EUROPE – The chairman of the Investment Management Association, Lindsay Tomlinson, has expressed regret over the failure to set up a pan-European asset management body.

The comments follow fund association FEFSI’s refusal to agree to the terms of the planned merger with the European Asset Management Association. A senior official familiar with the matter said EAMA may even wind itself up. The EAMA was “deciding what it is going to do with itself”.

In April Brussels-based FEFSI, Fédération Européenne des Fonds et Sociétés d'Investissement, changed its constitution to admit asset management companies as members, and not just national fund associations.

“The one major failure has been that, to date, we have been unable to establish a really effective pan-European association representing the investment management industry,” Tomlinson said at the IMA’s annual meeting.

“It’s really important for our industry, but success has so far proved elusive,” he added. “It is all the more disappointing that we have no achieved this, given our success in getting asset management recognised in Europe as a distinct activity.”

He told the meeting that the association is working on developing a model for performance fees. “Our end result will aim for both administrative simplicity and ease of understanding for investors.”

Tomlinson hailed the fact that UK asset management industry had not been implicated “to any significant extent” in the late trading and market timing scandals in the US. “I think we should thank the FSA for taking the initiative on this issue and for their public statement that they had found no evidence of significant issues in the industry in the UK.”

He added that the industry needed to continue with its activities on cutting transaction costs. “We are working with the National Association of Pension Funds to augment the disclosure code and we will be working with the London Investment Bankers Association to develop a satisfactory framework for ‘commission sharing’ in the UK market.”