Ratings and actuarial agency AKG has questioned the transparency of the Fidelity FundsNetwork ownership structure.
FundsNetwork is legally owned by the Bermuda-domiciled FIL Ltd, which AKG says is not in line with practices of other platforms in the market.
The latest FundsNetwork AKG financial report rates the platform as a “B”.
AKG says: “Having a Bermuda domicile at the level of ultimate beneficial ownership adds an unwelcome layer of opacity; it may not conceal specific issues but it is inconsistent with peer operations in the market and contrary to the beneficial trend for improved transparency and enablement of an informed choice by distributors and clients.”
As of 31 March, FundsNetwork had assets under administration of around £49bn.
Thomas and Thomas Financial Services managing director Darren Lloyd Thomas says: “Provided the rules of UK regulation apply to any FundsNetwork investors, the domiciliation of the platform’s parent should not be a massive issue.”
A Fidelity spokeswoman says: “Our domicile bears no relevance to the transparency of our business. Fidelity Worldwide Investment is a private company and as such it is able to make long-term decisions to the benefit of all its clients and it makes the same disclosures to shareholders as any public company.”