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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.

A UK funds regime post-Brexit: Making it happen

A UK funds regime post-Brexit: Making it happen

Since 2017, the New City Initiative (NCI) has been campaigning vigorously for the UK to develop a new branded post-Brexit fund structure based on globally-accepted best practices, which could potentially compete and improve upon the EU’s widely regarded mutual fund wrappers, principally UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) and AIFs (alternative investment funds). If the UK were to successfully establish its own unique fund structure, then it could result in either the onshoring or creation of asset servicing roles in areas such as fund administration - which have historically been based in places like Luxembourg and Ireland.…

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2021: Liquidity, resiliency and ESG

2021: Liquidity, resiliency and ESG

To say that 2020 was a shock to the system would be an understatement, although the financial services sector has largely held its own during the crisis. Despite this, a number of regulatory changes aimed at the asset management industry are likely to be unveiled over the next 12 months. The New City Initiative (NCI) looks at some of the potential developments that could unfold in 2021.Liquidity risk management – expect new rulesLiquidity risk management was an area of concern for the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) long before COVID-19 struck. The preceding summer had seen Neil Woodford’s Equity Income…

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ESG disclosure: Get preparing

ESG disclosure: Get preparing

Although a number of asset managers purport that their investment products embrace ESG (environment, social, governance) principles,  EU regulators are now insisting that they be able to prove it. This intervention comes following widespread regulatory and investor concern that some fund managers have been mis-labelling their funds as being ESG-compliant when they are not, a practice otherwise known as greenwashing. In order to put an end to this behaviour, the EU is pushing ahead with its Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which comes into effect from March 2021, and will impose heightened ESG transparency requirements on asset managers.SFDR in a…

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The Retailisation of Illiquid Assets

The Retailisation of Illiquid Assets

Illiquid assets are not for retailWhile asset managers have largely navigated COVID-19 – both in terms of investment performance and operational resiliency – a number of longer-term risks are starting to emerge. Ultra-low interest rates are unlikely to disappear anytime soon, nor will the widespread equity market volatility, both of which are going to negatively impact investment returns. In response, there are now growing calls by some in the industry for retail investors to be given easier access to illiquid asset classes such as private equity. NCI believe this is a mistake, and risks doing major harm to the industry’s…

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Beware the threat to delegation

Beware the threat to delegation

Having had more than four years to prepare for Brexit, the majority of UK investment firms appear to be in a reasonably robust position to withstand any challenges that may arise. In July 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and national EU regulators reiterated that the memoranda of understandings (MOUs) it agreed with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on cooperation and information exchange in the event of a no-deal Brexit were still valid. According to ESMA, the MOUs will help facilitate continuity for financial institutions if no UK-EU deal is obtained.Although fund managers are confident that existing…

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