Damning is a reasonable way to describe the October regulatory report on Irish fund governance. Although fund governance structures work well in Ireland when applied properly, the report – from Ireland’s funds industry regulator itself – also said there were significant failings.
Irish Funds, the trade body, latched on to the prior statement, about how things work well when they work well. Ireland had shown it was a credible international funds centre, the trade body said.
But the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) focused more on the latter part, the deficiencies. The CBI is not happy with some funds’ board members, ‘designated persons’ or resources for fund oversight. Nor is it happy with aspects beyond the core ‘CP86’ governance regime, such as the lack of chief executives in Ireland, whose presence would prove Ireland is no mere brass-plate domicile.
The deficiencies appear to relate mainly to firms authorised before the recent Brexit rush that caused governance to be tightened in the first place – but the criticism will not be welcome as Ireland continues to compete with Luxembourg for more Brexit-related business. What is particularly interesting is what this means for Ireland’s ‘ManCo’ industry – a seemingly thriving sector that is all about delivering outsourced governance ‘solutions’.
Nick Fitzpatrick, Group Editor, Funds Europe
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