The majority of investors in a survey of the UK, 55%, are not familiar with the retail distribution review (RDR), which has shaken up the market for financial advice by banning commissions.
The result, which occurred despite large media attention focused on the RDR, is another sign of a gap in investor education which wealth managers might hope to fill.
The need for communication is perhaps especially clear now that the cost of regulatory compliance is becoming a burden.
"Much like the rest of the financial services industry, wealth management firms are facing increasing scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority [the UK regulator]," says Mark Taylor, managing director at Equiniti Investment Services, which conducted the survey.
"As such, it is not surprising that the cost of complying with regulation is weighing heavily on the minds of the senior executives who participated in our survey."
The survey, which included 100 wealth managers as well as 800 private investors, found that a quarter of unadvised investors regarded wealth managers as "too expensive". Most advised investors did not regard cost as a primary concern.
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