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Understanding Investing 简体中文网页 Members section

- ALFI statements

On 23 October 2015, ALFI responded to the ESMA consultation paper on guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD. ESMA will finalise the UCITS Remuneration Guidelines and publish a final report by early Q 1 2016  ahead of the transposition deadline for the UCITS V Directive. The final report is expected to also include the revision of the AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines as proposed in the consultation paper.

Download the document here.

Updated on 28/10/15
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- ALFI statements

According to the ELTIF Regulation, ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) to determine the criteria for establishing the circumstances in which the use of financial derivative instruments solely serves hedging purposes, the circumstances in which the life of a European long-term investment fund is considered sufficient in length, the criteria to be used for certain elements of the itemised schedule for the orderly disposal of the ELTIF assets, the costs disclosure and the facilities available to retail investors. This consultation paper represents the first stage in the development of the draft RTS.

Download the ALFI’s response here.

Updated on 23/10/15
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- Press releases

ALFI recently launched a new campaign on Twitter called #askALFI. Followers can ask questions related to the investment fund industry using hashtag #askALFI and ALFI experts respond to selected questions via short video messages. Claude Niedner (Arendt & Medernach) updates us on the latest news regarding the European Commission's project on the Capital Markets Union established to increase funding to SMEs, to create more opportunities for investors and to facilitate cross-border investment.

Mr Niedner says:
One of the objectives of the CMU is to improve the functioning of the passport for European investment funds. We speak about both UCITS and alternative investment funds. There are still some barriers to the functioning of the passport such as fees which are collected by national competent authorities when a fund is registered for a distribution in a host country. Some jurisdictions also impose some gold plating components on investment funds such as requirements for paying agents, local paying agents. The objective of the CMU with respect to investment funds is to improve the functioning of the passport and therefore take away those barriers. The objective is to have the CMU plan in place by 2019, but on the investment fund side, our expectation is that these measures will be put in place much more rapidly within the next couple of years.

 

Updated on 06/10/15
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- Press releases

Join us for another NICSA webinar in the series sponsored by ALFI to hear about the findings of the study "Beyond their borders: evolution of foreign investment by pension funds".

Register now!

Pension funds around the world are increasingly looking beyond their borders to address their investment needs according to the  recently released global pension fund report produced by PwC Luxembourg and commissioned by the Association of Luxembourg Fund Industry's (ALFI).

The report - which looks at the growth of pension funds globally, the asset allocation of pension funds on a regional basis and the foreign investment of pension funds - found that South America's pension funds showed the highest growth rate globally, with assets soaring from USD 184 billion (bn) in 2008 to USD 528 bn in 2014, a 19.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

In terms of investing overseas, foreign investment for the pension funds of the majority of OECD countries (excluding the US) accounted for about 25% on average of their total pension investments in 2008, but jumped to almost 31% in 2014.

The webinar will be presented by Dariush Yazdani, Partner of PwC Luxembourg Market Research Centre.

"...even in the midst of new challenges, pension fund managers are facing a future brimming with opportunities. The unique ability of pension funds to focus on long-term investments allows them to absorb short-term volatility while bearing market and liquidity risk through diversification..." – Dariush Yazdani

 

 

 

 

View the presentation here:

 

The State of Global Pensions Funds: Addressing Future Needs Now from NICSA
Updated on 27/10/15
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- Press releases

The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) has announced today the publication of Frequently Asked Questions to provide general guidance to Luxembourg investment funds and their management companies wishing to apply for an RQFII Licence and an RQFII Quota.

The publication of these FAQs follows the announcement by the People’s Bank of China on 29 April 2015 granting a RMB 50 billion Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (“RQFII”) quota to Luxembourg.  The RQFII scheme was launched in Hong Kong in 2011 and has been expanded to other jurisdictions since 2013, allowing an increased volume of offshore RMB to be reinvested into the Mainland securities markets.

