Westminster Business Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Options for investment management reform - advice, governance, and strengthening investment market performance and consumer protection

Morning, Thursday, 10th December 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine options being considered for regulatory reform of the investment management sector in the UK.

Of course, it takes place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to large scale losses for some FTSE100 companies, significant declines in profits for global investment banks, and temporary suspensions on dividends payments as a record number of companies have sought financial aid from government.

Bringing together stakeholders with key policymakers, the discussion also comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of governance, transparency, and the conduct of firms and advisers - as well as the role of regulators and consumer protection agencies.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss next steps for the sector in responding to the economic upheaval facing the financial world as a result of the situation created.

Delegates will also consider the regulatory and policy response to the pandemic, as the likely economic downturn is expected to pose both short and long term risks for investment markets due to the likely prospect of weakened consumer spending growth and business investments.

The agenda:

  • The future for the retail investment market in the UK and the impact of COVID-19
  • Investment market performance and preventing fund failure - value for money, adapting to consumer trends, and protecting investors
  • Key issues for governance, transparency and culture
  • The framework for effective stewardship and implementing the revised Stewardship Code
  • Adapting to the changing market for financial advice - regulation, innovation, addressing the advice gap, and meeting the added demands brought about by the pandemic
  • Next steps for the regulation of retail investments

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • The OECD forecasting the UK to be the worst hit out of all major countries, following a record 20.4% shrink in the British economy in April
  • Government’s response to the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review with proposals to improve regulatory coordination including the introduction of the Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum, and the Regulatory Initiatives Grid
  • Establishment of the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, following recommendations put forward in the Kingman Review, with more powers to ensure greater transparency, and enforce higher audit standards
  • FCA taking forward a number of reforms, including:
    • introduction of new rules affecting investments in open-ended funds with investments in illiquid assets
    • proposals to introduce dual-class structures and reduce reporting requirements for new start-ups, to encourage more international firms to list and launch IPOs in the UK
  • Launch of the Regulatory Initiatives Grid, which aims to improve co-ordination between government and regulators impacted by the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review
  • The exclusion of many retail investors from company AGMs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have resulted in limited opportunities for shareholder engagement

The discussion in detail:

The Stewardship Code

  • its effectiveness, whether its measures should be compulsory, and the pressures that reforms will place on firms
  • priorities for ensuring that retail investors aren’t misled or receive confusing advice - including the role of the sector and online platforms
  • the way forward for aligning consumer expectations with the aims of the funds in which they are investing

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR)

  • assessment of the future development of the market and ensuring that it meets consumer needs
  • the impact of the review findings on the market

Retail investment markets

  • outlook and industry priorities for encouraging retail investment
  • the FCA’s permanent ban on the sale of high-risk bonds to retail investors, following the collapse of investment firms leading to significant investor losses
  • options for policy and regulation to improve performance, and increase returns for firms and consumers, and protection for consumers and institutional investors when funds collapse

Capital markets

  • future performance and implications for development of policy and regulation to increase and broaden investments to support economic recovery
  • changes in investor sensibilities and other current trends
  • the future market position of newer options such as sustainable investment and green finance, and patient capital
  • mitigating risks posed by uncertainties such as the UK’s post-Brexit positioning, low interest rates, climate change, economic slowdowns and the pandemic, and trading and tariff policies


  • the uptake of innovation in the financial advice sector, as the FCA brings forward plans to pilot a digital sandbox to support innovative firms by enhancing the FCA’s digital testing service
  • new opportunities for the industry - including interconnected adviser software systems, and platforms for virtual interaction with clients

Diversity and culture

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from HM Revenue & Customs; UK Government Investments; DWP and the Department for International Trade.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Jonathan Lipkin

Director, Policy, Strategy and Research, The Investment Association

Keynote Speakers

Dr Jonathan Lipkin

Director, Policy, Strategy and Research, The Investment Association

Alex Roy

Head of Consumer Distribution Policy, Financial Conduct Authority


Lord Butler

Lord Howard Flight


James Suter

Divisional Director, London Economics

Paula Steele

Managing Partner, John Lamb

Daniel Broby

Director, Centre for Financial Regulation and Innovation, Strathclyde Business School

Alistair McQueen

Head, Savings & Retirement, Aviva

Peter Behrens

Chief Commercial Officer, RateSetter

Professor Janette Rutterford

Professor of Financial Management, The Open University

Robert Gardner

Director, Investment Management, St James’ Place

Alan Miller

Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner, SCM Direct

Simon Harrington

senior policy adviser, public policy, PIMFA