POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Little appetite for AIFMD reform



When the AIFMD directive was formulated after the global financial crisis, many of Alfi members were displeased, but they appear to have had a change of heart Shutterstock

When the AIFMD directive was formulated after the global financial crisis, many of Alfi members were displeased, but they appear to have had a change of heart Shutterstock

There appears to be unity among investors and asset managers about the need to avoid changing the core text of the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD).

A panel of industry representatives at ALFI’s European Assset Management Conference on Tuesday called on EU regulators to make as few changes as possible.

“The priority is giving alternative funds the space to help finance the recovery, the green new deal, innovation, not AIFMD reform,” said Martin Bresson, public affairs director of Invest Europe, the group which represents private equity investors.

This view represents a substantial change of heart--when the directive was formulated after the global financial crisis, many of the group’s members were displeased, pointing out that they had done little or nothing to cause or exacerbate the crash.

“But it's been in place for eight years, and the market has gotten used to it, our members live with it and thrive with it," Bresson said. 

Agathi Pafili, Head of Europe government relations at the asset management firm Capital Group, went further: “It has helped the European asset management sector build brands that are well-recognised globally.”

This view was supported by Jeff Rupp, director of public affairs with investor group INREV. “It's been really a very successful directive and our investors do, by and large, feel a lot more comfortable as a result of AIFMD.” He added that it had helped to build trust and familiarity globally.

There have been suggestions for changes which could open alternative asset investing to retail clients, rather than primarily the institutional sector. Yet again, the panel were broadly united that no change is required. “There are other products that might be more suitable for retail investors,” Rupp noted.

“The Eltif is a terrific product that retail investors can use to invest in long term products, such as real estate and infrastructure, and can then be passported around Europe,” he said.