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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
12/07/2019 ESMA70-156-1436 Public Statement MiFIR DTO , Statement PDF
116.79 KB
09/07/2020 ESMA34-39-109 Public statement on external support within the meaning of Article 35 of the MMF Regulation , Statement PDF
118.34 KB
20/06/2018 ESMA70-145-872 Public statement on LEI Statement PDF
134.89 KB
20/03/2020 ESMA70-1556-2485 Public Statement Tick Sizes , Statement PDF
79.25 KB
19/03/2019 ESMA70-155-7329 Public Statement Trading Obligation Shares , Statement PDF
134.02 KB
06/02/2020 ESMA70-156-2274 Public statement- Ensuring a common supervisory approach to secure compliance with the MiFIR pre-trade transparency requirements in commodity derivatives Statement PDF
114.58 KB
28/09/2017 ESMA70-154-356 Public statement- Joint work plan of ESMA and NCAs for opinions on MiFID II pre-trade transparency waivers and position limits Statement PDF
165.66 KB
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.

06/05/2020 ESMA35-43-2391 Reminder of firms’ MiFID II conduct of business obligations in the context of increasing retail investor activity , Statement PDF
118.75 KB
29/05/2019 ESMA70-154-1204 Revised Public_ Statement_Trading_Obligation_Shares , Statement PDF
82.26 KB
26/03/2019 ESMA71-99-1136 SCSC Chair reappointed , Statement PDF
78.43 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
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.

30/05/2018 ESMA71-99-991 Statement of the EBA and ESMA on the treatment of retail holdings of debt financial instruments subject to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive , Statement PDF
926.71 KB
04/05/2020 ESMA71-99-1324 Statement on bilateral margin RTS amendments in response to Covid-19 , , , Statement PDF
101.16 KB
15/12/2017 ESMA71-99-910 Statement on preparatory work of the European Securities and Markets Authority in relation to CFDs and binary options offered to retail clients , Statement PDF
209.47 KB
12/07/2019 ESMA35-36-1743 Statement Product Intervention Statement PDF
104.99 KB
21/07/2017 ESMA43-318-752 Statement to European Parliament Petitions Committee Statement PDF
359.62 KB
21/03/2017 JC1 Statement- ESAs welcome European Commission’s public consultation on their operation Statement PDF
206.55 KB
11/06/2020 ESMA70-156-3070 Statement_Access ETDs , , Statement PDF
112.54 KB