Nigel Thomas, manager of the £3.3bn AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund, has said the level of regulation facing the asset management industry is "excessive" and "stifling entrepreneurship".
Speaking at Investment Week's Funds to Watch Conference, the veteran fund manager said the amount of regulation has increased significantly throughout his near 40-year career and he believes it is having a negative impact on the sector.
He said: "Regulation is stifling entrepreneurship in our industry. It has become excessive. When I started in 1979, we just did not have this as we were self-regulated."
Thomas noted the incoming MiFID II regulations, which come into force in January 2018, have meant the group has had to review its use of research, although AXA IM has already committed to absorbing costs in this area.
He said: "We are going through a process at the moment to work out what research we need and what we do not."
Thomas added that some of the big investment banks have "very high expectations" with regards to the pricing of research, while adding his fund "will not consume a lot" of the research it did previously.
However, he added he is not as concerned about less research being available for small- to mid-cap UK companies due to added pressures on brokers, as he embraces his own research for firms of that size.
"There are plenty of great UK companies out there, and it is great going out, meeting them and learning about what they do."
Meanwhile, Thomas, who is also co-manager of the £178m UK Growth and £206m UK Mid Cap funds, said there was a lot of "scaremongering about Brexit", but he did not believe many industries would be badly impacted.
He said: "[For example], we heard recently the Japanese would pull out of the UK if we left the European Union (EU). They have plenty of investment sunk in this country, alongside the most productive car factory in Europe, run by Nissan, and all the takeovers they have made.
"I do not think these sorts of headlines are very constructive, but obviously the EU does not want it to be an easy process - to discourage other countries [from trying to leave the bloc]."
Thomas conceded UK consumer-facing firms are seeing pressure from Brexit, but said on the capital goods side, for example, it is not going to change the way they do business.
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