Mandate roundup: AP2, Vontobel Asset Management, KNEIP

first_imgThe analysis should include both post-trade analysis and TCA analysis, it said.The contract period is proposed to be 48 months, subject to a right of early termination with a due notice period.The deadline for applications is 23 April.For more information on the tender, click here.In other news, Vontobel Asset Management has appointed KNEIP for fund data management, regulatory filing, KIID production and financial reporting.Vontobel will be making use of KNEIP’s service across its entire Swiss and Luxembourg-domiciled fund ranges. Sweden’s AP2 is looking for a company to provide a trading cost-analysis (TCA) system to evaluate brokers’ execution for the buffer fund and analyse whether its trading strategies are “as optimal as possible”.It said it required a TCA system for analysis of mainly its internal cash equity execution.“We are looking for a system that can evaluate trading decisions by providing quick and user-friendly cost analysis,” it said.“Since we are investing in a range of markets, both developed and emerging markets, it is important the system cover these markets.”last_img read more

Danish pensions body counters political pressure to invest for growth

first_imgDanish pension funds have already invested DKK220bn (€29.5bn) in Danish business and are keen to help create more growth in the domestic economy, according to industry association Forsikring & Pension (F&P).But the risk of such investments has to match the return, it insisted. The association’s chairman Christian Salgild told F&P’s annual meeting: “All my warning lights start to flash when the political side proposes that pension funds invest in companies and sectors considered risky by banks and the FSA, while at the same time those businesses are making big investments in production and jobs abroad.”However, his main message should not be misunderstood, he said. He said the pensions and insurance industry already contributed very significantly to investment and growth in Denmark and wanted to step up efforts, as long as the return matched the risk.New figures from F&P show the pension funds have DKK220bn invested in Danish business.Of this, DKK125bn was in property, DKK85bn in shares, corporate bonds and loans, and DKK10bn in infrastructure, wind energy and public-private partnerships (PPPs), according to the association’s data, covering 85% of the pensions market. “I understand politicians’ desire for more pensions money to go into Danish companies,” said Salgild. But politicians also have to understand the world in which pension funds operate, he said.“We are obliged – legally, too – to safeguard pension savers’ interests first and foremost,” he said.Sagild said the problem facing investment and growth in Denmark was not that Danish companies were caught in a credit crunch.The main problem was rather that the Danish economy was growing too slowly and that Denmark was not nearly as attractive an investment location as other countries.“In a globalised world, it is first and foremost the cost level that determines where companies place their production,” he said.“And this, therefore, also determines which countries and regions will experience growth and increased employment.”last_img read more

Mandate roundup: IPE-Quest, NPRF, Lightstone

first_imgSeparately, European institutional investor is also looking for a manager to oversee a $80m investment grade corporate bond mandate. Managers applying for search QN1413 should apply the Bank of America Merrill Lynch US Corporate Index (C0A0) as a benchmark.All other criteria, including minimum AUM for similar mandates and managers, reflect search QN 1412. Applications for both searches are welcome until 6 June, stating gross of fees performance to the end of March.Meanwhile, Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has committed €10m to a life sciences fund managed by Lightstone Ventures.The reserve fund’s sixth investment in support of the Innovation Fund Ireland – a government initiative to support Irish start-ups with venture capital funding, will be to Lightstone Ventures I – a fund targeting early stage investments in medical device and pharmaceutical companies.NPRF chairman Paul Carty said: “The life science industry offers great potential for Ireland and Lightstone will provide emerging businesses in this exciting sector with a valuable new source of funding and expertise.”The Lightstone vehicle, targeting a raise of $170m, made its first investment in January this year.The IPE.com news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE-Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email jayna.vishram@ipe-quest.com. A European institutional investor is seeking an asset manager for a $80m (€58m) high yield corporate debt mandate, using IPE-Quest.According to search QN1412, the US corporate bond mandate should focus on core companies, only investing in firms that issue debt in US dollars, are listed in the US by non European Union based firms.The investment should be actively managed, with performance measured against the Bank of America Merrill Lynch US High Yield Master II Index (H0A0).Interested managers should manage at least $500m in similar mandates with a minimum track record of three years, but preferably five. The manager should furthermore have total assets under management (AUM) of $5bn.last_img read more

