New Efama president will face AIFMD challenge

EUChristian Dargnat, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas Asset Management, will succeed Claude Kremer as president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama).

The change comes at a crucial time for Europe, with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) approaching.

In recent months, doubts have mounted that Europe will manage to implement the directive smoothly by the July 22 deadline, which could jeopardise the concept of the single market that regulators have been trying to achieve for decades.

Peter De Proft, director general at Efama expressed concerns earlier this year that the July 22 deadline was “a little too ambitious”.

Last week, Multifonds released a survey that suggests some European asset managers will seek to set up alternative investment funds offshore to put them outside the scope of AIFMD.

Of those surveyed by Multifonds, 77% say managers with fund investors outside of the EU may take this measure when the regulation enters into force on July 22.

The option to avoid the AIFMD by offshoring is not open to funds with EU investors, though offshore funds can be marketed into the EU.

If the regulation drives asset management offshore, it would be a blow to European regulators, who have tried to create an AIFMD brand similar to that of Ucits.

Dargnat, who also holds the role of chief investment officer of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, will be president for a two-year term, having been vice president since June 2011.

Alex Schindler, member of the executive board of Union Asset Management Holding, was appointed vice president of Efama.

Outgoing president Kremer is founding partner of Arendt & Medernach, a Luxembourg law firm, and a member of the firm’s council. He also serves as head of the firm’s investment management industry group.

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