SEB Investment Management’s global head of distribution markets, Sara Hanvik, voiced concerns over ‘unsustainable’ and ‘unacceptable’ UK regulatory waiting times. Citing being given a date of response of February 2023 following a registration application documentation sent to the FCA in late July, she said, “The UK after Brexit is becoming a very, very difficult market for us European management companies.” Reported in Ignites Europe here.
Europe’s market watchdog, ESMA, has extended the deadline to implement its guidelines on new client sustainability preference rules under Mifid II by six months, from the two months originally proposed. Ignites Europe here.
A Financial Conduct Authority Dear CEO letter sent in early September voices concern that some benchmark administrators “have not accurately described the economic reality that their benchmarks measure” with “particular concerns” in relation to disclosure by ESG benchmarks. More details in Ignites Europe here.
NGO’s say no
Five non-governmental organisations have left the European Commission‘s advisory group on sustainable finance because it has transformed the taxonomy “from a gold standard into an instrument of institutional greenwashing”, Ignites Europe reports here. The organisations include the World Wildlife Fund, Transport and Environment, the Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs, the European consumer organisation, BirdLife Europe and the Brussels-based Environmental Coalition on Standards.
Deepest Green Disputed
More than one in four ESG fund units marketed under the European Union’s deepest green label are at risk of being stripped of their designation, an analysis for FE Fundinfo has suggested. Of the more than 750 ESG funds registered for sale in Europe last year, a third were conversions of existing strategies. Citywire Selector reports here.
People & Progress
Fitz Partners research, which is based on asset managers’ confidential fee schedules covering 1,300 funds, shows fund management firms have suffered a 10% decline in revenue they generate from management fees over the past three years. FN London here reports on what’s behind the decline.
St. James’s Place is planning to merge four of its UK equity income funds to create one portfolio with an AUM of £4.3bn. The funds being combined are: Allshare Income, Equity Income, UK Income, and UK and International Income. Further details in Investment Week here.
iNEDs in depth
The Ignites Europe Fund Director Briefing (email subscription) has a new regular feature on the role of independent fund directors and board dynamics. In the first article, Fund Boards Council (FBC) Managing Director Catherine Battershill comments on the importance of ‘balancing getting to know the business in sufficient depth […] with maintaining the very independence that is so crucial to the role.’
Bell Bow Out
Investment platform AJ Bell’s chair Helena Morrissey will ‘step aside so a new chair can take the board forward” after less than a year in the role. AJ Bell’s founder and CEO, Andy Bell, announced he would be stepping down back in June, to be replaced by deputy CEO Michael Summersgill on 1 October. Investment Week here.
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