IA sets target to double assets

IA sets target to double assets

The Investment Association has set a target of doubling its members’ assets under management within a decade as part of a plan to enhance the UK’s competitiveness and reputation as a financial services hub.

The UK’s fund management trade body’s members currently oversee £7.7trn of assets and are committed to growing this to £15trn, the association said today (February 6). 

The goal forms part of the IA’s response to the Treasury’s Future International Strategy for Financial Services, which aims to ensure the sector continues to be an engine for growth and jobs in the UK.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said the trade body was as ambitious as the government about the future of financial services on its shores.

Mr Cummings said: "The government is ambitious about the future of financial services in the UK, and we are equally ambitious about what can be achieved in the asset management industry.

"Our ambition to double the assets under management to £15trn reflects our belief that by putting innovation, resilience and openness at the heart of our industry we can continue to deliver for savers and investors who trust us with their money."

Douglas Kearney, investment director at Intelligent Pensions, said the target was ambitious, but that should not be criticised. 

He said: "The challenge will be to persuade cash hoarders to change their views on investing.

"Most understand that cash should be invested but breaking that reluctance to make the next step has proved to be a significant hurdle."

Mr Kearney said developments in technology, reduced costs and ease of access for potential investors would go a long way to achieving the target.

Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre, said the IA’s target was appropriate and the pillars were sensible.

He said: "Financial Services is one of the premier industries in the UK and we should absolutely be doing all we can to maintain its status post-Brexit.

"Not only that, it is important we do more to make sure that the savings and investments of all Brits increase so that they are adequately provided for in their retirement."

To these ends, the IA also set out how it intends to focus on the three pillars of openness, innovation and resilience, identified by the government as key drivers of the competitiveness agenda.

To show the UK financial services sector is open, the IA recommend hosting an event akin to the World Economic Forum.

It also suggested prioritising "legal, fiscal and regulatory measures to ensure that the market is demonstrably competitive internationally, efficient and perceived as open for business".

This would mean having joined-up policies that grow and attract talent to fill skills gaps through education and immigration, the IA said.

The trade body wants to maintain the UK’s 'leading edge' on fintech, it said, and would do so by establishing a buy-side strategy under the Treasury’s Asset Management Taskforce.