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    ALFI Newsdigest march 8, 2012    
          in this edition      
    1. Headlines
2. News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia
3. ALFI events
4. Other events



Bill of law No. 6318 amending the Luxembourg law of 13 February 2007 on specialised investment funds has been adopted

On 6th March 2012, the Luxembourg Parliament passed bill of law No. 6318 (the “Law”) amending the Luxembourg law of 13th February 2007 on specialised investment funds.

Read more.

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ALFI UCITS IV implementation project - Issue 12 of KID Q&A Document

Please find issue 12 of ALFI’s Q&A Document with questions and proposed answers about Key Investor Information Document (KID) implementation. Changes compared to the previous edition are shown in mark-up. The section with Q&A on CESR’s guidelines on the methodology for the calculation of the synthetic risk and reward indicator in the KID was further updated.

More information on how to submit questions is included on page 2 of the Q&A Document.

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European Parliament: ECON draft report on the FTT proposal

On 10th February 2012, European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) published a draft report on the proposal for a Council directive on a common system of financial transaction tax and amending Directive 2008/7/EC.

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European Commission white paper on pensions

On February 16th 2012, the European Commission published its White Paper: An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions.

The White Paper proposes to:

  • Develop complementary private retirement schemes by encouraging social partners to develop such schemes and encouraging Member States to optimise tax and other incentives;
  • Enhance the safety of supplementary pension schemes, including through a revision of the directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) and better information for consumers;
  • Make supplementary pensions compatible with mobility, through legislation protecting the pension rights of mobile workers and by promoting the establishment of pension tracking services across the EU. This can provide citizens with information about pension entitlements and projections of their income after retirement;
  • Continue to monitor the adequacy, sustainability and safety of pensions and support pension reforms in the Member States;
  • Create better opportunities for older workers by calling on the social partners to adapt work place and labour market practices and by using the European Social Fund to bring older workers into work;
  • Encourage Member States to promote longer working lives, by linking retirement age with life expectancy, restricting access to early retirement and closing the pension gap between men and women.

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European Commission: consultation on European company law

On 20th February 2012, the European Commission launched a consultation on the future of European company law.

Input is requested both on the general orientation of European company law and on more specific initiatives that could be envisaged in the future.

The consultation is open until 14th May 2012. The responses received will be analysed and a feedback statement summarising the results will be published. Follow-up actions would be taken afterwards.

Click here for FAQs on European company law.

Read more.

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Distribution of foreign funds to Germany: consistent investor information

The German regulator BaFin has stated that foreign funds which are distributed to Germany by way of private placement will have to provide a Key Investor Information Document (KIID) to its potential investors, and not a so called Produktinformationsblatt (PIB, product information sheet). It would be confusing for a client if he received a KIID according to the Investmentgesetz (InvG, investment act) for a foreign, publicly distributed investment fund, but a PIB according to the Wertpapierhandelsgesetz (WpHG, securities trading act) for a foreign, non-publicly distributed investment fund. This would be contrary to the aim of consistent investor information for structurally similar products.

However, investment funds which, pursuant to their domestic law, do not yet have to produce a KIID, can continue to use the simplified prospectus until 1st July 2012.

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FATCA: Release of proposed regulations

On 8th February 2012, the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations for the next major phase of implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

The regulations lay out a step-by-step process for U.S. account identification, information reporting, and withholding requirements for foreign financial institutions (FFIs), other foreign entities, and U.S. withholding agents.

The proposed regulations implement FATCA’s obligations in stages to minimize burdens and costs consistent with achieving the statute’s compliance objectives. The rules and implementation schedule are also adjusted to allow time for resolving local law limitations to which some FFIs may be subject.

Read more.

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EFAMA: impact of FTT on UCITS

On 27th February 2012, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)  published a study on the potential impact of the FTT on the UCITS industry.

Press release.

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EFAMA guidance on responsible investing information in the KIID & post investment disclosure

On 16th February 2012, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has published a guidance on responsible investing in the Key Investor Information Document (KIID) and post investment disclosure. It suggests standards of transparency to be introduced in the KIID. It also outlines first proposals for reporting standards for the post-investment phase.

