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Charges champion apologises after attack on fund groups

Chris Sier apologises to fund management trade body after branding managers 'arrogant and complacent' in interview with The Times.

Charges champion apologises after attack on fund groups

Chris Sier, the chair of the body leading the City regulator's probe of fund charging, has apologised to the Investment Association (IA) over a perceived slur on the trade body in an interview with The Times.

He also denied he was ‘biased against the investment management industry’ and denied accusing Schroders and the IA of not being ‘wholly engaged’ in the regulator’s asset management market study.

In an open letter to both Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief executive Andrew Bailey and IA boss Chris Cumming, Sier was responding to allegations following the publication of an interview with The Times.

He was at pains to make clear that the views expressed were his own and not the FCA’s, apologising for ‘any ambiguity on this point’.

‘In the article certain statements were also made about the Investment Association (IA) and member firms including Schroders. I would like to make clear that I did not discuss individual institutions or pass comment on them. I apologise to the IA that the article gave the impression that they were not wholly engaged, and want to take this opportunity to set the record straight,’ he wrote.

‘I am not biased against the investment management industry in my stance, and the many industry members of the institutional disclosure woeking group (IDWG) have been exemplary in their positive contribution. We have made considerable progress in the short time the IDWG has been operating, and we expect to publish an update shortly.’

He added that he apologised for any offence caused to the IA or any of its members, saying: ‘I do this with an easy conscience because I know that the IA’s participation in the process to date has been substantial and crucial, and will be going forward.

‘I hope this letter conveys to you the seriousness in which I hold this issue, as for our work to succeed we need full and active participation from the industry and the IA.’

The IDWG was set up in September following the asset management market study final report, with a view to devising a template for the disclosure of costs and charges to institutional investors.

Sier is professor of practice at Newcastle University Business School and is an expert in pension scheme costs and charges. He is also the government’s fintech envoy for the north of England.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Michael Loveridge

Dec 13, 2017 at 17:18

Chris Sier made some excellent and completely valid points, but speaking the truth is never recommended these days, particularly when it annoys those whose snouts are deepest in the trough.

"We're very happy to be regulated - providing we can set the regulations."

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Alan Selwood

Dec 13, 2017 at 18:09

It's such a long retraction that it immediately sounds too much like marketing-speak and not much like the unvarnished truth!

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