The Latest Headlines From Across The Wealth & Asset Management Sector - February

2023-02-27 |  Prince Naruka & Natalija Reeves

Here’s our roundup of the latest headlines covering all things wealth and asset management. And there’s a lot on the agenda this month!

We’ll be deep diving into multi-asset solutions, the FCA’s post-Brexit plans and new UK platform launches, as well as findings on diversity & inclusion and ‘the great adviser retirement’.

We’ll also be highlighting some major financial shake-ups that will come into play in the next few months.

Here are our top stories…

Advisers leaning in strongly on allocations to multi-asset solutions

In a survey conducted in Q4 last year, Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) revealed that multi-asset funds and solutions are going to be a key choice for increasing exposure for the vast majority of advisers.

Multi-asset came ahead of sustainable investment, equities, and their alternatives, which were the other popular choices. 

FCA outlines post-Brexit plans for UK asset management sector

In a wider regulatory effort to shape the UK funds industry, the FCA is looking to improve fund firms’ engagement with investors through better use of technology.

The outlined ideas include creating a common framework of rules for asset managers, and proposing an overhaul of the

Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) regime. 

This focuses on removing or modifying prescriptive requirements in the retail fund rules and changing the liquidity guidance.

The regulator is seeking the views of funds, investors, and other stakeholders on how the existing standards can be enhanced, and where the priorities should ultimately lie. Comments should be submitted by 23rd May 2023, which can be followed up with a consultation paper.

Ex-Novia execs launch UK platform with Swedish wealth giant

Swedish wealth giant Söderberg & Partners, the leading investment manager in Scandinavia, has enlisted the co-founder and former Novia CEO, Bill Vasilieff, and former Novia COO Nick Raine to help launch a ‘toolbox’ platform for UK advisers.

The investment manager is currently in advanced discussions with around 20 UK advice firms, and aims to partner with 500 to 1,000 UK advisers within the next five years.

The new proposition will offer both capital and technology opportunities to help IFAs grow their business. It will also support the management of these firms to ensure they are properly financed.

More Developments...

The three triggers that are fuelling the 'great adviser retirement'

Russell Andrews, the global head of advice solutions at SEI Asset Management Distribution, explores the fast-approaching ‘great adviser retirement’, and why this is driven by regulation, client demand and markets.

The industry has long been aware that the adviser population is an ageing population. As industry leaders focus on closing the advice gap, there is a growing need to attract young talent to the profession. And Andrews states that the time to act is now.

The key factors in attracting new talent focus on streamlined training and progression, as well as the adoption of digital-led solutions that minimise administration.

Financial services falling short on diversity & inclusion

A recent report by the diversity working group Reboot found that while organisations are consistently trying to improve diversity, financial services firms continue to struggle with creating equal opportunities, and there is no tangible evidence that firms’ diversity and inclusion initiatives are working.

Noreen Biddle Shah, founder of Reboot and head of marketing and communications at stockbroker Numis, revealed that ongoing ‘discomfort’ around the discussions of race could be behind these issues.

Reboot’s report can be accessed here.

And In Case You Missed It...

‘Bigger than RDR’: Advice CEOs expect consumer duty tech shake-up

At the Dynamic Planner conference, the FCA Director of consumer investments spoke about the growing emphasis on cost, and stated that consumer duty “represents a watershed moment in our approach to regulation”.

In the Chief Executive Officer panel, John Cowan of Sesame Bankhall said that consumer duty will inevitably trigger a reset in the adviser market, starting with greater accessibility for those in lower income brackets. He believes the advice gap can be addressed through consumer duty and simplified investment in technology, however, he noted that financial services are far behind in delivering consumer experiences for the future.

Also on the panel was Solomon Capital CEO Andy Thompson, who believes that technology is essential to deliver on consumer duty at the scale required.

Consumer Duty should not be thought of as a simple tick-box exercise. If you’d like us to help your firm deliver to the regulatory requirements, you can visit our dedicated page on consumer duty.

FNZ spreads thin with £190bn worth of re-platforming projects

Tech giant FNZ, whose software sits behind many of the biggest investment platforms in the UK, currently has £190bn’s worth of re-platforming projects and upgrades on the go. But questions are being raised on the feasibility of some of the migration timelines, and how they will impact service levels.

Whilst re-platforming projects usually take multiple years and delays along the way are common, it’s important to note that they can create uncertainty. Clients should be given adequate information to understand where they lie on the priority list.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to discuss any issues relating to the newsletter that are specific to you or your company, do get in touch.

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