Last updated: 09:30 / Thursday, 30 June 2016
EFAMA’s Annual General Meeting

With the MIFID II Delay, Industry Now has More Breathing Room

With the MIFID II Delay, Industry Now has More Breathing Room
  • Held mid-june in Malta
  • People need to start saving earlier, save more and save for longer
  • The Cyprus Funds Association (CIFA) and the Croatian Association of Investment Fund Companies joined the association

The European fund and asset management industry met on 16 and 17 of June in Malta, at the occasion of EFAMA’s Annual General Meeting. Hosted by the Maltese Funds Industry Association (MFIA), the AGM provided an opportunity for EFAMA members to discuss the investment and regulatory landscape and to exchange views with representatives from the European Commission and the Maltese Financial Services Authority.

The AGM marked the end of a first year under the mandate of EFAMA President Alexander Schindler, Member of the Executive Board of Union Asset Management Holding AG. During this time, the European asset management industry continued to grow, with 2015 being a record year and net sales of European investment funds rising to an all-time high of EUR 734 billion.

Schindler reported on the activity highlights during his first year, mentioning that the overarching EU initiative of the Capital Markets Union is a welcome, ambitious project which highlights the key role asset managers can play in providing alternative funding sources and channelling savings and investments into long-term projects. In the same vein, the European asset management industry, remains fully committed to the idea of developing a Pan-European Personal Pension product (PEPP). He commented: “Much has been done in recent years in the regulatory field. Much remains to be done in terms of implementing and applying these new regulations. With the MIFID II delay, industry now has more breathing room and is hands-on in preparing to apply the new rules.

According to EFAMA, the application of the new PRIIP KID rules remains a major issue, however, it should be done right for the sake of investors. "It serves no one’s purpose – and certainly not the investors’ interests - to rush through the Level-2 process."

On the issue of personal pensions, they mentioned that "people need to start saving earlier, save more and save for longer, and the PEPP can address the current savings gap. Building on the excellent work done EIOPA, we hope the European Commission will concur that the creation of a PEPP would create invaluable benefits for EU citizens and the European economy”.

During the general assembly, EFAMA also welcomed two new National Associations as full members: the Cyprus Funds Association (CIFA) and the Croatian Association of Investment Fund Companies. Both have been members of EFAMA with observer status since June 2014.

Peter De Proft, Director General of EFAMA commented: “We are very pleased to see more full members joining our family. Dialogue, feedback, interactions and good governance are key elements in the smooth running of a European association. We are looking forward to working with the Cyprus and Croatian associations, and to continue to grow our membership and reach to feed into our increasingly constructive discussions with European institutions”. Adding that “in 2015, EFAMA and its members have had to begin adapting their modus operandi and will no doubt have to undertake further adjustments as the regulatory implementation stretches into the horizon. Some priorities, however, do not change: nine years after the start of the global financial crisis, we need to concentrate even more on performance in the interest of our investors.”

Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman, Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA), commented: “The Malta Funds Industry Association is delighted to have been given the opportunity to host this prestigious event in Malta. The Association's membership with EFAMA enables the MFIA to be an active participant in the multi-faceted developments shaping the European Funds Industry, with the end benefits being relayed to the members of the Association in Malta. Moreover, this provides an excellent platform for the Association to exchange views with other Associations on matters of common interest, share best practices and to analyse and monitor the impact of any significant new developments for the interest of the local industry.”