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Understanding Investing 简体中文网页 Members section

- Press releases

ALFI has successfully negotiated an AFS licence relief for financial services providers regulated by the CSSF.

The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) has announced that it has successfully negotiated an exemption from the obligation to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence to provide financial services in Australia. The exemption applies to Chapter 15 Management Companies and UCITS Self-Managed SICAV regulated by the Luxembourg financial supervisory authority Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

This relief will enable Australia’s institutional investors, including superannuation funds, to get easier access to Luxembourg UCITS.

As a rule, a foreign financial services provider (FFSP) needs to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence to provide financial services in Australia, unless relief is granted.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can exempt a foreign financial services provider from this requirement on the twofold condition that the financial services are provided to wholesale (institutional) clients only and that these financial services are regulated by an overseas regulatory authority.

The regulatory regime overseen by the relevant overseas regulatory authority needs to be ‘sufficiently equivalent’ to the Australian regulatory regime and effective cooperation arrangements must also exist before relief is granted. ASIC and the CSSF have signed such an MoU on mutual cooperation and the exchange of information related to the supervision of regulated entities in September 2013.

An application for a licence relief has to be made through an industry association, such as ALFI, for a group of FFSPs regulated by a particular overseas regulatory authority. When granted, the relief will then apply to all these financial services providers. In this case, the relief will cover all CSSF regulated Chapter 15 Management Companies and UCITS Self-Managed SICAV.
Welcoming this development, ALFI Chairman Denise Voss explains that ALFI has launched the negotiations on behalf of its members in light of their growing interest to do business with Australian institutional players.

“This relief is a further step in strengthening the relations between our two financial centres”, Denise Voss says. ”ALFI is currently planning a roadshow to Australia next March. We intend to organise seminars in Sydney and Melbourne and will travel with a delegation from our member firms. It will be a good occasion for Luxembourg and Australian players to meet and build even stronger relations.”

Download the press release in English.

About the AFS licence relief:

The Australian financial services regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued ASIC Corporations (CSSF Regulated Financial Services Providers) Instrument 2016/1109 which sets out the conditions of this AFS licensing relief. It enters into force on 16 November 2016. A copy of the Relief Instrument is available here.

 

 

Updated on 17/11/16
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- ALFI statements

On 24 October 2016, ALFI responded to the EU Commission consultation “Review of the EU macro-prudential framework”.

ALFI limited its response to the following question: “Would you consider it appropriate to expand the macro-prudential framework beyond banking?”. ALFI pointed out that asset management and fund related activities do not entail structural vulnerabilities and that the sector is already highly regulated by regulations such as the UCITS Directive, AIFMD, Solvency II, MiFID, EMIR or the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation, dealing with both transparency of information and supervision of the asset management industry. Moreover, ALFI stated that investment funds contain characteristics that differentiate them from banks. Therefore, ALFI believed there should be little distress to the wider financial system in the event of the default of an individual asset manager given the high degree of competition and substitutability within this sector. Overall, ALFI was of the view that it is inappropriate to expand the macro-prudential framework beyond banking to asset managers and investment funds.

Updated on 25/10/16
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- ALFI statements

On 17 October 2016, ALFI responded to the IOSCO Consultation Report on Good Practices for the Termination of Investment Funds. Topics addressed in this paper are among other the disclosure at time of investment and treatment of “non contactable investors”, the need for a termination plan and the communication to investors throughout the termination process.

To access the ALFI response please click here.

Updated on 19/10/16
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- ALFI statements

ALFI identified the main barriers to cross-borders distribution.

On 7 October 2016, ALFI responded to the public consultation on cross-borders distribution of investment funds issued by the European Commission in June this year.

ALFI has identified and has drawn the attention of the Commission to the main barriers to the cross-borders distribution of investment funds as follows:

  1. Marketing requirements and marketing documentation

For products which are already subject to strictly harmonized EU rules, mainly UCITS and to some extent AIFs, one may question the rationale of the host member States continuing to be competent for defining the scope of marketing activities and the content of marketing documents. ALFI supports the introduction of common EU rules on marketing through a single rule book issued by ESMA to which national regulators, asset managers and practitioners could refer to. Such a single rule book should provide clarification with regards to what constitutes a common definition of marketing or distribution for both UCITS and AIFs as well as what constitutes reverse solicitation.

