New look Investment Adviser, new look regulator
It seems Mr Wheatley would prefer to be known by a different title: “the man who shoots first and asks questions later”.
I was going to devote my column this week to welcoming our readers to their new look issues of Investment Adviser – the first of which is out today (1 October).
I was going to leaf you through all the details of our redesigned print edition, including our news section, to house new photos, graphics, charts and other visual elements you won’t find on the website every week.
Mr Wheatley would prefer to be known by a different title: “the man who shoots first and asks questions later”.
I was going to talk about how our Focus section has transformed into Guides for advisers to help them analyse the latest information on key issues of the day; about how our Analyst section has become a Fund Review, comparing different types of products within a particular area of the market in the way IFAs will have to after the RDR; about how our Comment pages will be working even harder to incorporate your views and gripes every week.
But following the FSA’s Asset Management Conference on September 25, I thought I’d also take the opportunity to introduce you to your new look regulator – Martin Wheatley.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months – or don’t share your fellow readers’ horrified fascination with regulation – Mr Wheatley is the incoming head of the Financial Conduct Authority or FCA, the regulator that is due to replace the FSA with respect to the oversight of financial advice. (For avoidance of doubt, that means you.)
Since his speech at the conference, however, it seems Mr Wheatley would prefer to be known by a different title: “the man who shoots first and asks questions later”.
Mr Wheatley used those very words to describe his attitude to certain areas of regulation – building, in fact, on attitudes already latent at the FSA. The FSA’s ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ attitude to life settlement funds, for instance, recently saw investors form congested queues at their door, leaving one £600m fund suspended.
Amid all the uncertainties of the new FCA regime, advisers now know at least one thing for certain. If you didn’t already feel guilty until proven innocent with the FSA in charge, now at least you know you might get shot for the privilege.
Nick Rice is editor of Investment Adviser