The trade body for UK asset managers could have its influence dialled down at the EU’s main investment lobby group as part of a compromise to settle a long-running row over the sway held by members from outside the bloc.
The European Fund and Asset Management Association, which brings together the EU’s national asset management trade bodies and major fund houses, has for months being trying to get the BVI — the association for Germany’s €4tn sector — to rejoin.
The BVI cancelled its almost 50-year membership of EFAMA in January, citing concerns over the influence non-EU members have on EFAMA’s board, particularly its lobbying of policymakers in Brussels.
EFAMA’s board is comprised of national fund associations and seven corporate members including BlackRock, DWS, and Amundi with more than €31tn of assets among them.
As part of a compromise being discussed within EFAMA — which is yet to be agreed — the UK’s Investment Association would remain on the association’s board, but would have its voting powers limited, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The IA would not vote on how EFAMA should approach key European issues affecting members, the people said.
The change would also apply to Switzerland’s fund association — another key non-EU jurisdiction for investment funds, they added.
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An EFAMA spokesperson said “talks are still ongoing” and did not comment further.
The IA, Switzerland’s fund association, and the BVI declined to comment.
As Financial Newsreported in July, a wider shakeup to appease the BVI could also include removing corporate members from the EFAMA board, except for those firms that are represented at the presidency and vice-presidency level.
EFAMA’s board is comprised of three representatives at the presidency level: Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, chief executive of Candriam and president of the association, and his two vice-presidents, APG Asset Management chief investment officer Peter Branner and Natixis Investment Managers distribution head Joseph Pinto.
EFAMA, which was founded in 1974, has almost 60 corporate members overall, including many headquartered outside the EU, such as Pimco, Schroders, Vanguard and Invesco.
Corporate members pay €37,740 a year to join the association, according to its most recent membership brochure, while national trade bodies pay a fee based on the total assets they represent.
In return, corporates are promised the opportunity to help shape industry positions on regulation, engage with policymakers, and access regulatory and political intelligence.
One corporate member, which did not want to be identified, said it was “still evaluating the situation”. However, it added it was “keen to ensure that the views of the asset management industry and its clients are well-represented in Europe”.
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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts