Asim's chair spells out goals

The new chairman of the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim), Iain Nicholson, has promised to fight to keep investment advice within legal practice.

Nicholson, senior partner of Newcastle solicitors Nicholson & Co, replaced retiring chairman Anthony Wands of Thesis at Asim's annual general meeting in Bournemouth on 14 June. He is the first chairman to be a qualified lawyer as well as an investment manager since Asim was founded four years ago.

Nicholson said that he saw his major challenge coming from the Government's review of City regulators and that he wanted the new rules to continue to allow investment advice to be kept within firms, rather than having to hive it off in separate companies.

“I like the idea of having a super SIB [Securities and Investment Board] and a tidying-up of the regulations, but the question is whether solicitors can, within the new detailed rules that are to be drawn up, go on being able to provide independent advice within their firms,” he said.

“Having an integrated service is a very popular concept with the public. It is natural for someone seeking help with tax planning and wills to also ask for investment advice.”

On the issue of whether Asim would fight to keep the Law Society as its regulator or allow regulation to transfer to a super SIB, Nicholson said: “We are very satisfied with the way we are regulated by the Law Society. Besides, all solicitors are already closely monitored under the Solicitors Act.”