Westminster Business Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

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

TO BE PUBLISHED February 2020

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

This conference is bringing together stakeholders with key policymakers to examine options being considered for regulatory reform of the investment management sector in the UK.

It 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 agenda focuses on:

  • Market trends - and what they mean for the future of advice and guidance services;
  • Service to consumers - what should be done to address the ‘advice gap’ and improve the affordability of financial advice;
  • Consumer demand - and how the market works in serving it;
  • Governance - key issues in the context of market trends and other factors that are affecting the investment management sector; and
  • The revised Stewardship Code - assessing success and considering further scope to improve the regulation and effectiveness of stewardship;

Areas for discussion in detail:

  • The new Stewardship Code, ahead of the first round of reporting against the Code’s benchmarks due by the end of 2020, looking at:
    • its effectiveness and whether its measures should be compulsory,
    • the pressures that reforms will place on firms; and
    • priorities for:
      • ensuring that retail investors aren’t misled or receive confusing advice - including the role of the sector and online platforms, and
      • 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), as the FCA considers its response to feedback on its evaluation, with discussion on:
    • the impact of  their findings on their market, and
    • assessment of the future development of the market and ensuring that it meets consumer needs.
  • The outlook for retail investment markets - as well as industry priorities, and 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.
  • Future performance of capital markets - and implications for development of policy and regulation - including:
    • 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, and
    • 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 impact of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and next steps for enhancing diversity and the culture in the sector - and improving the pipeline of diverse talent.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • 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;
  • Expected publication by investment firms of their fund value for investment, a requirement of the market remedies set out following the FCA’s Asset Management Market Study;
  • The FCA temporarily suspending the marketing of speculative mini-bonds to retail investors while it consults on permanent rules;
  • 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, and
    • 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.

The agenda:

  • The future for the retail investment market in the UK;
  • 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 and addressing the advice gap; and
  • Next steps for the regulation of retail investments.

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places have been reserved by officials from the HM Revenue & Customs and UK Government Investments.
Overall, we expect speakers and other participants to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from investment managers, financial advisers, pension funds, private pension providers, organisations representative retail investors, consultants, actuaries, think tanks, insurers, trade unions, trade associations, lawyers, consumer groups, fintechs, price comparison websites, investment platforms, academics, private equity firms, capital market traders and venture capitalists, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

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

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates