No meeting involving participants in the European investment industry and the sub-industries which service its needs would be complete without multiple discussions on the ever-changing regulatory environment.
Ever since the events that became the international financial crisis began to unfold in the summer of 2007, culminating in the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, investment managers and their suppliers have had to cope with multiple uncertainties and the threat of additional costs.
Both inevitably feed through and impact the service provided to end-investors - sometimes negatively but often surprisingly positive. If the need to re-engineer existing solutions helps to present the opportunity to remove one or more layers of complexity and cost from the pre-trade, execution and post-trade processes, that can deliver greater efficiencies and lower overall costs.
This relaunch issue of Momentum, the SGSS client news and comment service, tackles the hydra-esque topic usually referred to as the AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive).
In these pages we have tried to convey the readiness of our industry for this landmark regulation, which is scheduled to be transposed into European Union member state law from July 22 this year. We have taken soundings from SGSS clients as well as our own internal experts on the challenges they face and the changes they have made.
Topics addressed include the underlying principles guiding the AIFMD, the likely changes in the fund distribution landscape, the implications in terms of cost and technology, and the differences and similarities between it and UCITS V.
In areas beyond AIFMD we take a brief look at the continuing reshaping of markets in central and Eastern Europe, and the likelihood that the latest phase in consolidation of the securities services industry there could prompt some investors to review their existing arrangements for custody and other services. Regular readers will find familiar features, albeit in a slightly revised form, and new features which have been conceived and commissioned specifically to ensure the new look meets the demanding targets placed upon it by all at SGSS.