The boards of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Investment Management Association (IMA) have agreed in principle to merge their investment activities, the organisations have confirmed.
The merger will include the ABI’s Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS), which provides advice for fund managers on how to exercise votes at company meetings. The move is designed to create a central point for asset managers and to improve the effects of lobbying.
In a joint statement, the organisations said, “The final stages of the discussion are still ongoing, and will result in the creation of an organisation, with a new name and a new chairman, that covers the full spectrum of investment management activity with a single, stronger and more coherent voice.”
The ABI, whose member companies account for 90% of the UK insurance market, will continue to represent insurers and asset owners. The ABI currently represents the UK investment management industry with members managing over £4.5 trillion of assets on behalf of UK and overseas clients.
Daniel Godfrey, IMA chief executive, commented, “This is a very important strategic step for the IMA and our members.” He added that the merger would benefit clients and beneficiaries.
“It will help us meet one of our key objectives by increasing our clout and credibility in developing a culture of longer-term thinking. It will enable us to provide stronger and seamless support to the nascent Investor Forum”, Godfrey said.
The Investor Forum will be operational by June 2014. It aims to promote long-term strategies and sustainable wealth creation as well as operate engagement action groups. Sustainable investment advocates have welcomed the Forum, saying it will give shareholders greater say in corporate governance.
Further details, including the name of the new organisation, have yet to be released.
Photo: Investment Management Association