The retiring Autif chairman has called for greater clarity on disclosure
to improve investor understanding and confidence.
Speaking at Autif's AGM, Alan Ainsworth, who has now stepped down as
chairman, said there is a strong case for the adviser's 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
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.