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Myners and IMA in contrarian clash

The Investment Management Association has hit back at Lord Myners’ claims that there is an absence of a contrarian voice in the fund management industry.

At the launch of the Asset Management Working Group’s paper at the London Business School on Monday, Myners said that the industry was guilty of being “momentum investors”.

He said: “I think one of the failures of investment management is the absence of a strong contrarian voice and I think that is a consequence of short-term performance measurement for that management.”

But IMA head of research Jonathan Lipkin disagreed with Myners, saying there is no shortage of contrarian investors.

He also said the industry should be “very careful” about the notion that there is inherent short-termism.

He says: “There are many successful contrarian investors and they can be found both in the retail and institutional environment.

“When you look at the active part of the institutional environment, it is in fact characterised by increased heterogeneity.

“As you look at the sort of bifurcation between passive and active, in the active environment there is a lot more emphasis on high alpha, absolute total return or unconstrained products where managers are moving away from benchmarks, and so I would point to this increasing heterogeneity and just emphasise that I think ultimately it is down to the advisers and their clients to judge their active managers and also over which time horizon.”


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