Post-RDR professionalism boosts capital markets interest

Increased professionalism and sophistication amongst advisers in the post-Retail Distribution Review world has led to a significant increase in interest for capital markets information and investment options, according to JPMorgan Asset Management.

In the last quarter 970 hard copies of the firm’s adviser information packs, Guide to the Markets, were shipped to IFAs, discretionary fund managers and generalist advisers, while their Q3 Guide to the Markets insight event reached approximately 1,200 delegates.

Jasper Berens, head of UK funds at JPMAM, told FTAdviser that RDR shifted things towards greater sophistication of advisers, with a drive understand the markets better in order to ensure proper suitability checking for clients and demonstrate the value of their advice via fees charged.

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He stated: “Knowledge is now a key function of a good IFA, it’s important to be able to have a proper conversation about wider economic issues and how they will impact future financial decisions.

“Whilst there has certainly been some outsourcing of individual fund selection by advisers since the RDR, we’ve seen that even those advisers who do outsource are still keen to retain in-depth perspective on markets as part of defending the worth of their fee based advice offering.”

JPMAM has also seen 1,400 UK IFAs download its Market Insights iPad app, a digital tool with charts focused on capital markets, but no product information.

It also conducts quarterly market calls with advisers to discuss key capital markets themes and macro-economic trends, with attendance on the webcast doubling in the last five quarters to an average of 500 dialling into each.

Of course, all this effort is not purely altruistic, with initial interest driving advisers and their clients into the firm’s multi-asset and fund of fund product ranges.

Mr Berens explained: “At one end, those that have outsourced are coming into the fund of funds, while at the other end, those still building portfolios are looking to dampen volatility while maintaining performance by using a variety of different asset classes and fund structures.”