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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
05/09/2019 ESMA71-99-1205 ESMA publishes stress simulation framework for investment funds , , Press Release PDF
119.98 KB
19/07/2019 ESMA71-99-1204 MMF stress testing and reporting guidelines release Press Release PDF
98.28 KB
05/02/2019 ESMA71-99-1106 Press release- ESMA consults on liquidity stress test guidance for investment funds Press Release PDF
82.55 KB
01/02/2019 ESMA71-99-1096 ESMA and EU securities regulators MoUs with FCA , , , , , Press Release PDF
80.5 KB
19/12/2018 ESMA71-99-1085 Press release- ESMA consults on measures to promote sustainability in EU capital markets , , Press Release PDF
125.69 KB
28/09/2018 ESMA71-99-1043 Press release- ESMA consults on stress testing rules for money market funds Press Release PDF
220.32 KB
20/07/2017 ESMA34-45-277 Opinion on asset segregation and custody services Opinion PDF
604.81 KB
13/07/2017 ESMA35-45-344 Opinion to support supervisory convergence in the area of investment management in the context of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union , , Opinion PDF
246.6 KB
24/05/2017 ESMA71-99-468 ESMA consults on Money Market Funds rules , Press Release PDF
144.79 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Consultation Paper (CP) on the Money Market Funds Regulation (MMFR). The CP contains proposals on draft technical advice (TA), draft implementing technical standards (ITS), and guidelines under the MMFR. The key proposals relate to asset liquidity and credit quality, the establishment of a reporting template and stress test scenarios.

30/01/2017 ESMA71-844457584-331 Opinion on UCITS Share Classes Press Release PDF
149.99 KB
30/01/2017 ESMA34-43-296 Opinion on UCITS Share Classes Opinion PDF
332.69 KB
19/07/2016 2016/1138 ESMA advises on extension of funds passport to 12 non-EU countries Press Release PDF
148.97 KB
12/04/2016 2016/596 Opinion on loan origination Opinion PDF
118.55 KB
07/04/2016 JC/2016/21 PR Joint Press Release draft RTS on PRIIPs , , Press Release PDF
207.66 KB
31/03/2016 2016/472 ESMA publishes UCITS remuneration guidelines , Press Release PDF
113.03 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its final Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD. ESMA has also written to the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament on the proportionality principle and remuneration rules in the financial sector.

UCITS Remuneration Guidelines

The UCITS Remuneration Guidelines provide clarity on the requirements under the UCITS Directive for management companies when establishing and applying a remuneration policy for key staff. The Guidelines will ensure a convergent application of these provisions and provide guidance on the governance of remuneration, requirements on risk alignment and disclosure. The Guidelines will apply to UCITS management companies and national competent authorities from 1 January 2017.

Proportionality Issue

ESMA, while finalising its UCITS Remuneration Guidelines, had to balance the alignment with the AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines and the obligation to closely cooperate with the European Banking Authority (EBA) in order to ensure consistency with requirements developed for other financial services sectors, in particular credit institutions and investment firms.

The UCITS Directive prescribes that proportionality shall apply to the full set of remuneration principles set out under this Directive. However, the Guidelines do not include guidance on the possibility of dis-applying certain specific requirements on the pay-out process. This follows recent work and legal analysis, including the EBA’s Guidelines under CRD IV, which have called into question the existing understanding that the proportionality provisions as set out under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD may lead to a result:

  1. where – under specific circumstances – the requirements on the pay-out process i.e. the requirements on variable remuneration in instruments, retention, deferral and ex post incorporation of risk for variable remuneration are not applied; or
  2. where it is possible to apply lower thresholds whenever minimum quantitative thresholds are set for the pay-out requirements e.g. the requirement to defer at least 40% of variable remuneration.

ESMA considers that these scenarios should remain possible in certain situations and, in its letter to the European institutions, suggests that further legal clarity on this possibility could be beneficial to all the interested parties. Legislative changes in the relevant asset management legislation could be one way to further clarify the applicable regulatory framework.

