IMA proposes statement of principles

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The IMA is looking to establish a statement of principles that will both govern its members and “drive the development of the asset management industry”.

IMA chief executive Daniel Godfrey set out the proposals in his blog today as part of the trade body’s objective of restoring trust and confidence within the financial services industry, which it argues has been “significantly eroded” over the past five years.

In addition to establishing a governing statement of principles, Godfery says the IMA wants to underpin this with an online guidance document that identifies the “critical issues faced by asset managers where the need to manage conflicts of interest are strongest”.

To help establish this Godfrey is inviting responses from its members while the IMA is also working with the CFA Institute and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment “to deliver a statement and supporting guidance that has the most profound impact possible on our objectives”.

He says: “The intention of the guidance is not to construct a straitjacket of rules but to build a living blueprint of thinking and activity that will ensure the whole industry is aware of all issues where they face conflicts of interest, both those which already exist and new ones as they emerge.

“The guidance will not aim to tell members the right way of dealing with these issues, but would aim to act as a compass to assess the direction of travel in any circumstance. Members will use it to ensure that they have stepped back and looked at the way in which they deal with these issues so that they can be certain they do so in a way that is consistent with the principles of conduct.”

The IMA has set no deadlines or time limits for responses, with responses to the below two questions asked to be submitted to principles@investmentuk.org:

  • What are the essential areas of content for a statement that articulates the principles against which member firms can measure their approach to any issue and use to demonstrate complete integrity in the execution of their responsibilities to clients?
  • What are the issues facing member firms where the greatest potential conflicts of interest arise?

Godfrey adds: ”This project has the capacity to set the guiding principles that will drive the development of the asset management industry and assure its success, both in terms of delivering great results for clients and the economy and in capturing the inevitable global growth in long-term savings.

“If it is to succeed, a statement of principles and guidance needs to be owned by our members and it will need alignment and commitment to its purpose.”