2016 knowledge brokers

Jon Exley

In a time when your industry is under more ­scrutiny­ than ever, how do you defend investment ­consultants to your critics? 

Consultants have played a positive role in moving the ball forward. It’s surprising when you look back at just how much progress has been made in this sector. Investing is an arms race as products get more complex—consultants have helped trustees implement strategies such as liability-driven investment and avoid some of the worst excesses and mistakes made by some investors in the run up to the financial crisis. It’s difficult to criticize consultants when to a large extent we have had the right motives and we have moved the ball forward as an industry. Fees have been fairly low relative to asset management fees—people should judge the value in that context.

* Exley will join Schroders later this year after five years with KPMG.

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