The Association of Private Client Managers (Apcims) went into the red last year as it decided to scale up its efforts in helping managers battle EU regulation.
The trade body posted a pre-tax loss of £68,778 in the year to 31 May compared to a £99,434 profit last year, following heavy investment in a member handbook on implementing EU rules.
Revenues and cash were flat on the year and Apcims has pledged to only raise its membership fees in line with inflation.
Apcims has increasingly had to shift its focus towards working on regulation coming out of Europe.
Speaking to Wealth Manager after the trade body released its full-year results, chief executive Tim May said he felt Apcims’ most successful projects over the last year were on interpreting EU regulations.
‘We changed our focus to be as much looking at Europe as we are looking at UK regulations,’ he said.
‘That’s a big change for a group like Apcims because of the work that’s involved and it’s a benefit for our members.’
He said that the body’s focus over the next year would ‘strongly remain the EU’ but that it was also doing a ‘terrific’ amount of work on Fatca and was preparing for the follow-on from the retail distribution review and the FSA’s suitability focus.
A website will be gradually populated with information helping wealth managers navigate the EU regulation minefield.
He also said he was positive on the prospects for taking on new members – particularly since Brooks Macdonald was recently signed up – and in spite of the ever-increasing cost pressures which mean many firms will have little cash left over for Apcims membership.
‘We feel quite positive [about taking on new members],’ May said. ‘If I’m honest these things take a while particularly in a slow economic environment. I was in discussions with Brooks for over a year and then it came to a point where they in their business plans decided it was time to join.’