Rethinking Asset Management: From Financial Stability to Investor Protection and Economic Growth

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The final report of the task force 'Rethinking Asset Management' examines the asset management industry and its links with financial stability, product integrity, investor protection and the real economy. The report evaluates the many legislative proposals on the table – including the implementation of the AIFMD, MiFID II and PRIPS – as well as the discussions on product integrity in UCITS and ‘shadow banking’. The report was written by Mirzha de Manuel, CEPS-ECMI Research Fellow. The task force was chaired by Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, Chairman of Incipit and former President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA). Mirzha de Manuel and Karel Lannoo, CEPS-ECMI Senior Research Fellow, served as rapporteurs.

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Fresh prospects are opening for asset managers as Europe seeks to reduce its historical reliance on banking and to promote capital markets. But following the financial crisis, the industry faces a dual challenge: regaining investors’ trust and coping with the post-crisis regulatory reform. Much rides on its ability to make investment funds deliver better results to its investors. Distribution remains the major stumbling block, but action is also needed to promote the contribution of asset management to the real economy and to preserve financial stability. In response to these challenges, CEPS and ECMI formed a Task Force composed of market participants, international experts, regulators and academics who met regularly throughout 2011 to closely examine the workings of the asset management industry and its role in the EU economy. 

This report draws the link between asset management and several key issues: financial stability, product integrity, investor protection and the real economy. It evaluates the discussions on product integrity in UCITS and ‘shadow banking’, as well as the many legislative proposals that are currently under consideration – including implementation of the alternative investment fund managers Directive (AIFMD), the review of the markets in financial instruments Directive (MiFID II) and packaged retail investment products (PRIPS). In an effort to make these complex issues comprehensible to a broad group of readers, the report combines clear language and straightforward introductions with detailed analysis and technical illustrations.

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