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28/01/2016 2016/102 Statement by Steven Maijoor on behalf of the ESAs , Statement PDF
107.74 KB

Statement at the ECON scrutiny hearing on behalf of the ESAs.

02/02/2016 2016/165 Public Statement- Supervisory work on potential closet index tracking Statement PDF
258.17 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to inform stakeholders and especially investors about the potential for some European collective investment funds to be ‘closet index trackers’, and to give details on the work that ESMA has been doing in this context.

Introduction

  1. ESMA’s attention was drawn to an alleged practice in the European collective investment management industry whereby asset managers claim, according to their fund rules and investor information documentation, to manage their funds in an active manner while the funds are, in fact, staying very close to a benchmark and therefore implementing an investment strategy which requires less input from the investment manager. At the same time, it is alleged that these funds charge management fees in line with those of funds that are considered to be actively managed[1]. This practice is commonly referred to as ‘closet indexing’ or ‘index hugging’.
  2. In many EU Member States, NCAs have launched or are in the process of launching specific investigations, in addition to their regular monitoring and supervisory functions, to determine the potential extent of closet indexing in their jurisdictions, with a focus on equity funds at this stage. At the same time, the issue has been the subject of considerable attention by investor protection groups and the media throughout the European Union.

Reasons for issuing this statement

  1. The issues around ‘closet indexing’ form part of a broader issue on the effectiveness of investor disclosure and the legitimate expectations of investors in respect of the service provided by some asset managers. Nonetheless, the potential practice of closet indexing in Europe raises questions that merit closer analysis. The analysis carried out by ESMA (see paragraphs 9 to 16 for more details) indicates that there might be a small, but not insignificant number of funds in the EU equity fund sector that may be closet index trackers. If the existence of this practice were to be confirmed by further supervisory scrutiny carried out at national level, this could mean that:
  1. investors could be making investment decisions based on an expectation that they will be provided with a more active fund management service than they receive in practice and, therefore, may be paying higher management fees than that usually envisaged for a passive/not significantly active management service;
  2. investors may be exposed to a different risk/return profile than they expect; and
  3. some asset managers may not provide clear descriptions of how funds are managed in key disclosure documents such as the fund’s Prospectus and Key Investor Information Document (KIID).
  1. ESMA considers it important that fund managers take their commitments in disclosure documents seriously. Managers should expect supervisory consequences where evidence for incorrect disclosures is proven.
 

[1] ESMA recognises that management fees may depend on a number of factors.

16/02/2016 2016/297 Follow-up MMF , Report PDF
882.13 KB
31/03/2016 2016/411 Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD Report PDF
1.39 MB

Article 14a(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC (“UCITS Directive”), as amended by Directive 2014/91/EU (“UCITS V Directive”) provides that ESMA shall issue guidelines addressed to competent authorities or financial market participants concerning the application of the remuneration principles set out under Article 14b of the UCITS Directive (“UCITS Remuneration Guidelines”). This final report sets out the final text of the guidelines on remuneration policies required by the UCITS V Directive and also provides for a targeted revision of the Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the AIFMD (ESMA/2013/232) (“AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines”), which were originally published on 3 July 2013.

13/06/2016 2016/943 Statement by Verena Ross at ECON Public Hearing on Securitisation , Statement PDF
242.38 KB
20/06/2016 2016/940 Statement by Steven Maijoor at ECON MiFID II/MiFIR Scrutiny Session, 21 June 2016 , Statement PDF
235.65 KB
30/09/2016 2016/1408 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees , , , Statement PDF
141.3 KB

The Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed the following individuals to serve as chairs of its standing committees:

  • Hannelore Lausch, Executive Director of the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), Germany, will chair the Market Data Standing Committee;
  • Cyril Roux, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI, will chair the Investment Management Standing Committee; and
  • Merel van Vroonhoven, Chair of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), Netherlands, will chair the Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee.

The standing committees are expert groups drawn from ESMA staff and the national competent authorities for securities markets regulation in the Member States, and are responsible for the development of policy in their respective areas.  The appointments are for a period of two years and commence with immediate effect.

10/11/2016 2016-1563 Issues for consideration in implementing IFRS 9: Financial Instruments , , Statement PDF
256.22 KB
07/04/2017 ESMA34-43-340 Notification frameworks and home-host responsibilities under UCITS and AIFMD- ESMA Thematic Study among National Competent Authorities Report PDF
895.97 KB

One of the key objectives of ESMA is to foster and increase supervisory convergence across NCAs. Thematic studies have been identified as a means of achieving this objective. Their aim is to review supervisory practice in the Member States, identifying good or best practices where possible. In 2016, ESMA conducted a thematic study on the operation of home and host responsibilities under AIFMD and UCITS with a view to promoting smooth operation of the EU passports for marketing and management, looking at the notification frameworks contained in the UCITS Directive and AIFMD. The findings of the thematic study form the core of this report. They are supplemented, where possible, by a number of recommendations on good supervisory practices.

07/11/2018 ESMA71-99-1058 ESMA new SC chairs , , Statement PDF
142.32 KB
30/01/2019 ESMA71-99-1095 New IMSC Chair , Statement PDF
85.59 KB
04/04/2019 ESMA34-45-651 UCITS Sanction Report 2016/2017 Report PDF
398.96 KB
05/09/2019 ESMA50-164-2458 Stress simulation for investment funds , Report PDF
868.55 KB
24/10/2019 JC-2019-64 Joint ESA Supervisory Statement – application of scope of the PRIIPs Regulation to bonds , Statement PDF
802.39 KB
12/12/2019 ESMA34-45-756 Penalties and measures imposed under the UCITS Directive in 2018 Report PDF
467.36 KB
10/01/2020 ESMA50-165-1032 EU Alternative Investment Funds- 2020 Statistical Report , Report PDF
1.94 MB
06/04/2020 ESMA 50-165-1098 ESMA annual statistical report on performance and costs of retail investment products in the EU- 2020 , , Report PDF
4.08 MB
09/04/2020 ESMA34-45-896 Actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the deadlines for the publication of periodic reports by fund managers , Statement PDF
113.03 KB
14/05/2020 ESMA50-158-2232 ESMA supports ESRB actions to address COVID-related systemic vulnerabilities , Statement PDF
81.33 KB
04/06/2020 ESMA34-39-1042 Supervisory briefing on the supervision of costs in UCITS and AIFs , Report PDF
162.41 KB