  1. Introduction of new rules for distribution or marketing to professionals

ALFI supports the introduction of the possibility to market investment funds, both UCITS and AIFs, to professionals in any language, as defined by the investment fund or its management company and accepted by professional investors so that the need for multiple versions of marketing documents in several different languages could be avoided. Professional investors are sufficiently skilled and experienced and would therefore not need the same high level of protection as retail investors.

  1. Local paying agent and local representative requirement

Member States have defined a wide range of requirements in respect of local agents to be appointed before an investment fund may be distributed on a cross-border basis into the territory of the host State. ALFI understands that the objective of the legislators and competent authorities in each Member State is to protect investors. However, these requirements are not always clearly justified and most of these facilities could be provided on a cross-border basis without compromising investor protection. ALFI therefore calls for a core/single set of common rules applicable across the EU. Such rules should also contemplate the removal of the requirement to appoint a local paying agent or a local representative where it cannot be justified by any value added for local investors.

  1. Centralization of notification processes

Significant barriers to cross-border marketing are embedded in the form of different approaches to filing requirements in the case of updating an existing notification or in the case of market exit. ALFI would support a streamlining of notifications at an EU level as well as a centralization of notifications at the ESMA level. In addition, ALFI would call for a streamlining and harmonization of the regulatory fees invoice processing at an EU level.

  1. Digital investor passport

ALFI supports the introduction of a digital investor passport that would allow a consumer to open accounts or purchase other investment services with more providers and individually manage his/her digital account in a consolidated manner.

  1. Withholding taxes and tax reporting regimes

Withholding taxes on income received by investment funds: Dealing with withholding taxes on income received by investment funds remains a delicate exercise that triggers significant costs. ALFI supports a common, standardized reclaim form for all Member States and an agreement on the simplification of the related tax documentation.

ALFI further supports the idea to limit withholding tax rates applicable to income received by investment funds from EU source countries to the standard rate of 15% in order to significantly reduce the costs triggered by  applications for refunds or exemption.

Tax reporting regimes applicable in investors’ countries of residence: Cross-border distribution of investment funds entails dealing with different tax reporting regimes having different levels of complexity and a high level of application and management costs. ALFI supports the introduction of an EU-wide common standard set of tax reporting rules for all EU Member States provided it does not encourage Member States to introduce new tax reporting requirements.

  1. Cross-border distribution of AIFs - Introduction of a definition of semi-professional investors

ALFI would welcome the opening of the AIF market to a larger number of investors. This may be achieved by opening the AIFMD passport to a new category of investors i.e. semi-professional investors, including, for example, well informed investors and high net worth investors, in line with articles 31 and 32 of the AIFMD.

  1. Private Placement Regimes (“PPRs”)          

ALFI supports the work of ESMA and calls for an extension of the National PPR deadline, with Member States consent, until an adequate EU PPR will be defined and applicable, taking into consideration reciprocity, as there is a need to ensure that EU funds / EU managers are not put at a disadvantage compared to non-EU funds / non-EU managers.

Also, ALFI supports ESMA’s work assessing the potential application of the AIFMD passport to certain non-EU AIFMs and AIFs on the basis of the list of criteria (including the effectiveness of cooperation arrangements; investor protection; market disruption; obstacles to competition; and monitoring of systemic risk). ALFI would support the application of the AIFMD passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs and consideration should be given to the option of interconnecting not only national but also regional initiatives, such as the UCITS and AIFMD passport in Europe, the ASEAN framework for cross-border offering of collective investment schemes and the intended mutual fund recognition between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese fund products. This would take global fund distribution to a new level.

For detailled information, please download

Updated on 08/11/16
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- Press releases

Luxembourg was awarded “Best Centre for Fund Administration” at the Investment Week Fund Services Awards 2016, held in London on 4 October. The Awards are designed to celebrate cutting edge services and solutions in the fund management industry.

Marc-André Bechet, who collected the award on behalf of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, said: “This award is a great honour for us and recognition of the work we are doing to support asset managers. Luxembourg’s fund centre is committed to helping asset managers to grow their business globally and we continually look to ensure that we offer leading-edge support.  This year, for example, we have set up the "ALFI FinTech Forum" to identify and analyse the effect of digital and financial technologies on the industry and to identify challenges and opportunities for the fund management industry.

“Investment Week’s award is welcome recognition of the work we are doing in Luxembourg and indeed globally to support the industry.”

