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Sier praises four asset managers for cost transparency

Sier praises four asset managers for cost transparency

Only five of 110 asset managers refused to provide any data as part of the cost disclosure regime, according to research carried out by ClearGlass.

ClearGlass provides investment cost reports to pension schemes by collecting and analysing data from asset managers, according to the standardised templates prescribed by the Financial Conduct Authority’s Institutional Disclosure Working Group.

The platform was set up by Chris Sier, the former chairman of the IDWG and a professor at Newcastle University Business School.

Mr Sier has revealed that out of the 110 asset managers which were contacted on behalf of pension fund clients, 105 had provided, or were in the process of providing, cost and performance data.

Of those that have provided the data, ClearGlass highlighted four companies which stood out by showing commitment to the new regime, each in a different way.

These companies were Baillie Gifford, Legal & General Investment Management, Majedie Asset Management and MFS.

The platform said these companies distinguished themselves by seeking pre-compliance, leveraging internal development teams to develop quickly the ability to collect data, asking detailed and insightful questions, and/or by returning data within short time-frames.

Mr Sier said: "The response from asset managers has been very encouraging and certainly better than we had anticipated.

"We are keen to acknowledge the stand-out performance of these four firms in particular as each, in its own way, has proven itself to be totally committed to the cause of full cost transparency at the earliest possible opportunity."

Mr Sier told FTAdviser two asset managers built systems to auto-churn the data according to the disclosure templates whereas others sent test files to see if they would work before submitting.

Although the company will not reveal the names of the five managers which declined to provide any data, saying this was a matter for the pension clients of these asset managers and the regulators, Mr Sier said it was looking to release a full list of those managers willing to comply in the near future.

"There are five different groups of asset managers when it comes to providing data," Mr Sier explained to FTAdviser. 

"Some proactively came to ClearGlass with their information and others returned the data when they were approached by us. There are some managers that have said they will provide data but still haven’t and then there are those who refuse to provide data or ClearGlass has not yet spoken to."

When a wider pool of managers has been approached by the company, a list of those willing and able to submit cost and performance data will be published. 

The company is also considering offering pre-compliance checking for those managers that wish to "practically demonstrate their willingness and capability to supply data".

This is to allow those managers that have not yet received requests to be added to the ‘willing and able’ longlist.

Mr Sier said those asset managers who were on the list "deserve to win clients" as they are proving that they can do a good job and follow the rules.