HPF Performance:
Media Coverage • 2015
Press articles published in some of the most prestigious financial publications throughout the world.
 
Publication: Wealth Briefing
Publication Date: 28/04/15
 
MPL launches service to aid Asset Managers
as new Swiss rules bite
 

Managing Partners Limited (MPL), an investment house, has rolled out a service targeted at helping the thousands of Swiss asset managers it says are struggling to comply with a Swiss version of recently enacted European Union rules.

FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator, introduced on 1 March a version of the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the EU’s MiFID regime (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). The Swiss rules apply to managers and distributors of non-Swiss funds to Swiss investors and impose strict new organisational requirements and extra compliance costs for managers based in Switzerland. In particular, they require asset management companies in Switzerland to become directly authorised by FINMA if they manage more than SFr100 million ($104.7 million) in open-ended funds or more than SFr500 million in closed-ended funds.

"The new Swiss regulations require a 'stellar leap' in compliance capacity for many of the country’s 5,000 independent asset managers, which have been subjected to little more than money laundering regulations in the past,” MPL said in a statement.

Each firm, it says, must spend at least €1 million to become independently registered and licensed by FINMA under the new rules because of increased minimum capital requirements, additional staffing and compliance costs.

MPL said it will use its status as an international regulated fund management company to assist Swiss and foreign managers seeking to distribute funds in Switzerland, to satisfy the prescribed procedures and obtain the required status to distribute their funds to qualified investors in Switzerland. The firm has a presence in Switzerland and the EU. It said it is able to “provide effective solutions which both lower the costs and enhance the flexibility of Swiss-based managers seeking to maintain their involvement with non-Swiss funds”.

“FINMA has effectively been bounced into this because it needed to radically change the Swiss regulatory environment to bring it into line with new regulations introduced in the European Union. Whilst the Swiss should take significant pride in the fact that that such a high degree of ethics has negated the need for a radical overhaul of Swiss financial services practices, the European Union rules have forced the issue and if the Swiss financial services industry wishes to align itself with Europe, then these regulatory changes are inevitable,” Jeremy Leach, MPL’s chief executive, said.

To view the full article directly on the publisher's website click here.

Publication: Institutional Asset Manager
Publication Date: 27/04/15
 
Thousands of Swiss asset managers ‘breaching’ new FINMA rules, says MPL
 
Managing Partners Limited (MPL) has launched a new service to help the thousands of Swiss asset management firms it believes are now struggling to meet – and are already breaching – new rules introduced by regulator FINMA.

FINMA is raising the regulatory bar in Switzerland to mirror the standards set by the AIFMD and MiFID in the European Union and MPL believes this requires a ‘stellar leap’ in compliance capacity for many of the country’s 5,000 independent asset managers (IAMs), which have been subjected to little more than money laundering regulations in the past. MPL estimates that it will require a minimum of EUR1 million a year for each IAM to become independently registered and licensed by FINMA under the new rules because of increased minimum capital requirements, additional staffing and compliance costs. But MPL can offer a simpler and far less costly alternative solution.

Under its new service, MPL will use its status as an international regulated fund management company to assist Swiss and foreign managers seeking to distribute funds in Switzerland, to satisfy the prescribed procedures and obtain the required status to distribute their funds to qualified investors in Switzerland. MPL group, which has a presence in both Switzerland and the EU, is able to provide effective solutions which both lower the costs and enhance the flexibility of Swiss-based managers seeking to maintain their involvement with non-Swiss funds.

Jeremy Leach, Chief Executive Officer, MPL, says: “FINMA has effectively been bounced into this because it needed to radically change the Swiss regulatory environment to bring it into line with new regulations introduced in the European Union. Whilst the Swiss should take significant pride in the fact that that such a high degree of ethics has negated the need for a radical overhaul of Swiss financial services practices, the European Union Rules have forced the issue and if the Swiss financial services industry wishes to align itself with Europe, then these regulatory changes are inevitable. I envisage that the scale of disruption being caused will be similar to that created in the UK in 1988 as a result of the United Kingdom Financial Services Act.”

To view the full article directly on the publisher's website click here.

Publication: Hedgeweek
Publication Date: 27/04/15
 
Thousands of Swiss asset managers ‘breaching’ new FINMA rules, says MPL
 
Managing Partners Limited (MPL) has launched a new service to help the thousands of Swiss asset management firms it believes are now struggling to meet – and are already breaching – new rules introduced by regulator FINMA.

FINMA is raising the regulatory bar in Switzerland to mirror the standards set by the AIFMD and MiFID in the European Union and MPL believes this requires a ‘stellar leap’ in compliance capacity for many of the country’s 5,000 independent asset managers (IAMs), which have been subjected to little more than money laundering regulations in the past. MPL estimates that it will require a minimum of EUR1 million a year for each IAM to become independently registered and licensed by FINMA under the new rules because of increased minimum capital requirements, additional staffing and compliance costs. But MPL can offer a simpler and far less costly alternative solution.

Under its new service, MPL will use its status as an international regulated fund management company to assist Swiss and foreign managers seeking to distribute funds in Switzerland, to satisfy the prescribed procedures and obtain the required status to distribute their funds to qualified investors in Switzerland. MPL group, which has a presence in both Switzerland and the EU, is able to provide effective solutions which both lower the costs and enhance the flexibility of Swiss-based managers seeking to maintain their involvement with non-Swiss funds.

