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

Investment management reform in the UK - advice, governance, and strengthening investment market performance and consumer protection

Morning, Thursday, 10th December 2020


***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.

Bringing together stakeholders with key policymakers, it comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of:

  • governance, transparency, and the conduct of firms and advisers
  • the role of regulators and consumer protection agencies

The discussion at a glance:

The Stewardship Code

  • effectiveness - whether its measures should be compulsory, and the pressures that reforms will place on firms
  • advice - priorities for ensuring that retail investors aren’t misled or receive confusing guidance - including the role of the sector and online platforms

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

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

Retail investment markets

  • outlook and industry priorities for encouraging retail investment - in light of increasing activity from retail investors in UK markets, particularly among younger generations
  • high-risk bonds - the impact of the FCA’s permanent ban on the sale of to retail investors, following the collapse of investment firms leading to significant investor losses
  • policy and regulation - options for improving performance, and increase returns for firms and consumers, and protection for consumers and institutional investors when funds collapse

Capital markets

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


  • uptake 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 - including interconnected adviser software systems, and platforms for virtual interaction with clients

Diversity and culture

  • the impact of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
  • next steps - enhancing diversity and the culture in the sector, and improving the pipeline of diverse talent

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, culture and sustainability and responsible investment
  • 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:

  • COVID-19:
    • the impact of the pandemic on the UK economy as in the immediate and long term the worst hit out of all G7 countries
    • limited opportunities for shareholder engagement with the exclusion of many retail investors from company AGMs
  • the financial advice sector - as more investors look to establish longer-term investment plans due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic
  • Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review - with government’s response and introduction of the Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum, and the Regulatory Initiatives Grid
  • the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority - following the Kingman Review, with more powers on transparency and audit standards
  • FCA initiatives - affecting investments in illiquid assets, dual-class structures, and reporting requirements for new start-ups, to encourage more international firms to list and launch IPOs in the UK
  • the Regulatory Initiatives Grid - which aims to improve co-ordination between government and regulators impacted by the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review

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; HM Treasury; UK Government Investments; DWP; the Department for International Trade; the Development Bank of Wales; and The Scottish Government.

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

Cabinet Secretary 1988-1998

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