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Tributes for Saunders as he steps down as IMA chief

Leading investment experts have paid tribute to Investment Management Association chief executive Richard Saunders after the trade body announced he is stepping down from the role at the end of this year.

Saunders (pictured) oversaw the establishment of the IMA as head of the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds, which merged with the Fund Managers’ Association in February 2002 to create the IMA.

Legal & General Investments managing director Simon Ellis says: “Saunders has guided the trade body through a difficult regulatory and financial landscape. He helped turn the association from a sideshow to a very important voice which is listened to by the likes of politicians.”

Saunders, who has held a number of roles at the Treasury, has been arguing against claims of hidden costs in the active management industry.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “To head up a trade body like the IMA for 11 years is impressive, given the pressures, and Richard has done a great job. Things like the recent charges concerns are complicated things to explain to the market.”

The IMA says the process to find a successor will start shortly.

Schroders managing director of UK intermediary Robin Stoakley says: “This is a senior and prestigious role so I am sure there will be no shortage of candidates.”

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