Press Release

WMA Investment Conference showcases innovation in the industry

2nd October 2015

The Wealth Management Association (WMA) deliberated innovation and new opportunities for a changing client base in the wealth management industry at its recent Investment Conference (October 1st).

The WMA, which is the trade association for the wealth management industry, welcomed more than 160 delegates to its cutting-edge discussion which covered a broad range of issues from the rise of strategic beta, impact investing, to the impact of new pension’s freedoms.

Speakers from a broad section of the industry raised critical themes which are influencing the industry today and will do in the future. Speakers included Andrew Milligan OBE, Head of Global Strategy at Standard Life, Neha Jain, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, John Newlands, Head of Investment Companies Research at Brewin Dolphin, and many more.

The WMA has 186 member firms, which reach over four million investors, manage in excess of £670 billion of the country’s wealth, and carry out over 20 million trades a year.

Liz Field, CEO of the Wealth Management Association, comments: “our Investment Conference highlighted the forward-thinking approach which the industry is taking, with our speakers discussing new trends and innovative ideas.

“Our members are constantly looking ahead as they look to provide the very best service to their clients. The industry is always evolving and with regulation like MIFID II coming into effect in the not so distant future, we must make sure that both ourselves and our members are always on the front-foot.

“Our industry is vitally important to the economy, so it’s important we do things well and correctly. For instance, as John Newlands told the crowd, ‘private equity, when it’s done well, is literally putting jobs on the high street.”

One of the most recent trends in the wealth management industry is the rise of strategic beta. Kenneth Lamont, Fund Analyst at Morningstar, took to the stage to look deeper at what strategic beta is and its “explosive growth in recent years…shown by the collective AUM of $32.1 billion in the European market – a fourfold growth over the past five years”

Meanwhile, Tomás Carruthers, of the Social Stock Exchange, discussed developments in impact investing which allows shareholders the opportunity to get a good return on their investments while also generating sustainable, positive social impacts.

The conference then progressed to a discussion around the impact of the new pension freedoms. Simon Laird, Partner at law firm RPC discussed themes and risks from developments such as the feared ‘dash for cash’ to the rise in popularity of annuities.

The final speaker of the day was Andrew Milligan who rounded up the highlights of the day and gave his “investment outlook.”  Mr Milligan told the conference that he does not predict a similar economic situation to 2008 but predicted a “long, drawn-out period of market turbulence.”

The conference was held at The Willis Building, in central London. The WMA’s next major event is the WMA Summit, which will be held on November 12. Confirmed speakers so far include John Griffith-Jones, Chairman of the FCA, Sharon Bowles, Non-Executive Director, LSE & Former MEP and Michael Portillo, a journalist, broadcaster, and former MP.

– ENDS –

Notes for Editors

About the Wealth Management Association (WMA)

  • The Wealth Management Association (WMA) is a trade association that represents 186 wealth management firms (full members) and associate members who provide professional services to our full member firms.
  • WMA members firms look after over £670 billion of wealth for over 4 million retail investors.
  •  WMA full members deal in stocks, shares and other financial instruments for individuals, trusts and charities through a range of services spanning execution only, advisory and discretionary fund management.
  • The WMA exists to support its members and their clients in the following ways:
    • To be an advocate for the sector with governments, regulators and the wider financial services community;
    • To influence policy and also decision makers within the wider sector to the benefit of WMA members and their clients;
    • To research and provide definitive information about the sector as required for members and in support of the influencing and advocacy objectives;
    • To be a thought leader, to lead and stimulate debate and make members aware of emerging trends; challenging and provoking change.
    • Facilitating the sharing of good practice, enabling the membership as a whole to benefit from the latest developments affecting the sector as well as providing support to enable them to develop good prescribe and overcome challenges.
  • WMA firms operate across more than 580 sites, employing over 32 000 staff.
  • These firms also run over 5.5 million client portfolios and carry out over 20 million trades a year.

If you would like further information on this release or other press matters please contact:

Switchboard: 020 7448 7100