Speaking at a conference in Switzerland today Saunders said the industry needs to “get to grips” with recent announcements from the Commission quickly and work out its priorities while there is still the opportunity to influence them.
He said the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive announced in April had far-reaching implications for all non-Ucits funds in the EU, whether retail or institutional and warned of the risks of such a one-size-fits-all approach.
He said: “All funds will have to appoint depositaries and so-called “valuators” despite the fact that there has been no need for this up to now. In a number of respects the proposed requirements are more far-reaching than the corresponding ones in Ucits or MiFID – for example the degree of liability that depositaries will bear.”
However he acknowledged the directive would help “cut through the maze of differing private placement arrangements currently operating across Europe.”
He also said the recent announcement that higher standards around depositaries would be imported into the Ucits framework could mean significant changes to the business models of UK fund managers and depositaries.
He said: “What should the industry be doing in response to all this? Make no mistake. These reforms are coming, and coming soon.
“There is still time to influence the process with well-made reasoning. The industry needs to work out which points really matter and what it can live with. It then needs to make its arguments clearly, cogently, and in terms of what benefits the consumer.”