ClearGlass, the information provider founded by cost transparency campaigner Chris Sier, is looking to secure take-up among European asset owners after its initial focus on the UK.

The firm is looking to this year expand into France, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, and Sweden.

Any mandating of ClearGlass from these regions would come after the company recently delivered eye-catching data about the UK market as it introduced cost and performance benchmarking for the asset management industry.

According to the data, UK defined benefit (DB) schemes could reduce their costs by £6bn (€7bn) per annum without sacrificing performance.

This is on the basis of analysis of cost and performance data collected for over 750 UK DB pension funds with mandates held by some 420 external asset managers.

The £6bn is the scaled-up figure for the value of switching from asset managers that scored worst for value for money to top quartile performers.

“The point is, it’s a very big number that should quite rightly catch the eye of Europeans,” said Sier.

His firm is in discussions with some European asset owner associations, with Sier hoping this will enable ClearGlass to collect data from managers working for European pension funds.

This would mean these asset managers filling in Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI) templates.

CTI is the body set up by asset owners and managers to oversee the UK’s best practice cost data collection framework. This was developed by industry representatives in the Institutional Disclosure Working Group, which was established by the UK financial regulator and chaired by Sier.

“The templates have captured all of the key factors that go into describing the cost of an asset management product,” said Sier. “The cost drivers of a European DB pension fund will not differ from the cost drivers of a UK pension fund from the point of view of the asset manager.”

ClearGlass processed more than 11,500 CTI templates last year.

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