Two major global asset management companies have taken action to prepare for Brexit by bringing assets and people to Luxembourg. US asset manager MFS is set to come to Luxembourg and Threadneedle has transferred £10 billion in assets.
US asset manager MFS has confirmed that is seeking authorisation from the Luxembourg regulator (CSSF) to come to grand duchy as a result of Brexit.
According to an article published by Reuters on 9 May 2018, MFS intends to bolster its existing Luxembourg office, which is currently run by a team of 7 people. It will to hire locally in Luxembourg, as well as internally.
The asset manager, which is owned by Sun Life, employs 1,900 staff globally, including 140 in the UK.
Madeline Forrester, managing director, UK Institutional Business, told Reuters: “We have to plan for next March [when Britain is set to officially leave the bloc]. That means preparing for the worst, that’s the frustrating bit, and we’re not the only industry that feels this way, I’m sure. We’re all investing time and money planning for the most unfavourable outcome. We view this as making a long-term investment in our Luxembourg office, but whatever the result of the final deal, we have to look after our clients and that means preparing for a ‘hard’ Brexit.”
Threadneedle transfer of £10 billion confirms Brexit threat
Columbia Threadneedle’s decision to transfer £10 billion of assets from its UK fund range to Luxembourg equivalents has been hailed as proof that the Brexit threat is real, according to an article on Bloomberg on 10 May 2018.
The transfer involves 20 of Threadneedle’s funds and at the moment the money will continue to be managed from London. The move is seen as further evidence that companies are preparing for the worst-case scenario when they lose passporting rights when the UK leaves the EU on Match next year.
According to a Threadneedle press release quoted in the article, the move “will remove uncertainty regarding the future status of their investment.”