EMX ownership will be passed directly to member firms by way of share distribution sometime over the...
EMX ownership will be passed directly to member firms by way of share distribution sometime over the summer, writes Jenne Mannion.
This will separate the commercial activities of EMX from Autif's core role and will open up options for future funding.
Alan Ainsworth, chairman of Autif, said in a speech at the association's AGM, that ownership of EMX, launched last Monday, should remain in industry hands.
The articles of EMX have been changed so that shares can only be passed to other Autif members. An upper limit on ownership by any one group has also been imposed.
He said: "The proposal to establish a share options scheme within EMX involves the shares being issued as a result of the supplementary levy which groups agreed to pay in February being held on trust by Autif, to avoid adverse tax implications."
"We believe these changes are sensible both for EMX and Autif and that EMX, under the leadership of Caroline Lee as chief executive officer and Nick Durlacher as chairman, can now move forward in a way that will not compromise the core aims of Autif."
In his speech Ainsworth also urged the Government to recognise the importance of advice and to work with the industry to improve the quality of advice available to the public.
He said: "Government must stop drawing the conclusion that because much advice in the past has been poor, advice as a whole is unnecessary."
There is an important role for advisers, as evidence from the US suggests. In the US, the advice sector has been gaining market share. One reason for this is the accumulated value many investors have built up in 401k and other retirement plans.
Small contributions have over the years turned into sizeable portfolios and investors have turned to advice sources and their investments have grown, Ainsworth said. He said the introduction of stakeholder and pooled pension investments (PPIs) in April 2001 will have a profound effect on the industry.
Ainsworth said: "I am quite sure that within a decade, the UK will mirror the US, where every dollar invested in straight funds is matched by a dollar from retirement plans.
"Stakeholder seems to be one of the very few instances in which Government interferes with the prices of products, other than when a monopoly is present. I would urge the Secretary of State to monitor carefully the development of the stakeholder market and to remove the price cap as a matter of principle, at the earliest opportunity."
Meanwhile, Rupert Tyrer, co-deputy chairman of Autif, is stepping down from both his position as co-chairman and from the Autif executive committee. Also stepping down from the executive committee are Michael Tildesley of CGU, and Gary Marshall of Aberdeen.
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