Jeremy Leach, Chief Executive Officer, MPL, says: “FINMA has effectively been bounced into this because it needed to radically change the Swiss regulatory environment to bring it into line with new regulations introduced in the European Union. Whilst the Swiss should take significant pride in the fact that that such a high degree of ethics has negated the need for a radical overhaul of Swiss financial services practices, the European Union Rules have forced the issue and if the Swiss financial services industry wishes to align itself with Europe, then these regulatory changes are inevitable. I envisage that the scale of disruption being caused will be similar to that created in the UK in 1988 as a result of the United Kingdom Financial Services Act.”

To view the full article directly on the publisher's website click here.

Publication: Funds Europe
Publication Date: 27/04/15
 
Thousands of managers "may be breaching Swiss rules"
 
Thousands of Swiss asset management firms are, or could be, breaching rules in Switzerland designed to mirror EU investment directives covering distribution, it is claimed.

The claim is from Managing Partners Limited (MPL), an alternative fund management company that has launched a service to help Swiss asset managers distribute funds within the new guidelines of Finma, the country’s regulator.

The rules are set out under Switzerland’s Collective Investment Scheme Act and Collective Investment Scheme Ordinance, and they mirror the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in the EU.

MPL says the rules require a “stellar leap” in compliance capacity for many of the country’s 5,000 independent asset managers, which have been subjected to little more than money laundering regulations in the past.

To view the full article directly on the publisher's website click here.

Publication: Financial Times
Publication Date: 26/04/15
 
Extinction looms for small Swiss fund houses
 
More than 1,000 small Swiss fund houses and wealth managers could be forced to close or merge as a result of tighter regulation in the alpine country, industry figures fear.

Under legislation that came into effect last month, asset management companies managing or distributing collective investment schemes with assets of more than SFr100m ($105m) in open-ended funds or SFr500m in closed-ended ones now need to be regulated by Finma, the Swiss financial watchdog.

From 2017, other private-client and wealth managers will also need to register with Finma, rather than operating as self-regulatory organisations.

Some smaller groups will struggle to comply with the far more onerous capital, staffing and compliance requirements the regulations will impose on them “There is a huge expense of putting people in place. There will be any number of companies that are simply not able to comply immediately because of lack of resources or people,” said Jeremy Leach, chief executive of Managing Partners Limited, a boutique asset manager.

To view the full article directly on the publisher's website click here.

Publication: Professional Pensions
Publication Date: 18/03/15
 
Budget 2015: Osborne launches consultation
on secondary annuity market
 
Chancellor George Osborne has launched a consultation on extending pensions freedoms to pensioners who have already bought annuities.

The paper, published alongside the Budget today, sets out the government's plans to give more than 5 million people the chance to cash in their annuities.

It invites views on how a secondary annuity market could work in reality as well as how to ensure pensioners get the right guidance and advice.

Osborne said while an annuity is the right product for many people, for some it makes sense to access their annuity now.

The government proposes to allow individuals to sell their annuities for lump sum cash, flexi-access drawdown fund or a flexible annuity. Annuity holders that assign to a third party the right to their annuity payments will get the £10,000 annual allowance that applied to defined contribution from this April.

There are concerns from industry participants over how such a market will work in practice, however.

The government believes annuity providers, third party purchasers, and intermediaries will allow the development of a "strong market" for secondary annuities. This market will allow annuity holders to assign to a third party the right to their annuity payments. The Treasury also admitted that the market could fail to come to fruition if buyers were unable to price the risk of such purchases correctly.

The government said it will work with the Financial Conduct Authority to ensure there are safeguards to ensure people have the information needed to decide whether to sell. It is considering potential safeguards such as a requirement to take financial advice, an offer of guidance; and regulatory interventions such as risk warnings.

The move is one of four steps the government will undertake to create a savings revolution. There are warnings that many people may expect an unrealistic price for their annuities on the secondary market. A survey by Portal Financial has found that two-thirds of people consider 90% to be the minimum percentage of an annuity's true value that they would accept if they chose to sell it.

Mercer principal Mark Rowlands questioned the value of the government's move as he believes it brings risks.

He said: "We may see people prioritising short term issues, such as, paying off a loan rather than securing their financial future. People typically underestimate their life expectancy by around 5 years, people risk trading their long term financial security for an immediate 1 off payment. No one knows how this market would function and what value the consumer will receive, it is hugely risky."

Managing Partners Limited chief executive officer Jeremy Leach said tax treatment will still need to be clarified. He said: "For example, how will the capital gain for annuitants be taxed and how will the income streams for the new beneficiaries be treated given it will be less than the price paid for some time? Regulators will also have to draft new rules to cover transferability rules."

As the Budget was announced today the government revealed it could save £835m in 2016-2017 from the pension changes.

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Publication: IFA Magazine
Publication Date: 18/03/15
 
Budget 2015
 
A selection of comments and views on the 2015 Budget coming into the IFA Magazine news desk:

Jeremy Leach, Chief Executive Officer of Managing Partners Limited, which manages a number of funds that invest in insurance linked securities, commented: "This initiative is long overdue given that interest – and therefore annuity – rates have been at all-time lows for a record time. It is a fantastic opportunity for those who bought an annuity when it was not their preferred route to seek financial alternatives that are more suitable to their circumstances, including the paying down of debt. "Annuity sellers could get significant value but a lot will depend on age and health factors. There will be a lot of people who will not be able to achieve the value they want from selling their annuities.

"Tax treatment will need to be clarified. For example, how will the capital gain for annuitants be taxed and how will the income streams for the new beneficiaries be treated given it will be less than the price paid for some time? Regulators will also have to draft new rules to cover transferability rules.

"For many annuity sellers it will be a complicated process though and therefore there will be significantly more demand for financial advice."

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