Fortnightly News Blog – 29th March 2022

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Following the 2020 capital markets union (CMU) action plan, the European Commission is preparing a retail investment strategy, which aims to take a holistic view of investor protection rules. The consultation closed on 21 March, but for those who missed it, you can read the consultation here.

Responsible Investing / ESG

Biodiverse, naturally

Using insights from the Natural History Museum’sbiodiversity trends explorer’, Federated Hermes has launched its Biodiversity Equity Fund. Classified as an article nine strategy under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund invests in a concentrated portfolio of companies helping to preserve and restore biodiversity. Read about it in Citywire here.

SFDR performance

Sustainability analytics and data science platform, Clarity AI, has launched new research ‘EU Taxonomy: Using Tech to Analyze Green’, analysing 31,000 equity funds on how they perform against the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Read the research paper here and in brief in Ignites Europe here.

SEC Scrutiny 

Under new plans announced by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), publicly-listed US companies could be forced to disclose the climate-related impacts of their business. Reported on in the Financial Times (FT) here. Read the full SEC paper here.

Collaboration for good

The IFRS Foundation and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have put in place a collaboration agreement, here, under which their respective standard-setting boards, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), will seek to coordinate their work programmes and standard-setting activities. 

For our FBC members who couldn’t attend our meeting on responsible investment / ESG with the FRC and FCA earlier in March, the full recording is now available in your Member Portal here.

Future proofing

Board pressure  

ETFS Capital and Lion Point have jointly written an open letter to WisdomTree, calling for the resignation of the CEO and proposing three potential candidates for election to WisdomTree’s board at its 2022 annual meeting. The investor groups put this action down to an effort to reverse underperformance and restore credibility. Reported on in Investment Week here.

Data power

Fund data firm, Kneip Communication, has been bought by Deutsche Börse, the operator of Frankfurt’s stock exchange. The deal, which the firm says lays foundations for a ‘leading fund data hub’ in Luxembourg, is expected to close by the end of March (timing as of going to press). Read the write up in Ignites Europe here.

Fund Business

Impact of ARK

In a wide-ranging speech at the recent NextWealth Live conference exploring how the asset management industry can be more relevant to retail investors, CEO of Schroders, Peter Harrison, said that the asset management industry needs to “stand back” and understand why many retail clients put their money into cryptocurrencies and buy-to-let property. At the same time, he criticised speculative investors in the asset management industry, including ETF provider, Ark Invest, as the best example” of entrants to the industry “speculating rather than investing” and preventing clients from having “good long-term retirements”. Reported on in Ignites Europe here.

Eye on outsourcing

BNY Mellon Fund Services has been fined by the Central Bank of Ireland for regulatory breaches relating to the outsourcing of fund administration activities. Reported on in Professional Adviser here and CBI press release here.

People Power

Brand new role

Kat Ferris from Morgan Stanley Investment Management has moved to a newly created role at Capital Group, as head of product development for Europe and Asia. Reported in Investment Week here.

Brexit benefits?

Both Ireland and Luxembourg have seen considerable business interest from asset managers and other firms since the UK left the European Union, with Fiona Gallagher, Wells Fargo’s regional head commenting on how Brexit … 

was the catalyst for her role being based in Dublin. Read the a Financial News interview, here.

Several of the news outlets cited in this blog require registration or subscription. 

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. In some instances, as indicated, a subscription is required to access certain news articles, and content stored on the FBC portal is freely accessible for FBC members.