Investment Association gains permanent chief

Chris CummingsThe Investment Association (IA), the trade body for UK asset managers, has named Chris Cummings as chief executive officer.

Cummings joins from financial services lobbying group TheCityUK, of which he is the founding chief executive. Prior to establishing the body in 2010, he spent seven years as director general of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers. He is expected to take up his role at the IA by the third quarter of this year.

The decision to appoint Cummings was made unanimously by the IA board, which includes representatives of 18 UK investment managers.

Cummings’ appointment is the culmination of a protracted global search to replace former head Daniel Godfrey, who departed by mutual agreement in controversial circumstances last October. Godfrey left hurriedly after M&G and Schroders threatened to resign their membership with the IA, and Aberdeen Asset Management, Fidelity and Invesco Perpetual all announced their involvement was under review.

Under Godfrey’s leadership, the IA played a leading role in the creation of the Investor Forum, a body set up to improve dialogue between institutional investors and large listed businesses.

Godfrey also pressed asset managers to sign up to a voluntary code of conduct, which contained many obligations in respect of fee disclosure and transparency that proved divisive in some quarters.

The Investment Association represents 200 members, managing a total of £5.5 trillion (€6.8 trillion) in assets.

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