WMA Summit 2016 – Promoting a Culture of Investment
10th November 2016
The Wealth Management Association (WMA) hosted its Annual Summit in London and gathered leading industry experts to speak on a wide range of trends impacting the future of the wealth management industry. Topics included cyber security, Brexit and, of course, the US election, and the impact of fintech. The WMA is the leading industry body for the private client investment community, and its members look after in excess of £760 billion of the country’s wealth.
Explaining the thinking behind the event, Liz Field, WMA Chief Executive, commented: “Today’s investment landscape is full of political and economic uncertainty and change. We’re hoping that this event will be a fantastic opportunity for lively debate, discussion and reflection amongst peers on the developments for our industry. The theme of responsible stewardship and promotion of a culture of investment is essential to the growth of the industry and UK Plc.”
With the US election results fresh in the mind, Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman of the Cicero Group, was interviewed by Daisy McAndrew, ITV’s Former Economics Editor & Chief Political Correspondent, on the Brexit Landscape and the impact of the US election on the market. With volatility and uncertainty within the political arena the discussion centred on what it means for investors.
Iain commented: “In America, there was a similarity of what happened in the UK in June. On a practical level for trade negotiations, it puts a fascinating dynamic on Brexit and Britain’s relationship with America. As far as the markets are concerned we’ve seen a slight move but it’s not the calamity that was originally forecasted – traditional analysis is broken, today it is micro not macro analysis.”
The topic of encouraging an investment culture, particularly among millennials, was tackled by a panel comprised of representatives from Orbis Access (UK) Ltd, HM Treasury, Goldman Sachs Asset Management International and AJ Bell. The theme of engaging the next generation has been a key topic of work for the WMA and the Summit also saw the launch of their Millennial Forum findings and report to the industry.
Panellist David Thomas, Deputy Director, Pensions & Savings, HM Treasury commented: “The Government is increasing the level of financial education and changed the curriculum to increase the level of financial awareness in schools. There’s also interesting financial developments with products being put on the market such as the junior ISA but there’s still a lot to be done to promote a culture and habit of saving”.
It was a theme picked up on in a later panel discussion by Richard Charnock, CEO Standard Life, Sarah Soar, Head of Investment and J M Finn and Justin Urquhart Stewart, Head of Corporate Development at Seven Investment Management. They talked about the gamification of investment in order to attract the younger generation. “It’s about making our world make sense to them. There needs to be a balance between digital and the human interaction which clients crave.”
The topic of technology was frequently addressed. The afternoon began with three breakout sessions around blockchain, robo-advice and changing customer expectations.
Megan Butler, Executive Director of Supervision, Investment Wholesale & Specialists Division at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) gave a UK Regulatory update focusing on the core tenets of good governance, suitability and appropriate Anti-Money Laundering precautions. She also discussed the up-and-coming issue of RegTech. Highlighting that the number of investments sold without advice has risen by 40 per cent in the last four years, Ms Butler argued that there is a clear need for innovation and improved standards.
Megan Butler commented:
“The FCA see competition and innovation as imperative to the development of the market and we actively encourage and support both innovators and established players. There is a need for a more responsive and agile regulatory system which promotes competition and innovation.”
In a keynote from Nikhil Rathi, the CEO of the London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development at LSEG, he emphasised that Retail Investors must be at the front and centre of UK Capital Markets. “In order to promote a culture of investment, there are three things which need to be addressed – education, accessibility to the market and cost of trading on the market.”
The Summit was closed by WMA chairman Tim Ingram who thanked all the speakers for their “insight and meaningful discussion around regulation, technology and numerous other challenges impacting firms and highlighted WMA role in supporting the wealth management industry. He also thanked the event sponsors which included Iress, Salesforce, Vanguard and Euroclear for supported us to make this event a success.”
Notes for Editors
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About the Wealth Management Association (WMA)
- The Wealth Management Association (WMA) is a trade association that represents 183 wealth management firms (full members) and associate members who provide professional services to our full member firms.
- WMA members firms look after over £734 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.
- Switchboard: 020 7448 7100