October 2017

ASSOCIATION COLUMN: Beama’s threefold action plan

Marnix_ArickxTo fulfil its mission, Beama has targeted its lobbying interventions and public appearances on a trifold of topics: undertakings for collective investments are building blocks for economic growth, purchasing power at a higher age and adjusted diversification of risks.

The contribution of asset management in its agency role to growth and development of the economy, by financing companies and public or private projects, is consistently emphasised. As a result, Beama has been taking an active role in the high-level expert group platform organised by the Belgian minister of finance, with the aim of delivering proposals to foster the financing of risk capital and of encouraging further development of new small and mid-sized businesses as well as digital and high-tech entrepreneurship.

The overall asset management activity exercised in Belgium amounts to €301 billion or 71% of gross domestic product.

The contribution of asset management is also necessary in view of demographic trends. Building up pension reserves and safeguarding beneficiaries’ purchasing power have become recurrent concerns in many European countries.

The Belgian national funds association promotes personal pension plans and creates further awareness on pension matters by regular press contacts on the need to encourage long-term saving.

Beama also engages with other stakeholders to support the expansion of pan-European corporate pension funds. In this respect, it is well situated as a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model for multinational companies.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Beama emphasised the well-performing toolkit of collective portfolio products for risk diversification such as Ucits and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). This last feature proved to be a point of attraction in the Belgian retail market for undertakings for collective investments, which make up 60% of the total of publicly distributed undertakings. Overall, the Belgian undertakings market amounts to €190 billion. Nowadays, clients’ preferred type of undertakings is a balanced fund or a fund-of-fund formula. Investor confidence has clearly been restored as undertakings make up 14.1% of household financial assets in Belgium.

Beama as an industry branch organisation
The Belgian Asset Managers Association promotes the asset management profession within Belgium. As an industry branch organization, it is a founding member of the umbrella federation Febelfin at the national level and Efama at the European level.

Beama was founded in 2004 by a merger of two former associations and, in a second step, reorganised itself at the end of 2014 into a fully established non-profit-making organisation.

The list of about 110 members consists of small independent investment firms, Ucits and AIF management companies (partly belonging to larger banking or insurance groups) and niche banks specialising in private banking and wealth management.

Marnix Arickx, president of Beama, the Belgian national funds association

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