Fortnightly News Blog – 11 October 2022

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LTAF access risks

The Association of Investment Companies has voiced concern over the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) plans to broaden access to the Long-Term Asset Fund structure, published in its consultation paper, here, saying it carries a risk of “investor harm”. Report in Ignites Europe here.

Consumer Duty latest

For a refresher on how the FCA sees Consumer Duty playing out, and how they will hold boards accountable, take a look at Sheldon Mills’ speech here. Further clarification from the FCA on some of the Consumer Duty questions to date are here. And a view of the looming deadline from James Rainbow, head of UK distribution at Schroders and chair of Schroder Unit Trusts, in Ignites Europe here.

Accelerated approvals

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) is accelerating the approval process of updates to fund documents as investment managers prepare to meet SFDR level 2 requirements, reported by Funds Europe here. Asset managers must submit amendments to the central bank by 1st December. The next level of SFDR will be introduced in January.

Open-ended arguments

Fund management trade bodies disagree with the warning from the International Monetary Fund’ (IMF) that open-ended funds pose a systemic risk to financial markets FN London reports here. The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and ICI argue that the IMF’s concerns about the $41tn sector are unfounded.

Common culture concerns

The European Securities and Markets Authority sees a need to create a common supervisory culture in the EU and believes that national financial supervisors need to intensify their horizontal, cross-border cooperation. More in Investment Officer here.



ESG reclassified

Morningstar believes a ‘great reclassification’ of ESG is coming. The growing complexity of Europe’s sustainable finance framework, and a lack of clear guidance from EU supervisors, is leading to a fragmented application of the benchmark EU regulation that determines which investment funds are sustainable, and which are not. Read more in Investment Officer here.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research, voiced how standardising ESG disclosures is a key challenge for the industry to overcome, at the recent Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, stressing the importance of bringing “some terminology and some homogeny to this industry”. Reported in Investment Week here.



Compliance re-assessed

Allianz is overhauling its compliance structure following the collapse of funds managed by Allianz Global Investors. This was following being urged by Germany’s regulator to upgrade to its internal control processes. Ignites Europe reports here.

Actuarial aptitude

Our own Brandon Horwitz, senior adviser and non-executive director at Fund Boards Council (FBC), discusses the value that actuaries can bring as non-executive directors, and how those interested can get involved, here on The Actuary.

Interesting conflicts

Martin Gilbert has been asked to step down from the board of two major Luxembourg-based funds, called Sicavs, run by Abrdn because of potential “conflicts of interest”. Reports in the Financial Times here and Ignites Europe here.

Health & Wellbeing

A new report from asset manager CCLA has found that some of the largest companies fall short on employee mental health, including objectives and policies. A snapshot of the report is in FN London here. Read the full report here.

Meanwhile, Wealth Manager Quilter has appointed a former Disney wellbeing manager Daisy Dupree-Loxton as its new head of wellbeing, to introduce a new programme to employees, reported here in Money Marketing.

Growing demand

In order to meet anticipated demand, the FCA will add another 20 case officers by the end of 2022, according to Money Marketing here.



Effectiveness perfected

A new ‘2022 Global Director Behaviors and Board Culture’ study, shares director insights about the people they serve with, how they focus their time and attention, and how well their board operates, including both its effectiveness and its overall culture. Read the full report from Russell Reynolds here.

Inclusion vs diversity

Harvard Business Review, here, offers several research-backed strategies to help boards become inclusive. These come from an analysis of director diversity and financial performance of the FTSE 350, as well as a series of in-depth interviews with global board members.

Several of the news outlet cited in this blog require registration or subscription. Also, FBC takes no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of the news in the links provided above, and nor are the views and comments representative of FBC or its members, unless expressly stated. Content stored on the FBC portal is freely accessible for FBC members.