ESMA believes that it would be inappropriate for the following fund managers to be subject in all circumstances to the requirements on the pay-out process:

  1. smaller fund managers (in terms of balance sheet or size of assets under management);

 

  1. fund managers with simpler internal organisation or nature of activities; or

 

  1. fund managers whose scope and complexity of activities is more limited.

 

ESMA also considers that it would be disproportionate to apply the requirements to relatively small amounts of variable remuneration and to apply certain requirements to certain staff when this would not result in an effective alignment of interests between the staff and the investors in the funds.

AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines

The amended AIFMD guidelines will come into force on 1 January 2017. The amendment to the AIFMD guidelines relates to the section of these guidelines dealing with the application of the remuneration rules in a group context and is intended to acknowledge the potential outreach of the CRD rules in a banking group.

The current AIFMD Guidelines will not be amended to bring them into line with the UCITS Guidelines pending clarification on the application of the proportionality principle.

Next Steps

The Guidelines in Annexes III and IV will be translated into the official languages of the European Union and the final texts published on the ESMA website. The deadline for compliance notifications will be two months after the publication of the translations.

02/02/2016 2016/138 ESMA updates on supervisory work on closet index tracking , Press Release PDF
120.08 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Statement providing details of its work on closet index tracking funds.

Closet indexing, also known as index hugging, refers to the practice of fund managers claiming to manage portfolios actively when in reality the fund stays close to a benchmark. ESMA is concerned the practice may harm investors as they are not receiving the service or risk/return profile they expect based on the fund’s disclosure documents while potentially paying higher fees compared to those typically charged for passive management.

ESMA conducted research on a sample of 2,600 funds for the period 2012-2014 to determine whether it could find any indication of closet indexing at an EU-wide level. Quantitative metrics, such as the percentage of a UCITS’ portfolio that does not coincide with the underlying equity benchmark, indicated between 5 and 15% of UCITS equity funds could potentially be closet indexers. ESMA then reviewed the investor disclosure documents of the funds concerned, to see how they described their management strategy, and found they tended to confirm the quantitative analysis results.

