The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued its Asset Management Market Study – Interim Report, MS15/2.2 (Report). The FCA surveyed a broad segment of investors, asset managers and other stakeholders to consider the impact on competition in the asset management industry of investor behavior, consultants, barriers to innovation, platforms, fund boards and cost controls. The Report is vital reading for investors that wish to discern fee considerations and risk-management concerns when performing due diligence on funds, as well as for fund managers that need to anticipate and adjust to potential FCA regulatory developments in these areas. This first article sets forth the Report’s findings concerning the impact of platforms, fund governance bodies and manager compensation on fund fees and competition. The second article
will detail the Report’s analysis of the benefits of actively managed funds relative to their associated costs, as well as the role that cost controls have on competition. For additional coverage of recent FCA guidance, see “U.K. Investment Advisers Fail to Meet FCA Expectations on Best Execution and Dealing Commissions
” (Mar. 23, 2017); “U.S. Managers Marketing to U.K. Investors Could Face Ballooning Reporting Burdens Under Proposed Rule
” (Jul. 28, 2016); and “U.K. Financial Conduct Authority Issues Feedback Statement Supporting Proposed E.U. Limits on Soft Dollars
” (Mar. 5, 2015).