APCIMS has established a strong name recognition amongst our members and the financial sector generally, Government and Regulators. Even the tabloid press have an interest in some of our activities! Our community now covers not only UK firms that provide investment management and stockbroking services to private individuals but also private banks and legal and accountancy firms who operate in these areas. Geographically, our membership is broad, with strong representation from Dublin, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, as well as important affiliations with associations from nine European countries.
The common theme that ties us all together is the fact that we all act for individual investors and most of our firms by number offer portfolio management services.
It has been an important recurring theme that it is not just our clients, and those who might refer clients to us, who understand the scale and quality of our industry; it is essential that the business model of APCIMS' members is properly understood by Regulators and by Government. Our firms do not sell products - they provide services. When we transact business for clients we are buying or selling investments on their behalf and in their best interest - we are a buy-side industry. For that reason it is important to emphasise that we have clients not customers! Ours is a professional relationship, we are not retailers of products. Unless this distinction is properly understood, the regulation of private client wealth management in the UK will continue to be imperfect and our industry will be at a competitive disadvantage at home as well as overseas - a disadvantage that will be highlighted once MiFiD, the Market in Financial Instruments Directive, has been implemented in late 2007.
As our community has grown and developed, so has the range of issues with which APCIMS has become involved. Our interests range through UK regulation to European regulation; from trading and clearing and settlement issues through to international questions related to anti-money laundering regulations; from US regulatory requirements to shareholder rights and so much more. We have built good working relationships with the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as with UK Government and Members of both Houses of Parliament on all sides. We have close involvement at all levels with the FSA, with the Treasury, Euroclear CREST, the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England, with Euronext.liffe and many more. The fact that we are able to maintain active and good relationships with these organisations reflects the importance of our client base, and the good standing of our industry.
This role and these achievements have only been possible because of the quite remarkable work carried out by the dedicated team in our office and particularly Angela Knight, who has been our Chief Executive since 1997. Her contribution to our industry has been immense and she has never flinched from a challenge or from being prepared to express an opinion! Angela will be leaving APCIMS in November to take up the role of Chief Executive Designate of the British Bankers Association. This is therefore an appropriate time to pay tribute to her enormous efforts and achievements. She leaves APCIMS in a strong and healthy state and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude.
One of the areas in which Angela has been especially imaginative and effective has been our involvement in European regulation and with the development of MiFID and the Capital Requirement Directive. These Directives inevitably contain compromises but the opportunity for our members to undertake crossborder business in Europe will in the long term have been facilitated.
I am extremely grateful to all of my colleagues on the Board of APCIMS for their active support and involvement. Together we have been able to build an effective and vibrant UK organisation and one which has achieved recognition throughout the EU. This Review highlights many of the areas in which APCIMS has been involved in the past year. Although I am standing down as Chairman and Angela is leaving her post, I am totally confident that under John Hall's Chairmanship, APCIMS will continue to be involved and influential in each and every matter that is of importance to our members, this year and in the longer term. – less – More from ZoomInfo »