Marc-André Bechet, Legal & Tax Director at ALFI collecting the award.

©Photo by Investment Week

Updated on 06/10/16
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- Press releases

The very first edition of the TA & Asset Servicing seminar in Hong Kong was a great success! More than 150 fund industry professionals gathered to exchange on matters focusing on the Fund Distribution Operations value chain.

Speakers at the event

 

Toufik Chaib, Partner, Asset & Wealth Management, PwC Hong Kong
Sebastien Chaker, Managing Director Calastone, Hong Kong
Ching Yng Choi, Head of the ALFI Representative office , Hong Kong
Peng Choy, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Harvest Global Investments
Kerry Ching, Managing Director, Asia, AMP Capital
Pieter van Deursen, Strategic Product Development at Robeco Asia
Keith Hale, CEO, Multifonds, Luxembourg
Caroline Higgins, Chairwoman, ALFI TA & Distribution Forum Asia
Rosemarie Kriesel, Managing Director, RBC Investor and Treasury Services, Hong Kong
White Liu, Marketing Manager, Fund Rich Securities Company
Denise Mak, Vice President, Brown Brothers Harriman (Hong Kong) Limited
Aaron Ng, Senior Product Manager, Asia Pacific Fund Services, HSBC, Hong Kong
Olivier Portenseigne, Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer, Fundsquare, Luxembourg
Michelle Wong, Commercial Director, Compliance Services, APAC, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), Hong Kong
 

What are the key take-aways from the event?

Distribution Panel

The panel highlighted different distribution strategies into key markets in the Asian region. A close attention was paid to the mutual recognition of funds between Hong Kong and Mainland China, as well as on the current development of passporting schemes. It was reported that these schemes are still challenging to reach economy of scale and therefore UCITS products remain the most widely distributed product. However UCITS is not always perfect and sometimes it has to be combined with a local domiciliated product in order to target specific type of clients.

For new managers entering the markets, it is fundamental to have a clear understanding of each jurisdiction of the Asian region, as the strategy applied by existing managers may not be easily replicated.  

KYC / KYD

The industry needs to overcome some difficulties before reaching real efficiency :

  • Long TA onboarding process, including document collection and translation; 
  • lack of harmonization of documents requirements;
  • heavy management of both local regulation requirements and asset managers’ requests vs experienced onboarding staff assessing the investor / product risk.

There are several market initiatives currently under discussion focusing on risk assessment and document collection. Consistency & inclusion of all entity types is key e.g. non institutional investors, which enables all data / documentation to be obtained from a central source. This will be an important milestone to ensure that a successful model is created that can be used globally and within Asia.

Regulatory

PRIIPs, Fatca, CRS, Mifid 2 : This session aimed at demonstrating how these regulations are changing the current market environment and distribution services. The next four years will shape and cement how the future of the asset management industry develops.

Fintech

The panel key word was “Disruption”. An analogy with the evolution of retail and music distribution models set the scene: giant innovators like Amazon and iTunes changed the overall distribution landscape and killed the previous distribution models.

The asset management industry is reaching its limits with tightened regulation and back office complexity. However, the future is shaping: block chain and  big data are two of the major models arising to reduce cost of manufacture and delivery. The need to become digital / fintech focused is key in attracting new investors. An open & forward thinking market is also essential. Fund Promoters / Managers / banks & system vendors must move forward in the digital space, otherwise other players will do it for them e.g. Google / Alibaba

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Updated on 05/10/16
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- ALFI statements

On 23 September 2016, ALFI responded to the Call for evidence on asset segregation and custody services issued by theEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in July this year.

In the meantime, ESMA has published the responses received to the Call for evidence on asset segregation and custody services.

Download the document here.

Updated on 04/10/16
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- ALFI statements

On 21 September 2016, ALFI responded to the consultation “Proposed Policy Recommendations to Address Structural Vulnerabilities from Asset Management Activities” issued by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in June this year.

ALFI confirmed its support regarding efforts to promote resilient and transparent financial markets and welcomed that the FSB has focused in this consultation on asset management activities. In general, ALFI believes asset management activities do not entail structural vulnerabilities and stressed that, in Europe, the sector is already highly regulated. As such, ALFI does not believe that some of the scenarios envisaged by the FSB, such as securities lending activities, if conducted in accordance with current European standards, or transfer of accounts, present a systemic risk to the functioning of markets.

