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- Press releases

The ALFI TA & Distribution Forum 2015 edition took place on the 18th of November 2015 and was attended by delegates from Luxembourg, the UK, Ireland, the US and even from as far as Singapore.

The ALFI TA & Distribution Forum 2015 edition took place on the 18th of November 2015 and was attended by delegates from Luxembourg, the UK, Ireland, the US and even from as far as Singapore.

Prior to the event, a dedicated social media campaign was launched to highlight the key subject matters to be discussed during the Forum. A series of 12 thought leadership articles were delivered on a daily basis, over 12 days, via the LinkedIn Group ALFI TA & Distribution Forum and Twitter #ALFITA15.

These 12 articles now form part of the dedicated TA Forum library that will keep growing over the years, as and when all TA & Distribution matters are shared via the LinkedIn Group. We have scattered these here for ease of reference under the corresponding subject.

The success of the yearly ALFI TA & Distribution Forum just keeps growing since its existence. From what started as a roundtable discussion of 12 participants in 1999, this year’s TA Forum attracted more than 230 ALFI and non-ALFI members, a blend of TA & distribution operations industry experts, practitioners and service providers as well as asset managers and management companies.

Access ou photo gallery via this link.

The making of a global invisible giant

A journey from 1989 to the creation of the ALFI TA Steering Committee

Where is the TA and Distribution Support industry heading?

The fund industry's operating environment being constantly changing due to an evolving regulatory landscape and ongoing market developments, it was an opportune time to ascertain the current shape of TA & Distribution as well as to look ahead to where the TA and Distribution Support industry is heading.

What’s on the minds of TA's these days?

The cornerstone to fostering a safe and robust Distribution Operations value chain

The key theme of this year's ALFI TA & Distribution Forum was “TA 2015 - The cornerstone to fostering a safe and robust Distribution Operations value chain”.

This one-day event allowed participants to discuss the key subject matters that continuously transform Luxembourg’s Global TA & Distribution Operations operating model, namely the influence key regulatory and industry events have had over the last year and key market considerations for the near future. The talks have also featured initiatives taken by Luxembourg fund industry players to ensure the ease of doing business in Luxembourg-domiciled funds.

Alexander Fischer, ALFI TA Steering Committee (TASC) Coordinator

In his introductory speech, ALFI TA Steering Committee (TASC) Coordinator Alexander Fischer covered the state of the Luxembourg fund industry and how the fund distribution operations value chain aligns itself with ALFI’s 2020 Ambition Paper and more specifically with the objective to “ensure Luxembourg remains the fund centre of choice for asset managers".

The day’s chairperson, ALFI TASC Chairman Josée Lynda Denis, introduced the programme, canvassed the audience’s views via live surveys and provided the latest update on the ALFI TASC’s membership (24 member organisations, 32 active members) and working groups as well as its roadmap for 2015/2016. Primarily, the 4 TASC sub-working groups are currently addressing standardisation & automation, Distribution Support Services (DSS), TA regulatory developments & operational requirements and alternative investments operations.

Josée Lynda Denis, ALFI TASC Chairman

All TASC working groups’ subject matters were shared and discussed throughout the day.

The morning’s main theme "Moving towards a safe and robust distribution operations value chain" was covered in 4 distinct sessions, including two panels on KYD and distribution oversight.

Key success factors in fund distribution

Four good reasons not to go "direct"

Distribution – how many pieces to the puzzle?

Do you know your distributors?

More pressure on fund distribution from 4th AML directive

Entering a brave new world...Deep-dive into regulation

During the traditional “Regulation – What Else?” session in the afternoon, a panel of industry experts provided an update on current and imminent regulatory developments and requirements and their impacts on TA & Distribution.

The audience then split up into smaller groups to foster open questions and answers in two consecutive breakout sessions addressing operational subjects that are consistently transforming fund operations these days:

1. Challenges of a distribution landscape in (R)evolution - The automation quest and market infrastructure changes

  • Automation: Latest update on the EFAMA/SWIFT standardisation survey 2015
  • Tomorrow: a market infrastructure in (r)evolution – the case for T2S
  • A disrupted future: digitalisation and new technologie

Sue Lee, ALFI T2S Committee, Head of Cash & Settlement sub-working group

Keith Hale, Executive Vice President, Multifonds IGEFI Group S.à r.l.

Big Data – the future for Transfer Agency

Offshoring: a strategic move for Transfer Agents

2. FOCUS on Alternative Investments

  • Convergence of long-only funds to Alternative Investments
  • AIFMD survey

The long road to alternatives

Alternative UCITS and their operational risks

The full day’s presentations booklet provided to all participants constituted a useful memento of this yearly gathering of like-minded fund industry practitioners.

Since the Luxembourg TA & Distribution Forum community was launched in 1999, this was the 16th edition of the Luxembourg TA & Distribution Forum.

Many thanks to all participants for keeping this event growing strong.

We look forward to welcoming you and your colleagues back for the 2016 ALFI TA Forum !

Updated on 02/12/15
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- Press releases

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has released today new compliance ratings on transparency in tax matters following a peer review process. The Luxembourg Ministry of Finance informs on its website that Luxembourg received the overall rating of "largely compliant" with the Global Forum commending Luxembourg's firm commitment towards the efficient implementation of internationally agreed transparency standards for tax purposes. Luxembourg now shares the same rating as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, among others.

Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna commented: "We welcome this new compliance rating which recognises Luxembourg's efforts and commitment to transparency and exchange of information. Luxembourg is no longer blacklisted. This is the result of a precise action plan which not only included a series of legislative and regulatory measures but also saw us improve our communication processes with international partners. We will continue to advocate for a global level playing field and support exchange of information on a broader basis."

Luxembourg is among the early adopters of the application of automatic exchange at OECD level, the so-called Common Reporting Standard (CRS). Reportable information from 2016 will be exchanged with nearly 60 jurisdictions from 2017.

Luxembourg has abolished banking secrecy in 2014, in the context of the automatic exchange of information for EU residents, which it has been applying since the beginning of this year, followed in July 2015 by the entry into force of the automatic exchange of information for US persons under the provisions of FATCA.

On overview of the evolution relating to tax transparency can be found here.

Find more information here.

Updated on 30/10/15
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- 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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