Aegon reaps benefits of Dutch residential mortgage boom

first_imgProgress, the €4.5bn pension fund for Unilever, was among the first investors in Aegon’s mortgages fund, committing 5% of its assets to the vehicle last year. At the time, it said it expected its investments in home loans would generate 2.5% more in returns than the market rate.It also cited its desire to increase diversification within its investment portfolio, as well as heed the “call from society” to raise local investment.The €1.5bn pension fund of coffee processor Douwe Egberts (DEPF) also recently announced that it, too, would invest 5% of its assets in the Aegon fund.It said it expected to achieve better returns against “very limited” additional risk, “as most of these mortgages have been issued under government guarantee (NHG)”.Meanwhile, asset manager Syntrus Achmea has also seen its Particuliere Hypothekenfonds grow rapidly.The fund, which issues mortgages to consumers directly, is currently 78% home loans under NHG.According Hugo Ouwehand, the company’s mortgages director, 42 Dutch pension funds have committed a total of €3.8bn to date – not only for diversification purposes, he said, but also to improve risk/return profile and benefit from the spread between swap and market rates.Among the participants in Syntrus Achmea’s fund is the €38bn metal scheme PME.Ouwehand said he expected €1bn in inflows this year, after the vehicle posted increases of €450m and €880m in 2012 and 2013, respectively.He also confirmed that net returns over the last five years had averaged at 6.6%.However, he argued that the Dutch housing market had already “passed its lowest point”, and that pressure on returns would increase.Earlier this year, the Dutch Mortgage Funding Company (DMFCO), with its Munt Hypotheken, established itself as an additional option for direct institutional investment in residential mortgages.Recently, the €55bn metal scheme, the €18bn pension fund for the printing industry (PGB) and the €6.8 scheme for steel works (Hoogovens) committed €2bn in total to the DMFCO scheme.Jeroen van Hessen, a partner at DMFCO, said he expected the vehicle to attract €3bn in total within the next 18 months.Dutch pension funds are still waiting for further developments on the Nederlandse Hypotheek-instelling (NHI), a new institution that is to issue government-backed mortgage bonds.However, the start of the NHI, which aims to issue €25bn in mortgage bonds over the next five years, has already been delayed by several months, following an EU investigation into possible state support.Unilever’s Progress indicated that it was not interested in investing in NHI-issued mortgage bonds, arguing that the NHI would focus on old mortgages, which it said were likely to generate a lower risk premium.Combined mortgage debt in the Netherlands amounted to €637bn at the end of 2013. Aegon Asset Management is among the fund managers benefiting from a shift towards Dutch residential mortgages in recent years, with pension funds looking increasingly for alternatives to government bonds. Aegon AM’s Dutch Mortgage Fund – launched in August 2013 – has already attracted more than €1.8bn in institutional investment.The company said it had returned more than 5% over the first three quarters of 2014, but declined to provide further details on the expected growth of the fund.Aegon’s Dutch Mortgage Fund is currently 81% guaranteed home loans, with a loan-to-value ratio of up to 106% and a duration of 7.2 years on average.last_img read more

