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Today New City Initiative is comprised of 43 leading independent asset management firms from the UK and the Continent, managing approximately £500 billion and employing several thousand people.

Well-intentioned but light on substance: The ESMA review of AIFMD

Well-intentioned but light on substance: The ESMA review of AIFMD

In August 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter to the European Commission (EC) outlining its recommendations on future potential amendments to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The letter’s contents have yielded a mixed response from the asset management industry. The NCI takes a look at some of ESMA’s proposals.Greater harmonisationThe lack of harmonisation between UCITS and AIFMD has been a source of frustration at asset managers for a long time. Accordingly, ESMA has asked the EC to align AIFMD and UCITS where possible. ESMA also said there needed to be greater consistency between…

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Not the time for deviation on ESG standards

Not the time for deviation on ESG standards

Although interest in ESG (environment, social, governance) investing has been gathering momentum for several years now, Covid-19 has accelerated this trend exponentially. Data released by Morgan Stanley shows issuance of social and sustainable bonds topped $32 billion in April 2020, a monthly total surpassing that of green bonds for the first time ever. The market share grab by social bond issuers has been extraordinary, but it is reflective of a wider shift into ESG by investment managers.The rise of ESG has been organic, fuelled by institutional clients becoming more aware about societal and environmental issues, and who in turn are…

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Engage with the FCA on its new funds regime

Engage with the FCA on its new funds regime

Last month, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a discussion paper outlining its thinking on the new prudential regime for MiFID-regulated investment firms. This comes as the EU plans to introduce further changes to asset management rules from June 2021 under the Investment Firm Directive (IFD) and Investment Firm Regulation (IFR), legislation which the UK had a major role in shaping. In light of Brexit, the UK has said that while it will not adopt the IFD and IFR, it will introduce similar regulation in parallel. This is something NCI members should be closely following.    The FCA has stated clearly…

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After the Storm. What Managers Need to be Thinking About

After the Storm. What Managers Need to be Thinking About

Although the stringent lockdown measures are gradually being loosened, the reality is that most NCI members will continue to work from home until at least September, if not later. While the majority of UK investment firms have weathered the market dislocation, new challenges will emerge over the coming weeks and months, especially as various regulatory compliance deadlines start to creep up.Regulatory time-frames look tight againAt the moment at which regulators realised how disruptive Covid-19 would be, the implementation of various rules and requirements was put on hold or delayed. In March 2020 (which now seems like a lifetime away), the…

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Getting Back to Work

Getting Back to Work

With lockdown restrictions in the UK easing – albeit at a glacial pace – investment firms are beginning to conduct risk assessments into whether it is safe to return to the office.  For now, nearly all financial institutions have instructed their core and non-core staff to work from home unless it is absolutely essential to make a journey into the office. This approach is likely to be the norm for the foreseeable future. However, some asset managers are looking to gradually usher some of their staff  back into the office over the coming months.So what do firms need to be…

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