Efama: Time for a regulatory pause

Christian DargnatThe European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama) is calling for a pause in the introduction of new regulation to allow asset managers to take stock of changes already made.

Christian Dargnat, Efama president (pictured), says that over the last five years the regulatory measures in reaction to the financial crisis have led to more than 30 reforms that directly or indirectly impacted the asset management industry.

In a press briefing this week, Dargnat said the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive alone will mean the European Securities and Markets Authority will have to issue around 200 regulatory technical standards next year.

"What we are asking for right now from the regulators is ... a regulatory pause, not because we are tired about coping with the pace of reforms, but simply because we think that we and our clients need an impact assessment of all of those reforms," he said.

Dargnat said the regulatory regime has been "intensive" in the last few years, and that it was unusual for an industry to make changes without any trial or impact assessment.

"We think it is the time right now to switch from these reforms to a supervision of what happens when we implement the reforms," he said, adding that the situation needs to be stabilised before any new initiatives are launched.

Dargnat also pointed out that the industry is facing other changes, saying: "We are in a world that is in evolution."

He noted that passive management has tripled in the last ten years while alternative products have doubled, and that product distribution is evolving as quickly as the products themselves.

"One of the biggest challenges we will have in front of us in terms of distribution changes could be the entry of new actors in our business," he said, acknowledging the possibility of players such as Google or Facebook entering into the asset management space, following the recent blockbuster initial public offering made by Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group.

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