UK Pensions Infrastructure Platform adds solar as fund launch nears

first_img“It is important we do everything we have to do in describing this novel concept [to the FCA],” he said.“We should benefit by the fact we are investing in very simple products – real tangible assets, not complex structured derivative instruments. “We might lose in consideration by [the PIP’s] being a new, different structure with founding investor pension schemes backing the concept.”For the FCA authorisation, Weston said it was essential to have appropriate people within the company, adding that it was currently recruiting for an investment director with direct dealing experience in infrastructure assets.There are also plans to add a head of risk function and investment analytical support for the team. Weston said headcount would grow as assets under management did.The PIP is also set to launch a multi-strategy infrastructure investment fund, which has been already developed by the organisation and will be launched once FCA authorisation is given.Over the long term, Weston said he expected the PIP to hold a mixture direct and indirect investments – using the two external funds as a starting point.In addition to the PPP Equity Fund, managed by Dalmore Capital, the PIP has arranged to host Aviva Investors’ Solar PV fund, which invests in solar panels and power generation.The Dalmore fund has already invested £255m (€209m) of PIP founding investor capital in 42 assets and increased the cap of the fund to £600m, which will close in September this year.Dalmore said it expected to increase its fund AUM from £350m currently to £500m by April, while the solar fund has yet to be launched but has a cap of £250m.Weston also said the PIP would like to grow and become more able to invest in large-scale UK infrastructure projects and that discussions had taken place over a bid for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a £4.8bn project to update London’s ageing sewer network.The PIP originally set its target size of £2bn based on £200m commitments from its original 10 founding members.Weston admitted there was a long way to go to raise the capital.However, he said the “controlled expansion” of the platform would allow for this to happen.He also said the PIP was working on the challenge of being able to accept commitments of any size from UK pension funds – and that assets would match those required by insurance companies so pension schemes could still approach buyouts.Only five of the 10 founding investors have committed capital to the Dalmore PPP Equity fund, as three funds left the platform altogether, and two refrained from infrastructure equity.Read Taha Lokhandwala’s analysis on how the PIP and similar projects in Europe are working for pension funds The UK’s Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP) has added a solar investment fund to its portfolio as it builds up internal capacity and awaits regulatory approval to become a fully fledged asset manager.The PIP was set up, backed by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), in 2011 as a method of channelling pension fund investment into UK infrastructure, avoiding the market fee structure and general partner/limited partner set-ups.After making its first allocations in public/private partnership (PPP) infrastructure equity assets in 2014, the PIP is set to finalise its approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and begin managing assets in-house.Mike Weston, chief executive at the PIP, said gaining authorisation would be the third and final key stage in the fund’s long-term plan to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for pension fund infrastructure investment.last_img read more

‘Stark’ warnings for UK companies as deficits grow, contributions fall

first_imgThe funding levels for UK private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes are a “stark read” for trustees and corporates alike, as private sector deficits triple in 15 years.The warning, from consultancy Hymans Robertson, comes as the firm calculated liabilities could be as high as £2.1trn (€2.8trn) when measured on an insurance buyout basis.Figures showed despite private sector firms putting £500bn into pension schemes since 2000, deficit levels had risen from £250bn to £900bn.Additional figures from consultancy LCP showed that DB offerings in the UK’s largest 100 firms are slowly reducing their contributions to DB schemes, despite ballooning deficits. Some reduction can be explained by schemes closing to future accrual, however, total liabilities for FTSE 100 companies still outweighed assets by £25bn at the end of July this year.The UK’s largest companies put £12.4bn into pension schemes during 2014, down from £16.8bn.LCP said despite falling contributions, the schemes still posed significant financial risks for their sponsoring companies, as it disclosed the 10 worse-affected firms combined had £350bn in liabilities and nearly £40bn in deficits.The consultancy also said companies that paid in large contributions in recent years had begun reverting to normal, lower levels.But, it conceded the current funding level not the worst seen in recent years, with deficit levels fluctuating between £10bn and £60bn in the last five years.LCP partner Bob Scott said: “Strong investment returns, payment of deficit contributions and low levels of inflation has offset the impact of significant falls in bond yields, which have led to a material increase in reported liability values.“[However] since January 2005, we estimate the total pension liability of FTSE 100 companies has almost doubled,” he added.The overall private sector DB space, according to Hymans Robertson’s figures, were equally concerning.Jon Hatchett, partner at the firm, said for any firm with a DB scheme the numbers were stark.“Finance directors and shareholders will be scratching their heads wondering how this has come to pass,” he said.Hymans’ £2.1trn figure was calculated by using the PPF’s latest update to the market on the state of private sector scheme funding – and increasing this by 44% to account for the cost of insuring liabilities via a buyout.The lifeboat fund said the 6,057 schemes were £223.1bn underfunded on their ability to provide PPF-level benefits, otherwise known as s179.According to the PPF, liabilities were at £1.52trn, and only covered by £1.26trn of assets.Hatchett said schemes had been taking too much risk for far too long.“Much of this is down to the three big positions taken since the turn of the millennium: positive positions in equities offset by negative ones on interest rates and longevity. Each has been incredibly costly.“Rising longevity has added 10-15% to liabilities and falling interest rates more than 50% again, while equities have returned under half what schemes might have expected back in 2000,” Hatchett said.He said trustees must resist the temptation to focus on investment growth, as this would not solve the issue.“This situation requires a different approach: slower deficit reduction, taking no more risk than is needed and investing in assets that deliver income,” he added.last_img read more

