The Wealth Management Association (WMA) is to drop the FTSE in favour of MSCI for its private investor index series.

The WMA, headed up by chief executive Liz Field, said “the move has been made to improve flexibility”.

Effective from 1 March 2017, the index series will be updated to provide a range of five multi-class indices covering conservative, balanced, income growth and global income.

Additionally, 10 years of history from the outset will be included.

Data collection for the indices from within the WMA membership will remain the trade association’s responsibility.

‘It is essential that as a trade association we constantly review the ongoing relevance and use of our suite of indices for our member firms,’ said Field.

As demands change we need to be able to evolve with them and the flexibility offered by MSCI allow us to do that.’

The WMA had used the FTSE for two decades and stressed the importance of remaining ‘relevant’ to the wealth management community.

The decision to switch benchmarks was the result of a lengthy project, initially undertaken by the WMA Private Investor Indices Committee.

One of the selling points of MSCI, the WMA highlighted, was their indices’ ability to be ‘augmented and enhanced as and when necessary’.

It said: ‘The WMA Board has been impressed with MSCI’s willingness to consider these needs and deliver solutions where necessary.

‘Responding to our member firms feedback, enhancements to the indices will include a fixed income index that is truly representative of our members’ investment policy.’

The trade body also said discussions would take place over the possible need for ‘risk-based indices’.

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