Mike Barrett examines the reasons to be cheerful this year, as well as highlighting another potential sting in the Mifid II tail.

Mike Barrett is consulting director at the lang cat. After 18 years at Skandia/Old Mutual Wealth, he is now working with platforms, advisers, banks and robos to help them create and communicate in a way that is a little less corporate and a little more human.

The FCA is clearly a fan of giving the industry plenty of reading material to enjoy while on their summer holidays.

Last year we were treated to hundreds of pages of output from the Asset Management Market study (a real hoot, unless that is you work for an asset manager) as well as the terms of reference document for the Investment Platforms Market Study. 

As the name suggests, the Edelman trust barometer is an annual survey measuring trust and credibility across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies.

Now in its 18th year, they survey more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries. This year’s findings, published in January, didn’t make especially pleasant reading.

“It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it.”

The best songs have lyrics that are timeless, beautifully enigmatic, and can be interpreted any number of ways. Although to be fair, it’s extremely unlikely the combined brains of Fun Boy Three and Bananarama were thinking about the minutiae of financial regulation when performing their 1982 classic*.

Well, that was nice. A bit of sunshine, some cricket, and before you know it the kids are back at school. Summer's over, the day is done, and soon it will be winter.

The recent FCA Asset Management Study Interim Report is just that, an interim report, but as we wait for the final report it already feels like it has the potential to be one of the most influential and disruptive pieces of work to come out of the regulator for a long while.

There has been much speculation and comment as to how it might all play out, but in the main the silence from the asset management sector (especially the active side) has been deafening. Worryingly for advisers, as the dust settles from its publication it’s difficult to know exactly what will happen next.

“This is your captain speaking. Your platform is about to undergo a major technology upgrade. There might be some unexpected turbulence. Please keep your seatbelt fastened, sit back and enjoy the ride.”

The platform industry is changing. So far in 2016 we have seen the largest platform (in AUA terms) being sold by their parent to a competitor, with a decent medium sized platform taking a similar path. This is alongside the backdrop of a number of technology migrations and upgrades which, for a platform provider, is far and away the hardest thing you can do.

A few years ago I used to have the job title of Investment Tools Manager. Having the word tool in your job title at least ensured I got a laugh every time I started a presentation, but it also meant I spent a lot of time reviewing the adviser market to see what reporting and planning tools were being used, whether these were on or off platform, and what the best of breed looked like. At the time we identified a number of trends. Increasingly advisers were wanting to adopt external off platform planning tools to help deliver their investment proposition.