Asset managers and DFMs in firing line for platform study

Asset managers are among a group of firms sent data requests by the FCA regarding their interactions with platforms as part of its review of the competitiveness of the sector, but the firms themselves do not agree that platforms are their competitors.

A senior asset management source tells Fund Strategy sister publication Money Marketing his firm does not compete with platforms.

The source says: “It feels like the FCA would like to see manufacturers competing with platforms [but] we don’t view platforms as a competitor.

“They’re a conduit, a route to market — a very important one — but we don’t compete with them.”

In the market study terms of reference, the FCA said it would include a sample of firms to determine whether issues facing platforms also applied more broadly across the distribution landscape.

The terms of reference said the regulator would assess how much competition platforms faced from wealth managers, asset managers, discretionary fund managers and insurance firms.

It is understood that the questionnaire sent to those firms was different from that sent to platforms, but was similarly extensive. For example, one of the questions asked for predictions of how the platform market would evolve in the next five years.

The source says: “That was about question 27, but you could write a thesis on that.”

The regulator sent platforms its formal request for information after first issuing a pilot questionnaire in August. Money Marketing understands the final questionnaire had around 150 individual questions and the regulator is seeking approximately 1,000 data points.

The first tranche of data was due to be submitted to the FCA on 18 October and the last tranche is due on 6 December.