As part of a preliminary regulatory review, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned major ESG benchmark administrators of regulatory action due to the ‘potential for widespread failings’. Investment Week and the FCA press release
For all of you needing to keep on the ball with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), take a look at the recently updated Q&A from the CSSF.
Responsible Investment / ESG
ShareAction has assessed and ranked 77 of the world’s largest asset managers on their approach to responsible investment, with focus on performance in five areas: climate action, protecting biodiversity and addressing social issues such as labour rights and public health – and how well their governance and stewardship practices embed investing responsibly at the heart of the business. The reading is not pretty – read the report.
New fund category
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has authorised the first long term asset fund (LTAF). This new category of open-ended authorised funds enables ‘investment in longer-term, less liquid assets, by investors who understand the risks’. Read the details.
Way past Woodford
Waystone Chief Executive, Derek Delaney, speaks to FN London here about the due diligence behind the Link Fund Solutions bid and the desire to move past the Woodford scandal.
Asset managers in the US warn that the thousands of new funds launched in the past decade has led to an ‘oversupplied’ market and a confusing range of choice for retail investors. Reported in the Financial Times (FT) here, the themes resonate in the UK, especially through a Consumer Duty lens.
Speaking recently at the NextWealth Live conference, JP Morgan Asset Management’s chief executive officer for EMEA, Patrick Thomson, voiced his concerns over industry jargon – ‘we in the asset management industry do a terrible job of explaining our strategies’. For his suggestions, take a look at the article in Ignites Europe here.
The UBS takeover of Credit Suisse has moved at such a pace this past week that this FT explainer, including a section on the positives for combining the asset management businesses, here, may be useful.
We have to at least mention the Silicon Valley Bank debacle – the governance red flags, including the lack of a chief risk officer and a well-timed stock sale by its CEO, Gregory Becker, are reported on in the FT’s Moral Money here. And some interesting insight on the bank’s culture, reported in the Wall Street Journal, here.
Inclusion & Diversity
Investing in equality
The Girls’ School Association, which includes St Paul’s School and Cheltenham Ladies, has adopted a new investment policy focusing its investments on companies with a strong female presence on boards and with women in roles such as chief executive, chief financial officer and chair. Where companies don’t meet the criteria, they will either be excluded, or they will look to engage with them to improve. Read the press release here.
Amid a series of changes to the composition of Scottish Mortgage’s £13.1bn investment trust’s board, chair, Fiona McBain, is set to exit after 14 years. Justin Dowley, a current senior independent director will succeed McBain as chair with effect from the 2023 AGM, subject to his re-election. Director Amar Bhidé will also leave the board. Investment Week here.
Phil Wagstaff, non-executive chair of Jupiter’s UK fund board, has been appointed chairman of Solomon Investment Management, the parent company of You Asset Management.
And Sarah Cox, head of UK fund governance, operations and client services for BNY Mellon Investment Management, has been appointed as a new director of BNY Mellon Global Funds. Find more details on both appointments in Ignites Europe here.
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