to the industry.

Richard Charnock, CEO, Standard Life Wealth said:

“As an industry, we recognise there is much to be done to ensure we appeal to the talent of the future as well as to provide those currently in the field with the tools to adapt to changing client needs, the evolving regulatory environment and new technology enhancements.  Industry wide events such as these are valuable to share best practice and drive change.”

Andy Thompson, CEO of Intrinsic concurred, commenting:

“We face a vast and growing advice gap in the UK which, when combined with the fact the average age of an adviser is over 55, means we need to do all we can to encourage the next generation of financial advisers. It is therefore a hugely important topic for PIMFA to focus on. As an advice and investment management industry, we’ve not been sufficiently inclusive, there is still much more to do”.

Next up was Iona Bain, Young Money Blogger; Alberto Cuccu, CEO at Objectway and Maarten Heukshorst, Chief Relationship Officer at Pershing discussing the hot topic of digital innovation, asking key questions such as “what do we need to do to innovate? What is our customer base telling us and what is the impact of legacy systems on our ability to innovate?

Iona Bain, said: “young consumers need to be taken much more seriously by the financial sector as a whole. It’s all too easy to dismiss my generation as too broke, apathetic or uneducated to be a viable customer base but that would be wrong and unfair. Clever technology, sympathetic products/services and better representation within the industry can be the catalyst for more financial inclusion and better relationships with the consumers (and investors) of tomorrow.”

Closing the morning session, Kevin Russell, Head of Proposition, SEI Wealth Platform UK, discussed the idea that change is inevitable but effective change is not. SEI have engaged in considerable research into what change is needed in the wealth management sector in terms of automation, citing the facts that, whilst Robo advice has around £2 billion in Assets Under Management, human-led advisers have in the region of £1 trillion.

As the morning sessions drew to a close PIMFA CEO Liz Field, summarised the day by highlighting recurring themes that threaded throughout the morning stating that the importance of developing trust and transparency for our industry, investing in future talent and the need for financial education are clearly the beacons for future work and


Notes for Editors

About PIMFA – the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association

  • PIMFA is the leading trade association for firms that provide investment management and financial advice to everyone from individuals and families to charities, pension funds, trusts and companies.
  • PIMFA represents both full and associate member firms. Full members provide a range of financial solutions including financial advice, portfolio management, as well as investment and execution services. They assist everyone from individuals and families, to charities and pension funds, all the way to trusts and companies.  Associate members provide professional services to the PIMFA community.
  • PIMFAleads the debate on policy and regulatory recommendations to ensure that the UK remains a global centre of excellence in the wealth management, investment advice and financial planning arena.  Our mission is to create an optimal operating environment so that its member firms can focus on delivering the best service to clients, providing responsible stewardship for their long-term savings and investments.
  • PIMFA was created in 2017 as the outcome of a merger between the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA) with a history as a trade association going back for 27 years – read more.

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