Coming here is like being transported in the Tardis ten years back in time. The debate around fiduciary responsibility was a big theme but a well worn agenda in Australia.
There has been much gnashing of teeth among the delegates over restoring investor confidence as the global financial crisis (GFC) runs deeper for many countries.
Cerulli Associates managing director Shiv Taneja opened the conference with the Cerulli 2010 Health check which also gave delegates a reality check on investor confidence.
The Cerulli report found that investor confidence was completely shattered.
According to the report, investors in China wore the 2008 market declines but when the market recovered in 2009 these investors pulled out in droves. The market may have been up 35.9 per cent; however investor outflows reached 20.10 per cent.
For JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Broderick, transparency and regulation will assume a dominant position in the industry as the focus shifts towards investor protection and building consumer confidence.
He said pricing pressure will become intense as consumers gain greater understanding of investments through the media and the internet.
Investors will also expect their managers to align their interests with them and act ethically, according to Broderick.
Global Change chair Patrick Dixon was a little more direct in his speech on investor confidence.
According to Dixon, investment managers won't put their own money into their own funds and many in the industry say their own products are not worth investing in.
Dixon said that if you sell crook products you should go to jail.
He then asked the audience if they agreed and it took him a second ask to get hands up.
HSBC Asset Management chief John Flint reckons it's time pension fund trustees lifted the bar regarding education.
"They have discharged their responsibilities to consultants and need to do more to keep on top of investment issues that impact on their members," he said.
Australia may have exited the global stage in terms of the FIFA World Cup but the country has been positioned in the conference agenda as a global leader in regulatory reform.
The lucky country has been applauded for working through the issues related to corporate governance and fiduciary responsibility during the GFC.
Delegates from Austrade and Invest Victoria have been actively working the conference rooms in promoting Australia as a leading financial services hub.
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