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Change in outlook signalled at EC

18 September 2014


European Commission's era of command and control has peaked, according to asset management head Tilman Lueder

Read more: European Commission

Tilman Lueder, who is in charge of the asset management division at the European Commission, anticipated a "change in outlook" for the new Commission.

"We are going to be a somewhat more focused and somewhat more technical directorate. We want to create harmonised standards so that there is more opportunity – this is not about regulation for the sake of regulation," he said, addressing a large audience of New City Initiative members.

Mr Lueder added that "what you see from the new Commission is that the era of command and control [in terms of regulatory backlash in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008] has peaked. Ultimately, what the EC stands for is to integrate markets and create opportunities."

He also threw his weight behind greater capital markets union. He said: "Let’s be clear – capital markets union is not the little brother of banking union, this will not be a Eurozone thing. This is more about creating greater cross-border investment flows" from which Europe’s specialist asset managers could greatly benefit by "conquering new markets" such as China.

Chinese investors "want smaller, specialist niche operators, they want a slower and more gradual approach. The EC is interested in learning what kind of strategy might niche fund managers be able to offer." 

Lueder expressed the need for widening the regulatory debate to include smaller firms.

"It has therefore been a refreshing experience for me to learn about smaller firms involved in active management strategies. The entire debate in Brussels about asset management is focused on cost disclosures – but we need to have a wide debate."

On the issue of 'passporting’ funds within the EU itself, Lueder said that "we need regulatory cooperation and we are going to try to sort this out in practice. We need a joint rulebook and the EC needs to ensure that there is a common interpretation of the rulebook."

"It’s terrifically heartening to hear from Tilman Lueder that his part of the European Commission is focused on fostering true European capital markets integration, assisting our members – and firms like them – to compete better globally. However, we still need to ensure that smaller firms are properly represented in the European body politic, which is why we so welcome the dialogue with Dr Lueder," said Dominic Johnson, founder and CEO of Somerset Capital, and also chairman of NCI.


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