I had the pleasure of spending much of this morning with Gina and Alan Miller in London. You may be aware of Gina as a result of her successful legal action against the UK Government over its attempt to begin the process of leaving the EU without a vote in Parliament. But chances are you may not know that for many years Gina and her husband have campaigned tirelessly for greater transparency in the asset management industry and for a better deal for consumers.
I was there to interview them both about last week’s interim report by the Financial Conduct Authority on its study on competition in UK asset management. I’ll be featuring those interviews on TEBI next week.
But first, I would urge you to read this summary review of some of the key points raised in the report that the Millers have produced. In particular it looks at the lack of transparency around charges; evidence of cartel-like behaviour by the big fund managers; the large profits that fund houses have been making; the poor performance of actively managed funds compared to passive ones; the deliberate misleading of consumers over performance data; and the different conflicts of interest between fund managers, platforms and financial advisers.
It’s an extraordinary read. As the Millers say, the report vindicates almost everything that they at the True and Fair Campaign and we at TEBI and Sensible Investing TV have been saying over the last few years. The more you read the detail, the more hard-hitting it appears to be.
Alan Miller says that every investor should read this report. OK, few of us have the time to read all 200 pages. But at the very least read the Executive Summary and the Millers’ analysis of the finer detail.
ROBIN POWELL is a freelance journalist and the founding editor of The Evidence-Based Investor. Based in Birmingham, England, he founded Ember Television and Regis Media, and he specialties in helping disruptive financial firms to grow. He also campaigns for a fair, transparent and sustainable investing industry. You can follow him on Twitter at @RobinJPowell.