Fortnightly News Blog – 21st June 2022

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EU review

EU finance ministers met in Luxembourg on Friday, 17 June 2022, to agree on a shared stance for the ongoing review into UCITs rules and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) ahead of plenary negotiations with MEPs. Read the press release here.

Languishing liquidity

In a working paper on Luxembourg funds’ use of liquidity management tools, here the Luxembourg regulator, CSSF assesses the “effectiveness” of liquidity buffers, swing pricing and redemption freezes during the Covid-19 turmoil, and in the years before. According to the Luxembourg watchdog, its findings suggest that funds’ liquidity management tools “work well in normal times but could be made more effective during episodes of stress”. Ignites Europe here.  

FBC’s inaugural Luxembourg event will be hosted on 6 July 2022. We are delighted to be hosted by FBC corporate member Franklin Templeton and welcoming Marco Zwick, director of CSSF, for a fireside chat with Philip Warland and a panel discussion, hosted by Sheenagh Gordon-Hart, a portfolio iNED and partner in The Directors’ Office, with panellists: Craig Blair, CEO, Franklin Templeton Luxembourg, Corinne Lamesch, Country Head, Luxembourg at Fidelity International and chair of ALFI, and Emmanuel Gutton, Director of Tax and Legal, ALFI. Further details are here. All FBC members will be able to watch the event on-demand shortly after in your FBC Member Portal.


Back to the future?

In the Deloitte survey, here, of 11 EMEA asset managers, half of respondents increased their fees on both active and passive products. 50 per cent say they increased average fees for passive funds by less than 5 per cent, the remainder say they lowered fees by up to 10 per cent. After recent downward pressure on fees are we now going back to a fee free for all? Time will tell. Reported on in Ignites Europe here.

Consumer Cynicism

In other words, it’s not enough to be right. You’d better be able to prove it. Does the consumer world need to tone down the green talk, for its own good? Risk that even as regulators crack down, consumers become more cynical. In the Financial Times here.

New to FBC’s podcast series, FBC senior adviser, Brandon Horwitz, speaks to Sebastjan Smodis from State Street Global Advisers on Managing Fund Liquidity in 2022, including the impact of the Ukraine war and rising interest rates and inflation. Listen to the podcast or watch the video here. FBC members can also watch Brandon’s previous discussion with Sebastjan, Liquidity Risk Management: A practitioners view on best practice, in their member portal here.

Disrupted roadshow

Protesters from climate activist group Extinction Rebellion interrupted a Vanguard sustainable roadshow in Glasgow. In Citywire here.


Prepared for Duty?

Deloitte survey findings on how investment managers and wealth managers are preparing for Consumer Duty – including how Consumer Duty ranks versus other strategic priorities, key challenges of implementation, which committees are likely to be responsible for the governance and oversight of outcomes, here.


Governance Gripes

A London-listed fund linked to Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has come under pressure from a group of insurgent investors seeking to shake up its board “to improve governance and restore trust”. Peltz, known for waging campaigns against the management of companies including consumer goods group Unilever and asset manager Janus Henderson, has found himself the target of investors demanding changes at his Trian Investors 1 fund. In the Financial Times here.

Index providers no longer just data providers: SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is considering new rules that would treat index providers, model portfolio providers and pricing services as investment advisers. Read the story in Investment Week here.


DWS whistle-blower joins non-profit

Former DWS group sustainability officer Desiree Fixler has joined the board of non-profit ESG investment initiative VentureESG, 14 months after her dismissal from the €928bn AUM German asset manager after she blew the whistle on the firm’s greenwashing activities. In Investment Week here.

AJ Bell steps down as CEO

AJ Bell chief executive Andy Bell will step down in October after 27 years in the role, the company has announced. Bell will remain on the AJ Bell board and become a non-executive deputy chair. His departure is subject to regulatory approval. In Citywire here.

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.