Direct lending managers ‘move to boost fees by lowering hurdle rates’

first_imgMany asset managers selling direct lending investment vehicles have made moves to lower hurdle rates in the latest round of fundraising, which would effectively increase their overall fees, according to consultancy bfinance.Niels Bodenheim, London-based senior director of private markets at bfinance, and Dharmy Rai, associate within bfinance’s private markets department, said: “Some are sounding out the idea; some have already tried to market their latest offerings; most have not (yet) succeeded in taking a step that, for [limited partners (LPs)], would be hard to stomach.”Hurdle rates are the point at which lucrative “catch-ups” and performance fees kick in, the firm explained.In a market commenary, Bodenheim and Rai said that, often, the height of a hurdle and the structure that kicks in when it is reached receive less attention than management fee and carry percentages. This may be because the latter are often open to negotiation while the former are set in fund terms and conditions, they said.“Yet the hurdle is, arguably, the most important part of the fee leakage puzzle,” they said.“Indeed, we see examples where managers with lower management fees end up taking home more money purely because they reached the same — net-of-management-fee — hurdles sooner than they otherwise would have done,” said Bodenheim and Rai.The pair said they did not believe direct lending managers’ hurdle rates had been too high in recent years and that in some cases, the threshold had already been a bit too low.“There is still, on average, too much leakage in the net performance figures,” they said, adding that in general the hurdle should be no lower than 2% beneath the fund’s expected return.Although it might be understandable that firms were cutting hurdle rates if expected returns were lower for new funds — in order to keep their business profitable — bfinance said that this did not seem to be the case –– expected returns on funds being raised in 2017 were broadly the same as before, except where strategies were very different.One explanation could stem from the fact that many private debt funds were run by private equity firms, said Bodenheim and Rai. Staff at these companies expected the same compensation that they received for private equity work.But this was hard to justify, bfinance said, since private equity managers could generate significant upside but private debt managers could not.Following noticeable improvement for LPs in management and performance fees for direct lending funds over the last few years, a reduction in hurdle rates could represent a backwards step, Bodenheim and Rai said.“Hopefully the negative reaction among investors, together with rising competition among fund managers, will dissuade firms from following through on such changes,” they said.last_img read more

​Big investors at crossroads in ‘man vs machine’ shift, survey shows

first_imgFidelity also found that institutional investors around the world expected markets and decision-making to become faster, accurate and more efficient as new technologies took hold.Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents said they believed trading algorithms and sophisticated quantitative models would make markets more efficient, and 80% thought blockchain and similar technologies would fundamentally change the industry.Most investors said they expected to rely on AI in the near future for certain business functions: 69% of respondents said they expected to rely on AI for optimising asset allocation in the near future, while 67% foresaw themselves relying on the technology for monitoring and evaluating manager and portfolio performance and risk.Nearly 40% said they expected to use it to make custom portfolios without the help of asset managers.However, only 10% respondents told the researchers that they had already fully integrated the technology into investment processes.Paras Anand, head of asset management, Asia Pacific, at Fidelity International, warned that following new data sources or algorithms should not be done blindly.“AI is not capable of making investment decisions alone and more data can simply give way to the risk of mistaking mere noise for valuable insight,” he said. “But if carefully considered investors can embrace AI to enhance their process.”The survey respondents included pension funds, insurance companies and financial institutions with a collective $29trn (€25trn) of assets under management. Most institutional investors believe technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain will transform the investment industry in the next seven years – but few have used them yet.After polling 905 investors from 25 countries, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management said its research suggested that institutional investors “appear to be at a crossroads in their understanding of how man versus machine will play out”.Its Global Institutional Investor Survey reported that 53% institutional investors believed technology would replace traditional investment roles.However, many said the human connection would continue to be important, with 60% believing AI would augment jobs rather than replace them.last_img read more

