PLSA AC 18: CMA to publish final investment consultant remedies by Christmas

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it hopes to publish the final decision of its investigation on investment consultants and the fiduciary management market by Christmas.

Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association annual conference yesterday, 18 October, CMA project director Alison Gold said that plans to produce its final report by the end of the year, with a backstop of March 2019 if it is delayed.

The investigation, first published in July, recommended a number of policy changes, including the requirement of pension schemes to run a competitive tender when choosing their first fiduciary manager.

Furthermore, The Pensions Regulator said that it could have an order expecting to make any remedies legally required by the end of June 2019.

TPR lead investment consultant, Fred Berry, said: “In terms of the timescale, having hopefully produced final recommendations by Christmas … the CMA will go through a process turning the recommendations into law which I think is going to be through by the 30 June next year. It gives us time to put our guidance together.”

He added that the regulator, the CMA and the “other interested parties” are keeping options open over potential regulations around investment consultants and fiduciary managers.

A recent survey by XPS Pensions Group found that 62 per cent of 267 pension scheme trustees and sponsors believed that the remedies will not do enough to make the market more efficient.

In September, Mercer questioned the CMA’s provisional decision report has been called into question over errors in the data analysis used to deliver its findings.

The issue came to light after Mercer UK CEO Fiona Dunsire wrote to the investment consultancy market investigation chair, John Wotton, claiming that the CMA’s findings were based upon “incorrect data, errors in the CMA’s analytical code and reliance on unrepresentative samples”.

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