Denise Voss, Chairman of ALFI, comments: “Luxembourg has been a pioneer in the internationalisation of the RMB and it has become the leading RMB investment fund centre. It was the first country to authorise an RQFII UCITS in 2013 as well as the first country to authorise a UCITS to invest through the Shanghai Hong Kong Stock Connect.

“Major international and PRC-headquartered asset managers have already set up Luxembourg domiciled investment vehicles using the quota of other jurisdictions. We are thrilled with the opportunity to further enlarge our access to the Chinese capital markets.

“These FAQs should prove extremely useful to all those involved in the practical implementation of the RQFII scheme directly from Luxembourg”.

Marc-André Bechet, Director of Legal & Tax Affairs at ALFI adds: “The publication of these FAQs follows a period of intense consultation within the investment funds community in Luxembourg and with the Supervisory Authorities in Mainland China.

“The aim of the FAQs is to facilitate the preparation of application files for Luxembourg investment funds and their management companies and to anticipate the requirements of the Supervisory Authorities. We spent a great amount of time going through the requirements of Mainland China regulations and analysing which types of Luxembourg investment fund structures would be eligible for an RQFII licence and an RQFII quota”.

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance concludes: "The implementation of the RQFII quota allocated to Luxembourg will add to the role Luxembourg is already playing as one of the leading hubs for the internationalisation of the Chinese currency in Europe and offer Luxembourg's European and global investor community additional options for tapping opportunities in China."

These FAQs are available in English and Mandarin Chinese.

The press release can be downloaded in English, French, German and Chinese.

 

Updated on 02/10/15
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- Press releases

ALFI published another video from the #askalfi series. This time, Olivier Portenseigne, Fundsquare S.A., explains how are the distributors fighting against disintermediation.

He says: The distributors are definitely fighting against disintermediation. If you look at the post MIFID II world, the digitalization, the way investors are behaving now to buy products, there’re certainly the threats from the distributors to be disintermediated. And there is a willingness from asset managers to access easier retail clients, so they definitely need to protect their market share. One thing that we can look at is that they are sitting on a very huge assets which are the clients’ assets. So basically, all these people will need to cope with the distributors anyway due to that factor.

Are distributors fighting against disintermediation? How? from ALFI on Vimeo.

Updated on 30/09/15
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- Press releases

ALFI Chairman Denise Voss, gives her views on how investors' behavior is changing - especially the young generation who will not be buying investment funds from bankers but online with their smartphones. Denise also highlights the importance of investors' education!
 

#askALFI: How should asset managers adapt their approach to target a younger cohort of investors? from ALFI on Vimeo.

Updated on 28/09/15
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- Press releases

ALFI recently launched a new campaign on Twitter called #askALFI. Followers can ask questions related to the investment fund industry using hashtag #askALFI and ALFI experts respond to selected questions via short video messages.
Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg For Finance, gives several arguments on why Luxembourg is THE place to be for FinTech companies.

Nicolas Mackel says:
Luxembourg is one of the leading financial centres in Europe. Several public and private incubators offer colocation, mentoring and help with sandboxing within Luxembourg’s sophisticated and innovation hungry financial ecosystem. Luxembourg is also an ideal platform to tap into other European financial markets. Last, but not least, Luxembourg’s regulator has a track record of openness to innovation and of responsiveness. They have dedicated resources and fully up to speed with new financial services.

Why should FinTech start-ups come to Luxembourg? from ALFI on Vimeo.

Updated on 28/09/15
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- Publications

Target2-Securities (T2S) will have a significant impact on the European securities industry and will also change the way the fund industry operates. The ALFI T2S working group produced this Q&A to assist the industry professionals in understanding the implications of T2S for funds and how they can capitalise on the infrastructure in their organisation.

Download the brochure here.

