Catagory:Retail Investor Funds

1
Europe: ESMA publishes Guidelines on fund names using ESG or sustainability-related terms
2
CFTC Releases Artificial Intelligence Report
3
Europe: New Funds May Apply for UK Overseas Fund Regime Recognition from September 2024
4
Don’t Bank on it: FDIC Board Withdraws Asset Manager Bank Control Proposals
5
Three Things to Know About Cboe’s ETF Share Class Filing
6
Australia: Federal Court Rules on Greenwashing Civil Penalty Action
7
Australia: Inquiry into the Wholesale Investor and Wholesale Client Tests
8
Europe: Modernisation of the PRIIPs KID Considered by European Parliament
9
Out of the Shadows: SEC Shines a Light on Insider Trading
10
Update to the Naming Convention for Exchange Traded Products

Europe: ESMA publishes Guidelines on fund names using ESG or sustainability-related terms

By: Áine Ní Riain, Dr Philipp Riedl, and Ruth Hennessy.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its much anticipated Final Report: Guidelines on funds’ names using ESG or sustainability-related terms (Guidelines).

This follows a consultation on the subject between November 2022 and February 2023 and an update provided by ESMA last December.

Acknowledging the significant impact of fund names on investor decision-making, ESMA has determined that a fund with ESG- or sustainability-related terms in its name must apply at least 80% of its investments to meet environmental or social characteristics or sustainable investment objectives.

The Guidelines also apply exclusion criteria for certain terms in fund names:

  • “Environmental”, “impact” and “sustainability”- related terms will require compliance with the exclusions applicable to Paris-aligned Benchmarks; and
  • “Transition, “social” and “governance”- related terms will necessitate compliance with the exclusions applicable to Climate Transition Benchmarks.

Use of “sustainability”-related terms in fund names will require a commitment to “invest meaningfully” in sustainable investments. Similar use of “transition” or “impact” – related terms will require that the relevant fund’s investments used to meet the 80% threshold are on a clear and measurable path to transition or are made with the objective to generate a positive, measurable impact alongside a financial return.

The Guidelines will apply to all EU UCITS and EU AIFs, and it currently seems likely that they will also apply to non-EU funds marketed into the EU (this is a point on which we will be watching developments closely).

The Guidelines are expected to come into force in Q3 or Q4 2024, subject to completion of administrative formalities including a decision by national competent authorities on whether to apply them locally (which is generally expected). Existing funds will have an additional 3-month transition period before compliance becomes mandatory.

CFTC Releases Artificial Intelligence Report

By: Matthew J. Rogers and Maxwell J. Black

On 2 May 2024, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Technology Advisory Committee (Committee) released a report entitled Responsible AI in Financial Markets: Opportunities, Risks & Recommendations. The report discusses the impact and future implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on financial markets and further illustrates the CFTC’s desire to oversee the AI space.

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Europe: New Funds May Apply for UK Overseas Fund Regime Recognition from September 2024

By: Áine Ní Riain, Aoife Maguire, Gayle Bowen, and Philip Morgan

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released updated information and, together with HM Treasury, a “roadmap,” on the UK’s Overseas Funds Regime (OFR). It intends to accept applications from new funds (i.e. those not in the Temporary Marketing Permissions Regime (TMPR)) from September 2024. This is a welcome development for managers of new EEA UCITS that are not currently able to access the UK retail market.

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Don’t Bank on it: FDIC Board Withdraws Asset Manager Bank Control Proposals

By: Grant F. Butler and Yuki Sako

Two proposals regarding oversight of the control of banks by asset managers were withdrawn at the 25 April board meeting of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). These proposals were a result of increasing concern by bank regulators regarding concentration in control of banks by institutional investors, particularly index funds.

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Three Things to Know About Cboe’s ETF Share Class Filing

By: Stacy L. Fuller, Kevin R. Gustafson, Christine Mikhael and Crystal Liu

On 15 April 2024, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (Cboe) filed an application pursuant to Rule 19b-4 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to amend its exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listing standards to permit ETF share classes issued by open-end investment companies that offer mutual fund share classes pursuant to any exemptive relief to be granted by the SEC.

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Australia: Federal Court Rules on Greenwashing Civil Penalty Action

By: Lisa Lautier and Dhivya Kalyanakumar

On 28 March 2024, the Federal Court handed down its verdict on the greenwashing civil penalty action brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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Australia: Inquiry into the Wholesale Investor and Wholesale Client Tests

By: Kane Barnett and Prudence Birchall

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (Committee) has commenced an inquiry into the wholesale investor test for offers of securities, and the wholesale client test for financial products and services (together, wholesale investor/client tests) in the Corporations Act 2001 (link here) (Inquiry).

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Europe: Modernisation of the PRIIPs KID Considered by European Parliament

By: Áine Ní Riain and Shane Geraghty

On 20 March 2024, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted in favour of draft modernisation measures for the PRIIPs Key Information Document (KID).

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Out of the Shadows: SEC Shines a Light on Insider Trading

By: Neil T. Smith, Hayley Trahan-Liptak, and Sophia A. Khan

The traditional understanding of how the government charges insider trading is evolving, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pushes to expand the scope of what constitutes misappropriation of material non-public information (MNPI) under Rule 10b-5.

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Update to the Naming Convention for Exchange Traded Products

By: Matthew Watts, Lisa Lautier and Dhivya Kalyanakumar

Since 2017, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has provided guidance to licensed exchanges on exchange traded products (ETP) naming conventions under Information Sheet 230 (INFO 230). This policy is designed to help ensure that admission and monitoring standards for ETP’s support fair, orderly and transparent markets.

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