UK Competition and Markets Authority Publishes Working Paper on its Investment Consultancy Investigation
As part of its market investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published the first in a series of working papers on specific aspects of the investigation, as envisaged by the progress report it published in February 2018. The working paper sets out the CMA’s analysis and emerging findings to date in respect of the information available to pension trustees on the fees and quality of investment consultants and fiduciary managers. It should be read together with the issues statement for the investigation, which was published in September 2017. The working paper also provides an update on the CMA’s developing thinking on potential remedies that might be applied in the event that the CMA was to find an adverse effect on competition. Remedies being considered by the CMA include guidance and off-the-shelf materials for running better tenders, standardised information for prospective clients in response to tenders, better fee information, standardised performance metrics and stronger service quality metrics.
The evidence reviewed by the CMA so far indicates that competitive processes are not providing customers with the necessary information to judge the value for money of investment consultants and fiduciary managers. The potential competition concern with this is that customers may not be well-equipped to choose, and subsequently monitor the performance of, their provider and, in turn, to drive competition between investment consultants, and between fiduciary managers.
The CMA invites comments on the proposed remedies, and on some specific questions about the design of the remedies, by March 22, 2018.TOPIC: Competition