Investment managers play a crucial role in society. They help clients build a fund to cope with financial hardship, to pay for the things they dream of and to have confidence they will have a comfortable standard of living as they get older.
The introduction of auto-enrolment and pension liberalisation means that millions of additional people will depend more directly on investment managers for their financial well-being than ever before. The industry recognises how big a responsibility this is.
That is why, in April this year, the Board of the Investment Association approved a Statement of Principles that sets out in clear terms what those responsibilities mean in practice.
All signatories will, by the end of the year, publish a statement, in plain English, on their websites. This will explain how they put the Statement of Principles at the heart of their organisations and how they identify and deal with any issues that could compromise their ability to uphold them. They will then report annually on their success in applying them.
Helena Morrissey, Chair of the Investment Association, said:
"The industry is being asked to deliver lifelong financial well-being. We can only do that if clients can trust us to put their interests first and ahead of our own. The Investment Association Board approved these principles to make it easy for clients to see how their investment manager earns that trust."
Daniel Godfrey, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:
"Those who have committed to the Principles so far manage from under £50 million to more than £750 billion from the UK. Some are foreign-owned, others UK. Some are insurance company or bank-owned, some are independent. But what brings them all together is the depth of their commitment to their customers.
"I am hugely encouraged that the Principles have got off to such a strong start."
The signatories will do their utmost to:
1 - Always put their clients' interests first and ahead of their own
2 - Take care of clients' money as diligently as they would their own
3 - Only develop, offer and maintain funds and services designed to add value for clients and help them achieve their financial goals
4 - Maintain and apply the investment and operational expertise needed to meet the objectives agreed with clients
5 - Make all costs and charges transparent and understandable
6 - Disclose to investors the source and value of any other material benefit they receive as a consequence of their role as investment manager
7 - Ensure regular, timely and clear lines of communication with clients
8 - Set out clearly their approach to the stewardship of client assets and interests
9 - Maintain a corporate culture that sustains these principles
10 - Work with industry colleagues and stakeholders to develop and maintain guidance on industry best practice
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES SIGNATORIES AS AT JULY 31 2015
Alliance Trust Investments
Newton Investment Management
AXA Investment Managers UK
Old Mutual Global Investors
Baillie Gifford Co
Rathbone Unit Trust Management
BlackRock Investment Management (UK)
Record Currency Management
City of London Investment Management
Royal London Asset Management
EdenTree Investment Management
Seneca Investment Managers
Henderson Global Investors
Hermes Investment Management
HSBC Global Asset Management (UK)
Smith Williamson Investment Management
T. Bailey Asset Management
Legal General Investment Management
TwentyFour Asset Management
Liontrust Asset Management
Vanguard Asset Management
Majedie Asset Management