Lift-off for new Airbus DC scheme in Germany

first_imgThere will be no shift in allocation based on members’ age, as Airbus found that many so-called ‘lifecycle’ models had returned less than the projected returns from the company’s new pension plan.How it worksTo give members some certainty and an idea of what to expect as a pension payout to its staff, the company intends to grant a target return determined each year. Of this, around 70% will be paid monthly into each employee’s individual account.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The German entities of international engineering firm Airbus have revamped their company pension plan to lower the risk for the employer and increase potential returns for employees. The new plan was set up at the end of last year, and 20,000 people have already joined since the start of January. “This is about half our staff,” confirmed Markus Wilhelm, head of pensions at Airbus Germany, speaking at the Zukunftsmarkt Altersvorsorge conference in Berlin last month.Airbus has allocated 70% of the new plan to equities and 30% bonds. Lift-off for new pension plan: 20,000 employees have already signed up for Airbus’ new arrangementsAny excess return above this level will be paid into a buffer pool capped for tax reasons. According to Wilhelm, German authorities “had assumed we wanted to shift profits into this pool”.Once the pool is full, the remaining funds will be divided up among the members’ individual accounts.In years of lower than expected returns or negative performance, the buffer fund will be used to compensate shortfalls. Payments to individual accounts will only be reduced if the buffer fund is insufficient. People closer to retirement will not get any money from the buffer fund, but also will not have to pay into it in times of shortfalls.The idea of granting a target rate of return – known in Germany as Zielrente, or ‘defined ambition’ – is similar to one of the measures brought in by Germany’s Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) reform, although no industry-wide non-guaranteed pension plans have yet been introduced.Maintaining controlWilhelm said Airbus chose to keep the pension arrangements in house via a Direktzusage arrangement, essentially paying benefits direct from the company balance sheet.“We talked about a Pensionsfonds or other outsourcing but we wanted to keep control,” he said.Wilhelm explained that any external vehicle might be exposed to changes in the legal framework and the company “does not want to be forced to make changes we do not like”.Under the old pension plan – which is now closed to new entries – Airbus offered a 5% guaranteed return on accrued assets. This had become too expensive and liabilities had been too volatile, differing by up to €3bn per year, Wilhelm said.At the end of 2017, Airbus’ defined benefit obligations for Germany amounted to €9.8bn, and it had put aside €4bn in plan assets.For employees the old plan seemed very attractive, but Wilhelm said its Achilles’ heel was that inflation was not covered.“Back-testing showed returns from the plan with fixed guarantees were not always positive for the members in real terms,” Wilhelm said.Convincing the employees of the new pension plan’s benefits was a long-term effort involving “a lot of detailed information sessions with the employee representatives”, he said.He added that the new pension plan made it easier for Airbus to grant a conditional target return.“For the real tail risks we still have the company as financial back up, as it wanted to reduce its pension risk but not get rid of it completely,” the pension chief said.last_img read more

EC presented with plan for capital markets union ‘game-changers’

