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Is the Government putting the cartel before the horse?

The &#39son&#39 of Myners has been revealed as Mr Ron Sandler, a Lloyd&#39s of London man, presumably to the relief of the Gartmore chairman who can now concentrate on fund management.

Money Marketing remains unconvinced of a need for a review, given the overlap with several FSA initiatives. But the appointment of a neutral is good news.

But we would offer some advice. First, companies often consider what change would help their business and then make this change “coincide” with the consumer interest.

It is also important to consider the extent to which sales of different types of funds rely, at least partly, on what the public can be convinced to buy.

Finally, where knowledge gaps are discovered, consideration should be given to the fact the rules are being turned inside out while doing business has got tougher.

We also hope that Sandler is brave enough to consider the price-capping of stakeholder and Isas, which is arguably the ultimate commission distortion.

It may be an irony that the appointment coincides with Government plans to attack cartels in other industries when its financial services policies may be creating one.

If polarisation goes, many IFAs fear a handful of big insurers and bancassurers will sew up financial services distribution as the supermarkets have for food.

Sandler may discover investment flows are distorted, just as other actions by Government and the FSA freeze that distortion in place.

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