Goldman Sachs Asset Management has become the latest major provider to confirm that it will foot the bill for investment research costs from January.

Under MiFID II rules, asset managers must unbundle the cost of investment research from other costs.

Almost every asset manager that has so far declared its intentions ahead of the 3 January 2018 deadline has chosen to absorb research costs rather than pass them on to clients. Some had initially indicated they would pass on the costs before reversing this decision.

Fidelity International is bucking the industry trend, however, having this morning announced it will charge clients for investment research costs. It said other fee changes will make up for this. Amundi has also said clients will pay, although this is currently subject to an internal review.

New Robeco multi-factor indices 

Robeco has launched seven multi-factor equity indices, it announced today. They each target a different geographic area – global, global developed, emerging markets, Europe, US, Asia-Pacific and Japan. S&P Dow Jones Indices’ traditional market-cap weighted indices provide the investment universes. 

Robeco’s indices are designed to provide exposure to value, momentum, low volatility and quality “while keeping costs low and preventing the damaging effects of overcrowding and front-running on performance, by making them transparent for clients only”.

The Dutch asset manager said the indices explicitly integrated environmental, social and governance criteria in their construction process by ensuring that the weighted sustainability score of the index is at least as high as that of the related cap-weighted benchmark. 

Natixis grows Australian presence 

Natixis Global Asset Management has agreed to take a majority ownership stake of 51.9% in Investors Mutual Limited (IML), an equities value manager with AUD9.1bn (€6.1bn) of assets under management.

The deal is Natixis’ first major acquisition in Australia. It increases its exposure to the local retail market and the Australian superannuation sector, and reinforces its distribution platform in the country following Natixis’ opening of an office in Sydney in 2015. 

IML will become a new affiliate of Natixis. The transaction is expected to close this month, and will be financed out of Natixis’ own funds. 

Wanted: US municipal bond fund

A Swiss pension fund is seeking ideas for a US municipal bond allocation of up to $50m (€42.6m) through IPE Quest’s pre-RFI service Discovery.

Search DS-2363 refers to an actively managed pooled fund investing in bonds issued by US cities and municipalities.

The investor would prefer a UCITS vehicle, but is open to considering segregated mandates. It will also consider seeding a new fund.

The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email