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ABI’s investment unit to join IMA
11 April 2014
IMA chief executive Daniel Godfrey reveals the rationale for the merger
The Boards of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the
Investment Management Association (IMA) have agreed in
principle to merge the investment activities of the ABI with
The merger would include the Institutional Voting Information
Service (IVIS), which provides advice to fund managers on how
to exercise votes at company meetings.
The final stages of the discussion are ongoing. The merger,
which is expected to be complete by the end of June, will
ultimately lead to the creation of a trade body with a new name
and chairman. It will cover the entire range of investment
management activity with a "single, stronger and more coherent
The ABI said it will continue to represent insurers as asset
owners. IMA chief executive Daniel Godfrey
said the IMA and ABI hope to sign an agreement
in the next few weeks.
Speaking to Global Investor/ISF,
Godfrey explained that the IMA always evaluates how
any structural changes such as this fits in with its purpose as
a trade association.
"Our purpose is to help our members do really important things
for real people in the economy. We do that if we can deliver
good investment returns over long periods of time. Real people
have investment horizons that tend to be measured in
Godfrey said the integration of the ABI’s
investment activities with the IMA would help to achieve that
purpose because "good stewardship, good engagement, and
efficient capital markets are all really important in
delivering sustainable long-term returns".
Some of the IMA’s biggest members are insurance
companies. The IMA’s members have total AuM of
around £4.5trn ($7.5trn) of which £1trn is
insurance company money.
"The IMA has been doing a lot of work with the ABI and UK
National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) to improve culture
around long-term thinking in the ecosystem, which means asset
owners such as insurance companies and pension funds, and asset
managers like our members and the corporates they invest
The ABI has naturally built up capacity in investment affairs
in recent years. The division looks at governance and
stewardship issues, and also market issues such as initial
public offerings, rights issues and allocations.
Godfrey said that bringing ABI’s division into the
IMA will create a "stronger, more unified, consistent, and
"We’ve always said that the people making the buy
and sell decisions - portfolio managers –
can’t be divorced from the stewardship and
engagement. So it made sense to bring the two together."
Godfrey will continue to act as chief executive of the IMA, and
the chairman of the new trade body is expected to be appointed
by July. The chairman will replace Dougie Ferrans who had
announced before that he would step down this year.