ICI Goes Global

ICI Goes Global

dan_waters

The Investment Company Institute is taking its mission overseas with the launch of its new trade organization that will focus on regulatory and market issues for global investment funds. ICI Global, as it’s called, will be based in London, and the organization will be lead by Dan Waters, managing director and former FSA senior regulator, and Jamie Broderick, chair of the steering committee and head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management in Europe. According to Broderick:

ICI Global responds to a rapidly growing transnational environment for global investment funds. As financial markets converge and funds’ activities become more global, regulators are increasingly coordinating their efforts internationally. Funds need a strong and informed source on issues that cross borders to inform the policy agenda worldwide.

It’s true; the asset management industry is under considerable pressure, especially in Europe. In fact, if you look at the top 10 U.S. asset managers, the names do not differ much from the top 10 European managers. During a media presentation of Boston Consulting Group’s report on Global Asset Management 2011, BCG execs said many asset managers are in steady decline, as increases in AUM figures are more due to market appreciation than new net flows.

So it makes perfect sense for ICI to expand globally, and I’m surprised the effort didn’t get underway sooner. I would imagine the crisis in Europe makes this an even more urgent task. The U.S. economy is no doubt affected by problems in Europe, and vice versa (as we saw in ’08); it’s times like these when U.S. and European managers need to work together toward common goals.

ICI said the new global organization has outlined four priorities: “the role of funds and fund managers in financial stability; key transnational regulatory developments for funds; global trading and market structure policy developments; and retirement savings and pension systems.”

Several fund companies have also expressed interest in joining, including Capital Research and Management, Columbia Management and Threadneedle Investments, Federated Investors Funds, Franklin Templeton Investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Invesco, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Legg Mason, Nuveen Investments, PIMCO Funds, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard.

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