Standards of transparency for fund documentation other than the KIID shall be addressed in a separate document shortly.

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ESMA: publication of an update to the Q&A on Money Market Funds

Two new Q&A have been added, Q15 and Q16. The purpose of this document is to promote common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of the guidelines on a Common Definition of European Money Market Funds developed by CESR by providing responses to questions posed by the general public and competent authorities.

The content of this document is aimed at competent authorities to ensure that in their supervisory activities their actions are converging along the lines of the responses adopted by ESMA. However, the answers are also intended to help management companies by providing clarity as to the content of CESR’s guidelines on a Common Definition of European Money Market Funds, rather than creating an extra layer of requirements.

For more information, please click here.

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ESMA's discussion paper on types of AIFM

ESMA published on 23rd February 2012 a discussion paper on the key concepts of the AIFMD and types of AIFM.

The discussion paper covers the following topics :

  • Definition of AIFM
  • Definition of AIF
  • Appointment of AIFM
  • Treatment of UCITS management companies
  • Treatment of MiFID firms and Credit institutions

Comments are welcome until 23rd March 2012.

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ESMA consults on guidelines for UCITS ETFs and other UCITS issues

In the summer of 2010 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) started looking into the operation of UCITS making use of the new investment freedoms introduced by the UCITS III Directive and the Eligible Assets Directive (2007/16/EC) in order to identify the possible impact on investor protection and market integrity. As part of this work, ESMA published a discussion paper on policy orientations on guidelines for UCITS Exchange-Traded Funds and Structured UCITS on 22nd July 2011 (ESMA/2011/220), responses to which were due by 22nd September 2011.

On 30th January 2012, following the consultation in summer, ESMA has published a consultation paper entitled “ESMA’s guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues”. The proposals cover both synthetic and physical undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and outline future obligations to apply to UCITS ETFs, index tracking UCITS, efficient portfolio management techniques, total return swaps and strategy indices for UCITS.

The proposals cover areas such as the use of total return swaps by any UCITS, for which ESMA envisages additional obligations in connection with collateral to be provided, or a UCITS investing in strategy indices, where the requirements on eligibility of such indices have been tightened. The proposals also include obligations on UCITS ETFs to use identifiers and facilitate the ability of investors to redeem their shares (whether in the secondary market or directly with the ETF provider).

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IOSCO consults on principles for ongoing disclosure for asset backed securities

The Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) has published a consultation report – Principles for Ongoing Disclosure for Asset Backed Securities (ABS Ongoing Disclosure Principles) – containing principles designed to provide guidance to securities regulators who are developing or reviewing their regulatory regimes for ongoing disclosure for asset-backed securities (ABS). The objective of the ABS Ongoing Disclosure Principles is to enhance investor protection by facilitating a better understanding of the issues that should be considered by regulators in developing or reviewing their ongoing disclosure regimes for ABS.

The closing date for responses is Monday, 21th May 2012.

Read more.

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IOSCO: consultation on suitability requirements for complex financial products

The Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) has published a consultation report – Suitability Requirements with respect to the Distribution of Complex Financial Products (Suitability Requirements) – which sets out proposed principles relating to the customer protections, including suitability and disclosure obligations, which relate to the distribution by intermediaries of complex financial products to retail and non-retail customers.

The report was prompted by concerns regarding the assessment of customer suitability in relation to the distribution of complex financial products arising out of and in connection with recent market turmoil.  It also supports the call by the G20 for action to review business conduct rules.

As part of its work in developing this report IOSCO surveyed members on current regulatory frameworks with respect to conduct of business rules and required disclosures to customers regarding the distribution of complex financial products.  In addition industry associations were also surveyed on industry practices with regard to suitability requirements with regard to complex financial products.

A summary of the outcome of these surveys, including lessons learned from the financial crisis and the relevant actions undertaken by members, is included as an Appendix to the Report.

The closing date for responses to this consultation report are due by Monday, 21th May 2012.

