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Investment management company THESIS has become the first law firm-based investment adviser to win authorisation from regulatory body IMRO.
Anthony Wands, managing director of THESIS, part of Thomas Eggar Verral Bowles, says the decision to switch from Fimbra to IMRO regulation was based on a feeling that the firm had outgrown the regulatory regimes of both Fimbra, now merged into the PIA, and the Law Society.
According to Wands: "With the demise of Fimbra and its merger into the PIA [from January 1995], we decided that the business wasn't suited to the PIA and approached IMRO as the more obvious regulator of the added-value investment activity we are involved in."
Wands says IMRO regulation will expose THESIS to a "more rigorous and inquisitive regime" in conducting its personal investment business. But he insisted that IMRO-accreditation would enhance the
firm's reputation among clients as well as improve its growth prospects.
"The PIA is fine if you are involved mostly in life and pension business. But if you are doing full investment management, you need to be regulated by people at the forefront of that industry," he says.