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UK asset managers fear poor Brexit deal

Most UK fund managers fear the government has no idea what the asset management industry needs from Brexit to secure a good deal, according to research by consultancy MJ Hudson.


Based on a survey of more than 300 fund managers and investors in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world (ROW), some 80% of UK managers do not believe the UK negotiation team has sufficient understanding of asset management to deliver a deal that works well for the domestic industry.

Indeed, some two-thirds of UK managers (77%) believe the government should have consulted with the fund management industry before embarking upon Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

“The ability to provide financial services from the UK into the EU is critical, not only to maintain the UK’s position as the leading asset management centre in Europe, but also as a world-leading industry for the UK and a significant revenue generator for its economy,” said Matthew Husdon, chief executive of MJ Hudson.

“As the UK government and the EU now enter Brexit negotiations, it is not too late for the asset management industry in the UK and the EU to be extensively consulted.”

It is not just UK managers concerned with the direction negotiations are heading. According to the study, 76% of European fund managers and investors outside the UK are pessimistic regarding the UK government’s ability to achieve an outcome that is acceptable to the UK asset management industry.

Hudson added: “The Brexit results matter to everyone in asset management, not just those in the UK, but in the EU, too. This cuts both ways. There is uncertainty for European managers and investors outside the UK over whether they can access UK-based funds, as well as sell their own funds within the UK. 

“Asset managers and investors throughout the EU and ROW mostly want to see transparency as well as the reciprocal flow of money and services being maintained. It is in no-one’s interest to take a giant step backward into protectionism as this greatly affects global capitalism, and investment choice especially.”