The Investment Management Association (IMA)is to merge with the Association of British Insurers' (ABI) investment affairs unit in a bid to give fund managers a single, stronger representative voice.
IMA chief executive Daniel Godfrey (pictured) will head the new organisation, the name of which has yet to be decided, with around twelve ABI employees moving across, according to Sky News.
A new chairman will be found to replace the IMA's Dougie Ferrans, who will leave later this year.
The merger is aimed at boosting fund managers' ability to influence listed companies' policies on governance, pay and stewardship.
It comes at a time when other investors, such as hedge funds, hold an increasingly significant proportion of UK shares at the expense of traditional fund managers.
The ABI will continue to represent companies on issues affecting insurers, but its Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS), which advises fund managers on how to vote at company meetings, will transfer to the new organisation.
"The boards of the ABI and IMA have agreed in principle to merge the investment activities of the ABI, including the IVIS, with the IMA," the two bodies said in a statement.
The organisation is also likely to incorporate an altered version of the ABI's investment affairs committee, currently headed by Royal London Asset Management CIO Robert Talbut.
ABI director of investment Robert Hingley will reportedly "oversee the transition in a consultancy role" before leaving the new body. The two trade bodies reportedly intend to complete the merger by the end of H1.
"The combination will allow the asset management industry to cover the entire waterfront of matters which are of interest to fund managers from a single perspective," an unnamed source told Sky.
The merger follows the introduction of rules introduced by business secretary Vince Cable last year which give shareholders a binding vote on company directors' pay.
Those changes marked a new stage in the gradual increase in scrutiny of companies' pay and governance structure.
The proposals were conceived around the time of the 2012 'Shareholder Spring': a notable, if still uncommon, episode of investor anger which unseated chief executives at companies including Aviva and Trinity Mirror.
£92bn transferred since 2015
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