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IOSCO seeks comment on revised valuation principles for investment funds

The Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a consultation report on Principles for the Valuation of Collective Investment Schemes, setting out principles that can be used to assess the quality of regulation and industry practices concerning the valuation of collective investment schemes (CIS), thereby ensuring that investors are treated fairly.

Read more.

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ALFI new Director for Communications and Business Development

ALFI is pleased to announce the recruitment of Ms Anouk Agnes as new Director for Communications and Business Development.

Press release.

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LFF Mediawatch

Please find the latest LFF Mediawatch, covering the period from 1-15 February 2012 and 16-29 February 2012.

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News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia

Hong Kong: Consultation Conclusions on Guidelines concerning Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorist Financing

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong published, in September last year, a consultation paper over anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The consultation conclusions were published in January 2012, and can be found by following this link.

The new guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing, which appears in Appendix 2, will take effect on 1st April 2012. The prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guideline is defined in Appendix 3, and also applicable from 1st April 2012 onwards.

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ALFI events

ALFI confirmed events

ALFI events calendar.

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13 & 14 March 2012: ALFI Spring Conference

Conference agenda: Click here.

Registration & fees: Click here. Now 650 registered !

Exhibition & Sponsorship: Already 53 exhibitors and 27 sponsors confirmed! Click here to see the list and for the exhibition opportunities available.

For any further information and up-dates, please visit the conference webpage.

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New Series of ALFI Leading Edge Conferences

ALFI is planning a series of three Leading Edge Conferences focused on the AIFM Directive and the impact on the three alternative fund categories.

1st conference – 29th March – impact on Private Equity Funds – in association with LPEA

Programme – click here!

Open for sponsorship –  click here!

Registration fee from only €250 – click here!

2nd conference – 3rd April -  impact on Real Estate Funds – in association with INREV

Draft programme coming soon! Click here!

Open for sponsorship – deadline 13th March - click here!

Registration fee from only €250 – click here - Early bird deadline 4th April!

3rd conference - 3rd July – impact on Hedge Funds – in association with AIMA

Draft programme coming soon! Click here!

Open for sponsorship – deadline 8th May - click here!

Registration fee from only €250 – open soon - click here! – Early bird deadline 4th June!

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18 April 2012: ALFI & PRiM Risk Management Conference

Programme online! Click here.

Registration - Click here - Early bird fee for ALFI & PRiM members only €300 by 16th March!

Sponsorship - Click here for details and the agreement form.

For all other information click here for the conference webpage.

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10 May 2012: ALFI Responsible Investing Conference – making a difference

Two conferences formerly known as the ALFI MicroFinance Conference and the ALFI Sustainable & Responsible Investment Conference have joined forces to create this new one day event that will take place at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Kirchberg, Luxembourg.

Programme online! Click here.

Registration - click here – early bird fee of only €250 by 23rd March!

Sponsorship - click here.

For all other information click here for the conference webpage

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23 May 2012: ALFI Conference London

Save the date!

Savoy Place (IET), No.2 Savoy Place, WC2R 0BL

Programme: coming soon – click here.

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18-19 September 2012: ALFI Global Distribution Conference

Save the date !

Further details will be published on ALFI’s website once available, click here.

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Other events

15 March 2012: "Luxembourg and Denmark: Finance and IT Across Borders"

The Danish Embassy in Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL), the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor and Copenhagen Finance IT Region (CFIR) are pleased to invite you to the "Luxembourg and Denmark: Finance and IT Across Borders" conference which will take place at Public Research Centre Henri Tudor on Thursday 15th March 2012.

Invitation letter.

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20-21 March 2012: "Roles & Responsibilities of Fund Directors" Seminar

ILA (Luxembourg Institute of Directors), ALFI and IFBL are pleased to announce the new schedule of the interactive seminar: “Roles and Responsibilities of UCI Directors”.

This 2-day seminar will be held in English, and will take place at the IFBL Training Center (Chambre de Commerce) on Tuesday 20th March & Wednesday 21st March 2012, from 8.45am to 5.00pm.

Detailed program.

Registration form.

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