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FTSE license charges leave wealth managers seething
by Danielle Levy on Apr 19, 2012 at 09:35
A number of wealth management companies are being asked by FTSE Group to pay substantial amounts for a licence to quote any of its indices in client literature, including the FTSE Apcims benchmarks.
Wealth Manager understands several small and medium-sized firms have been approached by FTSE representatives and asked to pay a standalone fee to quote any of its indices. This has been stripped out from the fee they may have formerly paid for data feeds. It is understood the sums requested depend on assets under management and numbers of registered individuals.
One wealth manager, asked to pay around £40,000 to quote FTSE indices, railed at the lack of flexibility being offered, with the firm asked to pay for whole series of indices.
‘We have no objection to paying, it is just the lack of flexibility, which means if you need half a dozen indices you end up with 800 indices at a huge cost,’ he said. As the firm uses FTSE Apcims benchmarks, he suggests Apcims should tie up with other index providers.
Another wealth manager also recently approached by FTSE, said: ‘For the numbers involved and as the information is so readily available, it has been quite a shock. Prior to this, anyone could make reference to an index in performance statements, accepting that this was readily available information rather than needing a distribution licence.’
But a spokesperson for FTSE denied any changes in its commercial policy, particularly for Apcims members. She added: ‘Our current licensing requirements remain. There may have been some members who were not aware of this.’
The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers was unavailable for comment.
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