To view the response, please click here.

Updated on 04/10/16
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- Press releases

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted on Wednesday a resolution calling for changes to the legislation covering Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs). It is now expected that the European Commission submits a new version of the regulatory technical standards (RTS), because the resolution means that the draft RTS will not enter into force in their current form.

Marc-André Bechet, Director Legal & Tax of ALFI says: “We welcome the support expressed by parliamentarians for clearer rules at level 2. In May the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) highlighted the need to disclose past performance to investors and also outlined major issues linked to the current calculation and presentation of (transaction) costs. ALFI hopes that these concerns are taken up in a new delegated act from the Commission.”


The vote in plenary was preceded by a debate and vote in the European Parliament’s committee on economic and monetary affairs at the beginning of September, during which MEPs expressed major concerns with the level 2 draft RTS presented by the European Commission end of June 2016. Both the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have a right to object to the rules.


MEPs noted in the resolution that, among other things, if left unchanged, there is a risk that the rules set out in the delegated regulation go against the spirit and aim of the legislation, which is to provide clear, comparable, understandable and non-misleading information on PRIIPs to retail investors. They underlined that the treatment of multi-option products still needs to be clarified, in particular in relation to the explicit exemption granted to UCITS funds under the PRIIPs level 1 Regulation. Moreover, MEPs were of the view that the delegated act as adopted by the Commission contains flaws in the methodology for the calculation of future performance scenarios, and the lack of detailed guidance on the ‘comprehension alert’ creates a serious risk of inconsistent implementation of this element in the key information document across the single market.


The European Parliament therefore has called on the Commission to submit a new delegated act which takes account of the concerns highlighted. In addition, it has called on the Commission to consider a proposal to postpone the level 1 application date (currently set for 31 December 2016) without changing any other provision of level 1 in order to ensure a smooth implementation of the requirements set out in the PRIIPs Regulation and the delegated regulation, and avoid the application of level 1 without RTS being in force in advance.


Marc-André Bechet concludes: “ALFI supports the European Parliament’s calls on the European Commission to present a proposal to postpone the application date of the PRIIPs Regulation, to ensure that the fund industry can implement the regulations for the benefit of retail investors.”

Updated on 22/09/16
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- Webinars

With the recent Brexit developments, there is a sense of uncertainty amongst the investment management industry. This webinar will take a deep dive into the implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union while also highlighting the changes and opportunities that will play out in the industry over the coming months. Gain a better understanding of how Brexit will impact you personally and what you need to do to prepare for the future.

REGISTRATION: 
Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to register for the webinar.

MODERATOR:
Doug Dannemiller, Research Leader, Investment Management, Deloitte

Doug is the head of investment management research at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services in Deloitte Services LP. He is responsible for driving the Center's research platforms and delivering world-class research for our clients. Doug has more than 20 years of experience in research, strategy, and marketing in the investment management and wealth management industries.

 

 

 

PANELISTS:
Hermann Beythan, Partner, Linklaters LLP

Hermann is the head of the Investment Management group of Linklaters Luxembourg where he has been a partner since 1998. Besides his decades-long UCITS practice, he is renowned for his work on cross-border financial services regulation, international private placements and outsourcing arrangements. He advises on the structuring of complex alternative investment fund set-ups and socially responsible fund structures. He is further active in several industry committees (ABBL/ALFI/CSSF) and a regular conference speaker.


 

Vincent Reinhart, Chief Economist, Standish   

Vincent is the Chief Economist for Standish. He is responsible for developing views on the global economy and making relative value recommendations among global bond markets, currencies, and sectors. Previously, he was Chief US Economist and managing director at Morgan Stanley. Read more.

 

 

 

OVERVIEW:
With the recent Brexit developments, there is a sense of uncertainty amongst the investment management industry. This webinar will take a deep dive into the implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union while also highlighting the changes and opportunities that will play out in the industry over the coming months. Gain a better understanding of how Brexit will impact you personally and what you need to do to prepare for the future.
 
In the webinar, the speakers will discuss:

  • Trade Scenarios
  • Complications for the Fund Industry
  • Regulatory Convergence
  • Relationships Abroad

CPE INFORMATION:
NICSA is pleased to offer this webinar learning activity to attendees who are seeking CPE credits. 1 CPE unit may be available for attendees of this webinar. Read more.

Updated on 01/09/16
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