City boost for fund managers

BRITAIN&rsquo;S asset management industry and the government will today outline how they will work together to both retain business and lure back funds that have fled overseas, in a key report to be published in London.<br /><br />The Asset Management Working Group will make 25 key findings and 22 recommendations including making the UK a domicile of choice for collective investment schemes and developing a viable onshore hedge fund regime.<br /><br />As the exchequer is losing around &pound;300m in lost taxes every year from funds worth &pound;300bn that have assets outside the UK, making Britain a more attractive place for asset managers could boost the Treasury&rsquo;s coffers.<br /><br />The report will also provide recommendations for the distribution chain that would benefit consumers across Europe, as well as helping reduce barriers to distribution. Additionally, it will recommend the cost of the investment advice should be better distinguished from the cost of the product, as well as making clear how fees and commissions are paid.<br /><br />The group was convened by Alistair Darling to look at how to ensure the UK remains a global centre for asset management. Co-chaired by the chancellor and Robert Jenkins, chairman of the Investment Management Association, it was the first government-sponsored high-level group devoted to asset managers and represents practitioners from across the industry.<br /><br />Jenkins said: &ldquo;In calling for UK to consciously target a policy of domicile of choice for collective schemes we are talking about doing what&rsquo;s necessary to avoid further loss of business to Dublin, Luxembourg or Switzerland. We might even get some of it back.&rdquo;<br /><br />In his foreword to the report Darling said: &ldquo;I asked the group to look at what needs to be done to ensure that the UK remains an excellent location for asset managers; to identify development opportunities for the sector; to develop the UK&rsquo;s input to international discussions on asset management issues and to provide a forum for buy-side input.&rdquo;<br />