Fund managers branded ‘arrogant and complacent’ on fees

Asset managers have been branded “arrogant and complacent” by the academic tasked with creating a new template for fund costs and charges.

Transparency campaigner Chris Sier, who is chairing the regulator’s disclosure working group, has told The Times that he estimates £35bn a year is being overcharged from pension funds in hidden costs.

On those managers who had pushed back against reform proposals, Sier said: “The FCA has found you wanting. You’re not doing yourselves any favours by resisting this.”

The comment echoes those made by Sier to Fund Strategy’s sister title Money Marketing last month, that the asset managers complaining the most “have the most to worry about”.

He said: “The market has realised this is happening regardless, the template is going to happen.”

Sier, who is a professor at Newcastle University Business School, was appointed by the FCA in August. He is scheduled to agree a template for disclosure of costs and charges by the end of the year, and has previously hit out at practices including the continued failure of some firms to disclose the industry-standard ongoing charges figure in fund factsheets.

His review will mainly focus on institutional investors.