FCA hires Godfrey to advise on asset management policy

Daniel Godfrey was forced out of the Investment Association in October.

The UK’s financial regulator has hired the former chief executive of the country’s trade body for asset managers, who was forced out of his former role last year.

Daniel Godfrey has joined the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on a short-term consultancy contract, a spokesperson at the regulator confirmed to CIO.

Godfrey left the Investment Association (IA) in October 2015 amid a deepening rift among the trade body’s membership. Two of the association’s biggest members—M&G and Schroders—threatened to quit due to concerns over the direction Godfrey was taking. Aberdeen Asset Management and Invesco Perpetual were also reportedly considering their membership at the time of his resignation.

A major source of conflict came after Godfrey promoted a new “statement of principles” for IA members, to combat criticism that asset management fees were too high and opaque. Only 25 fund groups (of more than 200 members) signed up to the principles, promising to “always put their clients’ interests first and ahead of their own” and “make all costs and charges transparent and understandable.”

The FCA declined to confirm the exact nature of Godfrey’s role, but said he would contribute to asset management policy. The regulator has just embarked on a wide-ranging review of the asset management industry, which will investigate costs, competition, and the role of consultants.

In April, the IA appointed Chris Cummings as Godfrey’s permanent successor.

The FCA also announced today that Megan Butler had been appointed director of supervision for investment, wholesale, and specialists. She has been on secondment to the regulator for the past nine months from the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which oversees the UK’s biggest banks and insurers. She previously led supervision at the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor organisation.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s acting chief executive, said Butler was “an extremely experienced regulator with an excellent reputation,” who had established herself as “a key member of the FCA’s executive team.”