Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Investment Association gets bitten by Loch Ness Monster

I am catching up on my reading and have been enjoying the rather brutal kicking that the UK fund managers "trade body" the Investment Association (IA) has recently received following its nonsensical claim that their fees don't matter. The IA claimed that concern by pension trustees and other shareholders about the hugely excessive fees that fund managers charge is the same as a belief in the Loch Ness Monster. 

As a trade body looking after their interests, the IA makes the most militant UK trade unions look like pussycats. However, their arrogance and incompetence is becoming truly legendary. 

They sacked their former Chief Executive who was trying to get the industry to even admit there was a problem with their fees. Now they have shot themselves in the foot by trying to "monster" critics with a "report" decribed by the following as :-

Con Keating, Head of Research, BrightonRock Group

“I have read many hundreds of empirical financial studies and reports, perhaps even thousands. This report is by far the worst – so bad that it is offensive, insulting both our common-sense and intelligence.”

Gina Miller, True & Fair Campaign

“It was the IMA under Richard Saunders that produced an intellectually bankrupt and thoroughly amateurish piece of research in 2012 that we proved was totally misleading.

“The tone then, as now, was a PR exercise to show how wonderful the UK fund management industry is, how there are no hidden costs to speak of and how amazing all active funds are.

“Now under new management and a new name, the IA is still producing nonsense. This new research paper is not worth the paper it is printed on.”

Andy Agathangelou, Transparency Task Force

“I just don’t think the IA press release endears them to the market at all, and given the avalanche of adverse publicity they had when Daniel Godfrey’s ceased to be their chief executive, you’d think the IA would have learned a few lessons about how to avoid adverse publicity by now.

“I’m not so sure they have; but I am sure that if I was a fee-paying member of the IA I’d demand to know who signed off that press release, it’s just so churlish and needlessly provocative, in my opinion.

“If the IA are convinced it is complete then perhaps the IA would be willing to stand by it and guarantee to pay compensation to any investor that ever has, or ever will, pay any kind of charge beyond what is disclosed in this research?”

Henry Tapper, Pension Playpen

“The Investment Association has no earned authority, no integrity and has no place at the policy debate.

“It has always called upon the solidarity of its membership to provide the powerful lobby to ensure it retained control of the costs and charges debate. It relied either on a Labour Government with insufficient gumption to take them on, or a Conservative Government with too many fingers in their pie.”

(Hat tip http://www.evidenceinvestor.co.uk/lies-damned-lies-and-trade-body-pr/. Check out more @RobinJPowell)

It makes me despair that not only am I paying for the membership fees of the IA through my pension fund but this money is being wasted on those who clearly could not organise the proverbial at a brewery. 

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