first_imgThomas Wieser, chair of the Forum, speaking from Wien during a Twitter live event about the reportWelcoming the final report, Matti Leppälä, general secretary at PensionsEurope, said the attention paid to pensions in the report was “remarkable”, and that it “shows that sustainable and adequate pensions are key for reaching the CMU objectives”.In the report, the pensions recommendations come under the heading of the “fostering retail investments in capital markets”. Patrice Bergé-Vincent, managing director at ICI Global, said it was “right” that the report included a focus on retail investors.ICI Global carries out the international work of the Investment Company Institute, a US-based association representing regulated funds globally.“Retail investors could play an important role in revitalising and strengthening European economies and the next round of CMU reforms should encourage this,” said Bergé-Vincent.“As the report notes, in many cases simplification is the solution.“Investor documents should be digital, engaging, and reader-friendly. Additional private retirement savings should be encouraged through steps including financial education and auto-enrolment.”At fellow interest group Better Finance, managing director Guillaume Prache, a member of the HLF, said it was positive that “EU citizens as savers are discreetly finding their rightful place at the heart of the CMU,” but that it was “too early to declare victory”.“Restoring much-needed trust amongst individual investors will only be possible if policymakers take this report into account and seriously engage with its ‘game changing’ proposals,” he said.From auto-enrolment to withholding taxThe pensions-specific recommendations in the report include that the Commission develop a dashboard to monitor the state of play in member states, and “consider ways to support the introduction of auto-enrolment”.According to the report, the HLF is recommending that the Commission table a legislative proposal to require auto-enrolment into default occupational pension schemes at the level of member states. In those countries that did not currently have active eligible pillar two providers (IORPs), necessary rules for them and other institutions would need to be introduced, it added.PensionsEurope noted that it agreed with the HLF that member states with the most developed market-based pension systems also had the highest pensions adequacy and the most developed capital markets.It said it supported any initiatives aimed at increasing occupational pension coverage and pension savings, and that auto-enrolment had proven to be a very viable policy option in some countries.However, Leppälä told IPE there should not be a push for a binding legal EU framework on auto-enrolment, as this was a matter of social and labour law and hence a member state competency.  The other pension-specific recommendation encouraged the development of pension tracking systems for individuals, with the HLF also calling on industry to support and contribute to financing the full roll-out of the European Tracking System (ETS).The report also put forward recommendations that were not specifically on pensions, but still “relevant for PensionsEurope and our members,” said Leppälä.One of these is on withholding tax.To tackle “the currently inefficient and cumbersome WHT refund procedures”, the group recommended that the Commission put forward a legislative proposal introducing a standardised system for relief at source of withholding tax based on authorised information agents and withholding agents.“This is very much in line with what PensionsEurope has stressed over the past years,” said Leppälä, telling IPE that withholding tax had been on its agenda since the 1960s.Data portal sustainable finance linksThere are elements in the HLF’s report that appear relevant from the point of view of the sustainable finance agenda, although few references are made to the concept, or to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors or investing.In his preface to the report, chair Weiser said climate change “remains at the forefront of our concerns”, suggesting that making a success out of the CMU project would benefit the fight against climate change.“With a deep and dynamic capital market, the joint financing capacity will facilitate a green transition that works for our citizens,” he said.“Recent regulatory developments create an urgent need for publicly available and affordable ESG data and the establishment of an EU Single Access Point would be a good improvement”Matti Leppälä, general secretary at PensionsEuropeOne recommendation in the report that has links to EU sustainable finance regulation is the first one, which is on creating a EU “single access point”. This is described as an EU-wide digital platform for access to companies’ public financial and non-financial information, freely accessible to the public and free of fees or licence use.According to the HLF, the recommendation is aimed at addressing the problems of a lack of comparable, usable and easily accessible public information about companies, which was first and foremost to the detriment of smaller companies.“Comparable, usable and easily accessible public information is not only essential for investors, but also for financial intermediaries, who need such data to help investors to make informed investment decisions,” it added.PensionsEurope welcomed the Single Access Point recommendation, drawing out its link to sustainable finance regulation.“Market forces and regulatory developments have increased the need for data on investee companies and other market data,” said Leppälä.“Recent regulatory developments in the context of the EU sustainable finance agenda create an urgent need for publicly available and affordable ESG data and the establishment of an EU Single Access Point would be a good improvement.”The Single Access Point recommendation has echoes of a common database of ESG metrics that is referred to in the Commission’s consultation for a renewed sustainable finance strategy. PensionsEurope was one of a group of financial services trade associations that today called for the creation of a centralised public register for ESG data in the EU.Next stepsThe Commission has said it would be seeking feedback on the report between today and the end of the month.In early autumn it is due to present its next CMU “action plan”, with Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice-president of the Commission and in charge of financial services and CMU, saying it would “carefully consider” each of the HLF’s recommendations.“The capital markets union is a major element of our post-coronavirus recovery strategy,” he said. ”The Capital Markets Union can be a game changer provided we now make meaningful progress – the High-Level Expert Group has provided valuable input to make this happen.”PensionsEurope’s Leppälä said: “I’m convinced the European Commission will take this seriously.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. The European Commission has been presented with a plan for “game-changer” measures to take to realise the creation of a capital markets union (CMU) in the EU, according to the High-Level Forum (HLF) behind the recommendations, with “remarkable” attention seen being paid to pensions in the group’s report.Established by the European Commission last year, the HLF on the CMU today set out 17 clusters of recommendations in its final report, describing them as “the game-changers”, because they were “what the EU needs to implement urgently in order to tackle the most serious barriers in its capital markets”.The recommendations span the full spectrum of capital market activities, grouped by the HLF under the headings of: financing business; market infrastructure; individual investors’ engagement; and obstacles to cross-border investment.“The report does not contain abstract ideas or high level principles that should be achieved,” said Thomas Wieser, chair of the Forum. “Rather, it has very precise and clear recommendations on what should be done in order to move Europe forward. “We emphasise that this is not a menu from which one can order two or three courses, and go home satisfied. The clusters of measures are mutually reinforcing, and dependent on each other.”Establishing a single capital market in the EU is a long-established policy goal, but in the report Wieser said a functioning capital market was even more important now in the context of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more