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Autif chief in plea for pact on performance

The retiring Autif chairman has called for greater clarity on disclosure

to improve investor understanding and confidence.

Speaking at Autif&#39s AGM, Alan Ainsworth, who has now stepped down as

chairman, said there is a strong case for the adviser&#39s selling, advice and

service costs to be shown separately to the product costs.

He claimed there is a need to develop a standardised measure of investment

costs and stressed the importance of adhering to a standard, simple form of

past performance disclosure.

Ainsworth believes past performance is one of the most important factors

in improving transparency and he criticised the industry for using

performance statistics selectively. He says the industry should standardise

on annual performance over periods of not less than five years.

He also welcomed the second Myners-style report on retail investing which

he says will give an opportunity for more meaningful disclosure and better

information.

Ainsworth said: “The recent volatility in equity markets underlined the

importance of investor confidence and understanding to our business. The

future of the industry depends on building a client base that understands

the risks associated with long term returns, as, indeed, must the

Government if its policy of encouraging self-reliance through long-term

saving is to be successful.”

The new Autif chairman is Standard Life Investments managing director

Alan Burton, who was appointed at the AGM.

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