Fortnightly News Blog – 27 June 2023

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Voting values

The Vote Reporting Group, convened by but independent of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has proposed a new vote reporting template for asset managers to explain their voting activity to clients, Investment Week reports. The consultation closes on 21 September 2023.

Future-proofing funds

As part of its review into the state of the Irish funds sector, the Department of Finance in Ireland has published its Funds Sector 2030 consultation paper.  Focused on maintaining Ireland’s status as the second-largest fund domicile in the EU, the paper explores the potential changes in regulation, tax rules for investment products and real estate funds, and measures to mitigate financial stability risks. Ignites Europe has the key points, and the consultation closes on 15 September 2023.

Odey investigation

As the Odey sexual misconduct allegations unfolded, Britain’s Treasury Select Committee has written to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to question the regulator’s supervision of Odey Asset Management (OAM) and its founder Crispin Odey, Reuters reports. A response is due by 5 July. Read further details of the FCA’s interactions with Odey on Tortoise. 


Culture creators

The Central Bank of Ireland has carried out a thematic assessment on embedding an effective conduct focused culture in wholesale market firms. It focuses particularly on the role of board and senior management in culture.

Effective impact

A new report from PWC and The Conference Board incorporating data from a survey of more than 600 C-suite executives looks into the highs and lows of board effectiveness.

Sinecure censure

Sheenagh Gordon-Hart, independent fund director at The Directors Office in Luxembourg and regular contributor to the Fund Boards Council (FBC) quarterly newsletter, leads an article in Ignites Europe warning fund chairs ‘shouldn’t be sinecure’ with their growing responsibilities and accountability. Independent director, Julian Bartlett, and our own FBC MD, Catherine Battershill, also add comment on board meetings and the changing scope and development of the board.  

Valued views

For any iNEDs out there who sit on audit committees, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has produced a review on fair value of assets. Read the full report or listen to the podcast. 

Sustainable Investment / ESG

Globally green

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has launched its long-awaited inaugural sustainability disclosure standards. The standards are designed to enable sustainability-related reporting, to be used alongside annual statements and accounts, at a global level for the first time, Investment Week reports.

Industry News

Stress under scrutiny

The Bank of England (BoE) has launched its first system-wide stress test, to “provide valuable insight into the dynamics for banks and non-banks following a severe but plausible stress to financial markets”, Ignites Europe reports. The BoE will publish the full list of participants and details of the stress scenario later in the year and a final report will be published in 2024.

Confidence criteria

Following last year’s fractious pay dispute, FCA staff morale and confidence in their leadership is on the rise, but questions remain. Read the lowdown in Financial News.

The speech from the FCA’s Emily Shepperd at the recent Westminster Business Forum is also worth a read. The Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Authorisations spoke about the evolving demands of markets and consumers, the fitness and propriety of staff, and the importance of culture.

Comparable comedown

Research organisations Cerulli and Morningstar anticipate that active funds are likely to reduce fees to compete with ETF’s. Read the background data and commentary in Ignites Europe.

Tokenisation trend

In a recent interview, Jupiter CEO, Matthew Beesley, comments on tokenisation helping to individualise investments, and the potential impact on the distribution of UK asset manager’s products. Ignites Europe provides the key interview commentary.


Tim Sargisson, formerly Chief Executive of Sandringham Partners, has been appointed by Schroders to run Benchmark Financial Planning, FT Adviser reports. Catch Tim’s views on Why Consumer Duty redefines the relationship between Manufacturers and Distributors in his contribution to our FBC quarterly newsletter recently.

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.