Asim meeting sets out agenda

Ruthven Gemmell, head of investment at Edinburgh firm Murray Beith Murray, is to be the Scottish director of the Association of Solicitors Investment Managers (Asim). He was voted in at the association's recent annual general meeting, as were five new member firms.

At the meeting, chair David Lough reported that Asim was concentrating its efforts on services to members and had responded to consultation papers about the custody of documents and on the new solicitors' investment business rules (SIBR). It had also sought to prepare members for Crest. However, he added much PR still needed to be done.

Lough noted the threat to registered professional bodies (RPBs) as regulators and said the board believed Asim members would prefer to be regulated by the law societies because dual regulation would be cumbersome, particularly in relation to client accounts.

On the subject of officers and directors, Lough said he had previously had to corral people to join the board but Asim had reached the stage where a democratic election was desirable.

On the submission of custody and SIBR, vice-chair Nicholas Grazebrook said Asim had taken a practical view on compliance officers, saying that while they should have experience in portfolio management and securities, they did not need to be a solicitor.

He said a working party, led by Stuart MacDonald, of Moore & Blatch, was forwarding Asim's recommendations on the practicalities of Chinese walls between the firm and its investment department.

Problems may arise if the corporate department is involved in a deal which may effect a share price.