France’s call to UK managers “not a Brexit” move

The French financial regulator says its effort to attract UK fund management firms to Paris stems from existing plans to develop the city as an international funds centre, rather than the Brexit vote.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) yesterday launched ‘Agility’ – a programme to attract UK asset managers and fintech firms to set up in Paris and gain access to the single EU market passport.

UK financial services firms stand to lose the passport when the UK pulls out of the EU – though the AMF made no mention of the Brexit in its official announcement of Agility.

A spokeswoman told Funds Europe that Agility flows from wider plans for the French industry’s development. These include ‘Frog’ – or the French Routes & Opportunities Garden – set up by the AMF and the French Asset Management Association in February to enhance the country’s fund management reputation globally.

“[Agility] follows our preceding initiatives and the work we have already carried out to create constructive relationships with entities under our supervision and our commitment to the development of the Paris Financial Centre,” said the spokeswoman.

She described Frog as a “push” initiative designed to support French players moving outwards.

“We would like now to develop some ‘pull’ initiatives to attract new categories of foreign players in France, including attractiveness programmes to better connect the Paris financial ecosystem to foreign partners,” the spokeswoman said.

She added: “Concerning the Brexit – which was not good news for the European Union – we must now look things in the face. Companies need to be accompanied and not lose time in their development strategy, so we need to make them an appropriate response and prove our capacity to adapt to change.”

The spokeswoman said Agility should help the Paris Financial Centre do this, partly by providing “quick answers” and stability.

©2016 funds europe

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