Updated on 24/09/15
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- Press releases

The ALFI Global Distribution Conference on September 15-16, organised in co-operation with NICSA and HKIFA, the industry associations of the US and Hong Kong, took place this year at the Philharmonie. Our usual venue at the Centre de Conference is hosting meetings of Luxembourg’s Presidency of the European Council during the second half of 2015.  

Kick-off of the conference by ALFI's new chairman - Denise Voss

Denise Voss, Chairman of ALFI

The conference was opened by Denise Voss, who took over from Marc Saluzzi as Chairman of ALFI in June. In her introductory speech, Ms Voss said Luxembourg now has a record E3,500 bn in AUM, with E252bn of new money flowing into its funds since the start of the year. But she cautioned against complacency: ‘We continue to be optimistic for our industry but the recent volatility and drop in values in emerging markets will undoubtedly have a negative impact on AUM – in the short term at least.’

Challenges ahead for ALFI, said Ms Voss, include working with the Luxembourg government to ensure efficient fund taxation, while challenges for investment firms and the fund industry include addressing the needs of an ageing population and embracing technology.

NEW Twitter campaign #askALFI

 

ALFI recently launched a new campaign on Twitter called #askALFI. Followers can ask questions related to the investment fund industry using hashtag #askALFI and ALFI experts respond to selected questions via short video messages.

The videos recorded at the conference are available here.

Conference in pictures

 

FinTech takes centre stage

 

H.E. Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance

Financial technology is no longer a back office function, and is becoming a key driver of industry performance from front to back office. H.E. Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, told conference delegates: ‘Changes in technology are not only changing the way we perceive the world, but your whole business model.’ Minister Gramegna said he had tasked Luxembourg for Finance, the agency which fosters growth of the financial sector, to channel more resources into FinTech activities.  

Fund managers, too, acknowledged the rising importance of FinTech. Anne Richards, Chief Investment Officer of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: ‘The two aspects of FinTech that are interesting to us are the possibility of it being disruptive to our supply chain and its ability to deliver investment solutions.’

Anne Richards, Aberdeen Asset Management

Ms Richards said the fund management industry, to date, had been slow to adopt FinTech, a view that was shared by many at the conference. Service providers urged the industry to engage more with FinTech and support nascent providers of innovative technology. Nicolas Buck, for instance, CEO of Sequoia, said: ‘Behind every tech enhancement there is an entrepreneurial story, a small business.’ Mr Buck congratulated ALFI for offering exhibition stands to a number of FinTech companies and launching FinTech speed presentations during the lunch breaks. ‘It is important for our industry to embrace that topic,’ Mr Buck added.

Delegates predicted that FinTech would move beyond dealing with volumes of data, to dealing with KYC issues, distribution, commissions and data analysis.

Capital Markets Union moves ahead

 

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, established CMU to increase funding to SMEs, to create more opportunities for investors and to facilitate cross-border investment.

Panel discussion: Capital Markets Union, on the verge of a new era

For CMU to work, it will require fixes to existing rules and commitments, said Jonathan Griffin, Managing Director, JP Morgan Asset Management (Europe). ‘The single market is far from complete, there is still fragmentation across states,’ he said.

The UCITS passport must work more efficiently and UCITS funds must be able to invest more easily in loans, was the view of Claude Niedner, partner at Arendt & Medernach.

The Commission’s public consultation on securitisation would be beneficial for the EU’s economy, it was generally agreed. Securitisation can also offer stable cashflows to long-term investors such as pension funds and insurance companies. Other aims of CMU, such as unlocking private investor’s savings, and encouraging additional sources of funding such as investment funds, would add jobs and increase growth in Europe.

Doing business in emerging markets

 

Panel discussion: China, Hong-Kong, Taiwan – the ‘promised lands’ for fund distributors?

Three Asian fund initiatives are moving ahead in parallel. These are: Mutual Recognition of Funds between mainland China and Hong Kong, the Asia Region Fund Passport and the ASEAN CIS Passport.   

