Investment Association to consult members on ‘priorities’

Investment Association to consult members on ‘priorities’

The Investment Association (IA) is to consult over its future direction after members threatened to quit the trade body but has insisted it will retain its commitment to “work around transparency”.

In a statement following the resignation of chief executive Daniel Godfrey this week - a move sparked by the news that Schroders and M&G plan to let their memberships expire at the end of 2015 - IA chair Helena Morrissey said: “nothing has changed in our collective commitment to putting customers first”.

But with fund groups having expressed concern that the trade body’s focus on cost transparency had overshadowed other industry issues, Ms Morrissey added: “There is a need to consult on how the association prioritises against a packed agenda for the industry.

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“The results of this consultation will guide the new CEO, once appointed, and, in the meantime, the management team is focused on business as usual.”

She added the trade body remained committed to “the values captured” within its statement of principles, issued in August but not backed by a number of major industry players, but added the IA would listen to members with regard to how it was implemented.

Guy Sears, who has taken the role of interim chief executive following Mr Godfrey’s departure, described recent events as “unsettling”, but said differing views “come with the territory” for membership organisations.

He added: “In addition to starting the review of the association’s priorities, as interim CEO I will be focused in the short term on the opportunities and responsibilities that come from pension freedoms, the impending competition review from the FCA and our commitment to ensure capital markets are not only free from abuse but positively work well for investors.”

Ms Morrissey said: “The board reaffirms its commitment to supporting positive change in the interest of members’ clients. In particular, it will continue the work already done to ensure that consumers receive clear comparable information on which they can make good investment decisions.”