11/11/2015 JC/2015/078 ESAs consult on PRIIPs key information for retail investors , , Press Release PDF
120.45 KB
30/07/2015 2015/1238 ESMA advises on extension of AIFMD passport to non-EU jurisdictions , Press Release PDF
147.48 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Advice in relation to the application of the AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive) passport to non-EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and its Opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs and the national private placement regimes (NPPRs). The Advice and Opinion, required under AIFMD, will now be considered by the European Commission, Parliament and Council. ESMA Advice – Extension of AIFMD Passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs The Advice relates to the possible extension of the passport, currently only available to EU entities, to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs which are currently subject to EU NPPRs. ESMA conducted a country-by-country assessment, as this allowed it flexibility to take into account the different circumstances of each non-EU jurisdiction regarding the regulatory issues to be considered i.e. investor protection, competition, potential market disruption and the monitoring of systemic risk. ESMA assessed six jurisdictions – Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America (USA) – who were selected based on a number of factors including the amount of activity already being carried out by entities from these countries under the NPPRs, EU national authorities’ knowledge and experience of dealing with their counterparts and the efforts by stakeholders from these countries to engage with ESMA’s process. The Advice concludes that no obstacles exist to the extension of the passport to Guernsey and Jersey, while Switzerland will remove any remaining obstacles with the enactment of pending legislation. No definitive view has been reached on the other three jurisdictions due to concerns related to competition, regulatory issues and a lack of sufficient evidence to properly assess the relevant criteria. Next Steps The Advice and Opinion have been sent to the Commission, Parliament and Council for their consideration on whether to activate the relevant provision in the AIFMD extending the passport through a Delegated Act. However, the institutions may wish to consider waiting until ESMA has delivered positive advice on a sufficient number of non-EU countries, before introducing the passport in order to avoid any adverse market impact that a decision to extend the passport to only a few non-EU countries might have. ESMA aims to finalise the assessments of Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA as soon as practicable and to assess further groups of non-EU countries until it has provided advice on all the non-EU countries that it considers should be included in the extension of the passport. ESMA Opinion – Functioning of the EU AIFMD passport and NPPRs The opinion on the functioning of the EU passport and the NPPRs contains ESMA’s preliminary assessment of the operation of these two mechanisms. Its preliminary view is that, given the short time period that has elapsed since the implementation of the AIFMD in Member States, a definitive assessment of their functioning is difficult and would recommend preparing a further opinion after a longer period.
30/07/2015 2015/1235 ESMA's opinion to the European Parliament, Council and Commission and responses to the call for evidence on the functioning of the AIFMD EU passport and of the National Private Placement Regimes Opinion PDF
886.86 KB
AIFMD and the request to ESMA for an Opinion In accordance with Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD, non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs are subject to the NPPR of each of the Member States where the AIFs are marketed or managed. However, the AIFMD makes provision for the passport, which is currently reserved to EU AIFMs and AIFs, to be potentially extended in future. Article 67(1) of the AIFMD establishes that, by 22 July 2015, ESMA shall issue to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission the following: An opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs pursuant to Articles 32 and 33 of the AIFMD and on the functioning of the national private placement regimes set out in Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD. Advice on the application of the passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs in accordance with the rules set out in Article 35 and Articles 37 to 41 of the AIFMD. Within three months of receipt of positive advice and an opinion from ESMA, and taking into account the criteria of Article 67(2) and the objectives of the AIFMD, the Commission should adopt a delegated act specifying the date when the rules set out in Article 35 and 37 to 41 of the AIFMD become applicable in all Member States. As a consequence, the EU passport would be extended to non-EU AIFs and non-EU AIFMs. In order to produce this opinion and advice, ESMA must look into the elements listed in Article 67(2) and (4) of the AIFMD , notably on the basis of the information provided by the national competent authorities (NCAs) about the EU and non-EU AIFMs under their supervision. Indeed, Article 67(3) of the AIFMD requires NCAs to provide information to ESMA quarterly as from 22 July 2013. ESMA has received input from NCAs for the periods covering 22 July 2013 to 31 March 2014, 1 April to 30 June 2014, 1 July to 30 September 2014, 1 October to 31 December 2014, and 1 January to 31 March 2015. In order to supplement the input provided by NCAs via the quarterly surveys, ESMA launched a call for evidence in November 2014 aimed at gathering information from EU and non-EU stakeholders on the functioning of the EU passport, the NPPRs and the potential extension of the AIFMD passport to non-EU countries. ESMA received 67 responses (including 15 confidential responses), from 13 non-EU Authorities, 21 EU and non-EU trade associations of asset managers, 17 EU and non-EU asset managers, and 16 other trade associations and private firms (e.g. providers of services for funds, law firms etc). Summary of the opinion In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the EU passport, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in the transposition in some Member States make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the passport after a longer period of implementation in all Member States. However, even at this early stage, ESMA has identified several issues in relation to the use of the EU passport. These issues include: i) divergent approaches with respect to marketing rules, including heterogeneity of fees charged by the NCAs where the AIFs are marketed and the definition of what constitutes a “professional investor”; ii) varying interpretations of what activities constitute “marketing” and “material changes” under the AIFMD passport in the different Member States. With that in mind, ESMA sees merit in greater convergence in the definition of these terms. Nevertheless, ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the AIFMD EU passport has raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework. In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the NPPRs, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in transposition in some Member states make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the NPPR Regime after a longer period of implementation has passed in all Member States (although this is linked to the decision to be taken by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on whether to extend the passport to one or more non-EU countries in the meantime). ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the NPPRs have raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework.
23/07/2015 2015/1193 ESMA consults on UCITS remuneration guidelines , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on proposed Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS V Directive and AIFMD. The Directive includes rules that UCITS must comply with when establishing and applying a remuneration policy for certain staff categories and the proposed UCITS Remuneration Guidelines further clarify the Directive’s provisions. The proposed Guidelines aim to ensure a convergent application of the remuneration provisions and will provide guidance on issues such as proportionality, governance of remuneration, requirements on risk alignment and disclosure. The final Guidelines will apply to UCITS management companies and national competent authorities.