After 22 years and more than 1,000 issues scrutinising the asset management industry on behalf of intermediaries, Investment Adviser closes its doors this week.
Readers looking for a replacement should head to FTAdviser.com, which will continue to provide comprehensive investment coverage for advisers in our absence. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll forgive me for using my final column in the magazine to reflect a little.
There’s little controversy in saying that the world of retail funds has changed significantly since 1995. Much of that change has come in the past few years, courtesy of the RDR and the burgeoning role being played by passive products.
Investment Adviser itself was affected by these trends even as it examined them in detail week by week. Investment intermediaries are no longer the big players in the retail fund selection market; that space is now occupied by discretionary fund managers. This shift, which is still ongoing, has had consequences for our advertising-led business model.
But we have always been careful not to fall into another trap opened up by this model. Prevalent across trade media, it can cause journalists to confuse their advertisers with their audience. We have never forgotten who we are writing for: those whose job is to buy funds, rather than those who sell them.
Of course, some investment businesses have long encompassed both categories, initially due to their fund of funds offerings and latterly through the rise of ‘vertical integration’. The increasing prevalence of these models should not change the equation for the press. And those who do seek to transform media into a marketing function will find it has no value to anyone in the long run.
With this in mind, Investment Adviser has always strived to hold asset managers to account. There is ample room to commend the leading lights while also criticising those who fall short. It’s an attitude that may have put some noses out of joint, but we trust it has served readers well.
Our mission to help inform investment decisions has always encompassed both big stories and detailed analysis. Our highest profile work – from breaking the news that Richard Buxton had quit Schroders, to data research highlighting the scale of possible survivorship bias across the industry – has emphasised these goals.
On a personal note, during my two years at the helm I’ve been fortunate to have an editorial and sub-editing team that ensured we remained ahead of the competition until the last. They’ll carry on bringing you the news you need in future via Money Management and Financial Adviser magazines as well as FTAdviser.com. We hope you can join us there.
Dan Jones is editor of Investment Adviser