Mutual Recognition of Funds (MRF) is still a work in progress, according to Sally Wong, CEO of HKIFA. Regulators are still working on applications both northbound and soundbound and are assessing issues such as quotas and order flow.

Meanwhile, six jurisdictions have signed a memorandum of understanding for the Asia Region Fund Passport. Securities regulators are due to produce a substantive framework within 12 months.

Will these initiatives reduce demand for European fund products, such as UCITS? Ms Voss, of ALFI, thought otherwise: ‘Given the continued rise in the number of middle class consumers, including in China, as well as the low penetration of funds in emerging markets, there is lot of opportunity for growth globally for investment funds.’

But European jurisdictions must continue to communicate with and educate Asian investors and regulators if they want their products to remain relevant in Asian markets. ‘We have to monitor closely what is happening in Europe,’ said Ms Wong. ‘We are watching developments in UCITS V such as the impact on depositaries and on remuneration. We need our European counterparts to help educate us on these issues.’

Jose Carlos H. Doherty, ANBIMA

Of course, the opportunity in emerging markets extends beyond Asia. Brazil’s fund industry, for one, is now the 7th biggest in world, with 12m investors and $990bn in AUM at end-2014. Growth in assets has been mainly due to a rise in high net worth individuals and the mass affluent, according to ANBIMA, the Brazilian funds industry association. The opportunity for foreign managers is growing as Brazilian investors gradually switch out of fixed income and into shares and foreign securities. Fixed income represented 80% of Brazilian assets in 2000, but that has now fallen to 44% as investors diversify their assets, said Jose Carlos H. Doherty, CEO of ANBIMA. The regulator now allows pension funds to double their allocations to foreign assets, he added, and Brazil’s upcoming reform of its investment fund regulation will allow Brazilian investors invest outside of Brazil, via Brazilian feeder funds and into regulated investment funds including, it is anticipated, UCITS.

The challenges for the industry now, Mr Doherty said, include raising funds to meet growing Brazilian infrastructure requirements.

Pension assets – an expanding

 

Dariush Yazdani, PwC Luxembourg

Pension assets will surge amid ageing populations, and pension funds will increasingly invest outside the borders of their home countries. These were the findings of a study commissioned by ALFI and produced by PwC. The study, presented for the first time at the conference, noted that in 1950 there were only eight retirees per 100 people. This number will rise to 25 per 100 by 2050. ‘This is the pension bomb that gives governments sleepless nights,’ said Dariush Yazdani, PwC partner and author of the study.

Pay-as-you-go systems are no longer viable and governments are pushing the pension burden onto individuals and corporates, Mr Yazdani said. As a result, pension assets will rise at a compounded rate of 6.6% a year from now until 2020 to reach some $55,000 bn.

Pension funds are increasingly investing outside their borders, which is a real opportunity for asset managers and for Luxembourg. Much of this investment will take place through mutual funds, which are attractive because they are highly regulated.

The study can be downloaded here.

Tax and regulation – are we done?

 

One of the biggest questions at the conference was whether we can now expect an end to the wave of regulatory and tax initiatives which have preoccupied investment firms since the financial crisis. The answer is: yes and no.

There was agreement that the industry was unlikely to face new regulation in the immediate future. However, there remained the considerable task of bedding down recently implemented regulation and refining rules and roles.

Jean-Marc Goy, CSSF

Jean-Marc Goy, Counsel for International Affairs at the CSSF in Luxembourg, said: ‘We should focus on fixing on what can be fixed to improve existing legislation instead of coming up with new initiatives. The time is right for a regulatory break, and for regulators and supervisors to apply in practice the new rules.’

Tax is a different story, however. Global tax initiatives such as FATCA, the Common Reporting Standard and BEPS, are only in their infancy and will pose challenges to investment firms and regulators alike as they are developed and implemented.   As noted during the conference ALFI continues to defend the interests of investment funds in respect of these initiatives and ALFI working groups are active in developing practical solutions to implement them.

Updated on 24/09/15
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