‘What is one good thing which happened in financial services and markets in 2019? And what are you most looking forward to happening in 2020?’ We put the questions to experts on our Asset & Risk Modelling team and also our CEO, for their personal thoughts


In my opinion, the best thing to happen in 2019 was the unprecedented gating of funds and its repercussions – starting with Woodford Investment Management [WIM] and ending with the M&G Property fund, with more set to follow suit. Liquidity has been something which has arguably been taken for granted and the definition of ‘illiquid’ assets has subsequently been forgotten. With the implosion of WIM, the ability of an asset manager to maintain sufficient liquidity for a T+2 settlement vehicle was a given.  Abhi Chatterjee, Head of Asset & Risk Modelling

The saga with Woodford brought into sharp focus the role of ‘best buy’ lists used by advisers. Arguably, many clients unfortunately misunderstood what they were all about. They perhaps presumed that extensive research had been carried out – of course, that may have been the case – and that the fund was a ‘good performer’. However, the fund in fact arguably only appeared because of other factors. What is the lesson to learn from this? At Dynamic Planner, we complete independent research, decide on a rating and then inform the manager. We are consistently focused on the client’s best interest. Long may that continue.  Jason Dewar, Head of Fund Research

The best thing that happened to the industry in 2019 is that it began to get to grips with MiFID II, ongoing suitability regulations from 2018. The lion’s share of firms’ revenues now come from ongoing fees – so providing a service which clients value and which helps to retain and grow those relationships has meant everyone wins.  Ben Goss, CEO

From an industry perspective, the most important development in 2019 has been the strong growth in demand and supply of responsible investment strategies, given the evolving climate change emergency facing us all. The proposals we have seen from the Investment Association have helped cut through the description complexities and will really help advisers compare solutions on a clearer and more consistent basis.  Jim Henning, Head of Investment Services

2019 was a year in which the industry started to wake up to the benefits of cashflow – and the complexities of getting it right.  Heather Richards, Head of Actuarial Insight

A compass symbolising the transformation of Independent Financial Advisers

One thing you are looking forward to, in financial services / markets, in 2020?


The thing I am looking forward to most for 2020 is to never hear the word Brexit again.  Abhi Chatterjee, Head of Asset & Risk Modelling

It may sound strange, but what we need is some serious volatility – maybe a big market correction. The market is full of red flags: $13 trillion of negative yielding bonds, US China trade wars, Brexit. The list goes on and investors are nervous, so maybe a collective sigh of relief will be heard if the markets react negatively. Fortunately, markets tend to recover quickly – and the savvy investor will use the opportunity to move into some cheap positions. At least the managers who have been defensive for the last four years will be able to say, ‘I told you so’.  Jason Dewar, Head of Fund Research

The industry development I’m most looking forward to in 2020 is the FCA’s Assessing Suitability 2.0. We should hear about timing in the spring.  Ben Goss, CEO

Looking ahead to 2020, it would be a massively important development if the European Commission is able to push through its proposed regulations to make integration of clients’ ESG preferences mandatory – and adoption quickly becomes the norm for all those providing investment advice in the UK and Europe.  Jim Henning, Head of Investment Services

2020 will be the year in which cashflow becomes quick and easy to get right – and a full range of applications will become apparent.  Heather Richards, Head of Actuarial Insight