It seems the European Commission has vanishingly few supporters of its proposed directive on alternative investment fund managers.
Reporting back from a Eurofi conference in Sweden, at an Efama one in Brussels, Eddy Wymeersch, chairman of Cesr, says eight of ten people on the panel discussing the issue in Sweden thought the draft needed major revision. There is particular concern about its scope. It appears sovereign wealth funds could fall within the remit of the AIFM – which would be nonsensical, according to Mr Wymeersch.
There should be different regimes for different types of funds, he says.
Will the Commission accept it has got this one wrong? Or is it determined not to back down?
When it was just the alternative investment industry complaining and threatening to leave for friendlier shores, the Commission perhaps took the view this was vested interests talking and who cared if the hedgies left for Switzerland?
With a growing chorus of dissent from investors and regulators, does the case for re-examining the proposed legislation get stronger?
UK is bringing out its big guns
The UK is bringing out its big guns in an attempt to shoot down the European Commission’s proposed rules for alternative investment fund managers.
In Monaco, Dan Waters, asset management sector leader at the Financial Services Authority, fired broadsides at several aspects of the directive in a speech at the Fund Forum conference.
Are guaranteed products gaining IFAs' seal of approval?
Although research for the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions says guaranteed products cost too much to be a rational investment for pension savers, independent financial advisers seem to have a different take on things.
More than 90 per cent of IFAs recommend structured products to their clients, according to a survey conducted by Structured Products magazine. Even allowing for the likely bias as IFAs try to be polite to the questioner, that’s a swingeing majority in favour of a product with a distinctly opaque cost structure.
A large part of the cost to investors of guaranteed equity products (the main form mentioned in the survey) is dividends, which the product provider gets to hold onto. The DWP’s research estimates this cost amounts to between 15 and 20 per cent of the amount invested – are IFAs telling their customers that, or are they even aware of it?