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&#39Raise standards to keep loyalty&#39

Autif chairman Alan Ainsworth has warned investment managers to raise

service standards or risk losing clients.

Ainsworth, deputy chairman of Threadneedle, was speaking at theannual unit

trust and Oeic conference last week. He said changes in the industry will

leave customer loyalty harder than ever to maintain.

He identified rapid industry growth, developments in e-commerce and

industry consolidation as major factors which are greatly increasing

competition levels and the shape of the industry.

He forecast the emergence of a two-tier investment industry, with

well-known retail brands dominating the low-cost mass market and specialist

brands taking a significant share.

He said: “In an age when large financial institutions are rapidly losing

the trust of their customers – the banks and life sector are obvious

examples – the effective regulation and strong reputation of the investment

fund industry has put us in an enviable position.

“The biggest danger we face ismaintaining this trust. I suggest this

should be the overriding objective for every investment manager.”

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