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UK roundup: IMA, ABI, True and Fair Campaign, Aon Hewitt

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The proposed merger of the Investment Management Association (IMA) and the Association of British Insurers’ investment affairs division is to be completed by the end of the month.

The merger, which will see the two lobby groups join forces in the investment space, will be chaired by Helena Morrissey, the current chief executive of Newton Asset Management and founder of the 30% Club.

Once merged, the industry representative group will be known as The Investment Association.

Chief executive of the group and former chief of the IMA Daniel Godfrey said the new organisation would now cover an entire range of investment issues, fully representing the industry and its clients.

Otto Thorensen, director general at the ABI, said the merger would create a strong voice for the asset management industry, with insurers remaining a crucial part.

However, the merger was not welcomed on all fronts.

Gina Miller, founder of the True and Fair Campaign, said creating a giant industry body was not tantamount to improving consumer protection.

“The new Investment Association has more power to advance the aims of the self-interested investment industry,” she said.

“The IMA and ABI have, to date, shown themselves to be entirely focused on the needs of their members over consumers.

“We see no evidence this will end under the new structure or chairman.”

In other news, the Northern Powergrid Group Pension Scheme has appointed Aon Hewitt to provide the trustees with investment advice.

The mandate covers advice on the pension fund’s £1.3bn (€1.6bn) of assets, providing pensions to around 6,500 members.

The contract for asset allocation and manager selection is an extension of pension scheme administration and actuarial services agreements.

Group administrator and secretary for Northern Powergrid Group, Stephen Robson, said the trustees were impressed with Aon Hewitt’s focus on understanding the scheme’s issues and ability to give clear, tailored advice.

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