Can Asset Managers Take the Lead in Financial Services?

Presented by

Piers Currie, Dan Norman, William Amos, Guy Sears and James Harris

About this talk

In this quick eleven minute summary of our recent Forum seminar, panellists at The Financial Services Forum event ran through their key points after the session. FCA’s William Amos said that trust has been damaged in the financial services industry and maintaining and enhancing that trust is absolutely key. The culture and values of firms are powerful in making sure that trust is not eroded. Simplicity and transparency is essential to communicating to end investors effectively. Guy Sears of the IMA felt that asset managers sit at the centre of the roundtable of capital between savers and businesses. Therefore they should be in a crucial place to ensure that standards are high and that a mind-set focused on the customer is adopted. Dan Norman of fund management company TCF pulled no punches in his view asserting that the industry cannot build trust. He felt this because you can’t build trust; all you can do is build trustworthiness within your company. And he added that most of the industry relies on the asymmetry of information; it knows more, it’s more complicated and therefore it uses that power to exploit the customer. There is, however, a big opportunity for marketers because a lot of this about creating core brand values. Finally, James Harris of Fidelity echoed many of the themes discussed, feeling that asset managers need to earn the right to gain the trust back and have to be more customer-centric. The feeling being that this can only come from the senior management. A process of reflection in order to constantly review and challenge the ethos of a company and what it stands for is appropriate. However, this should not be driven purely by introspection but more importantly by the voice of the customer.

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