Reed Smith Client Alerts

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its provisional decision on its investment consultancy and fiduciary management market investigation. Although investment consultants are set to avoid a forced separation from their fiduciary management divisions, the CMA has proposed several measures to increase competition in the interests of consumers.

Authors: Edward S. Miller Marjorie C. Holmes Keith Wallace Emma Jones

Background

In 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) first used its concurrent competition powers by referring the asset management market to the CMA. Although investment consultancy and fiduciary management is a relatively small market (revenue of approx. £558 million in 2016), the market influences pension scheme assets worth more than £1.6 trillion. The impact on consumers of competition enforcement is a key benchmark for the CMA..

Provisional decision

The CMA’s provisional decision on the FCA’s reference identifies a number of competition concerns, including:

  • a lack of engagement among pension-scheme trustees
  • a lack of transparency and information from service providers
  • high levels of concentration and vertically integrated business models that create conflicts of interest between investment consultancy and fiduciary management services.