How does the regulatory landscape look for asset managers in the EU?
The current landscape for asset managers in Europe is quite distinctive. The markets are at the tail end of a long period of quantitative easing. There are signs indicating a possible global economic downturn amidst political uncertainty and trade tensions. And there now is a new European Commission that will be setting the regulatory and policy agenda for the years to come.
At the same time, there is now widespread recognition of climate change and its consequences in terms of both financial impact and growing demand from clients to combine investment with doing good for the environment. Similarly, there is an increasing awareness of the transformative effects of technology and the opportunities as well as challenges that these will bring for asset managers but also regulators.
As we are approaching the end of 2019, we take stock of the main areas in asset management regulation in the European Union and we outline specific changes that we believe are significant for our clients and the way in which we deliver for them. We identify five key themes in both existing and forthcoming regulation:
In this paper, we discuss each theme in turn and provide an overview of relevant regulatory files that have been recently introduced or are under review and may lead to changes in terms of how asset managers in the European Union operate.
Although regulation is constantly changing in order to adapt to market developments and new economic realities, these five themes have been long-standing. This does not signify lack of progress or imagination but rather reflects the fact that the principles and regulatory objectives remain consistent. Indeed, the lengthy (and non-exhaustive) list of different files is indicative of the regulatory ambition as well as the complexity of the markets in which asset managers operate.
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