EUROPE – A group of experts has suggested a far-reaching overhaul of asset management legislation in the European Union – possibly involving a “stand-alone asset management pillar” in EU rules.

The 26-strong Asset Management Expert Group said in a report to the European Commission that it has contemplated the case for “a more far-reaching overhaul of EU legislative arrangements”.

The group was one of four groups reporting on the progress of the Financial Services Action Plan.

“The objective of such a step would be to equip the European industry with a sound legislative basis to develop to develop over the coming decades.”

“It would provide a framework capable of taking into account the emergence of new products and techniques. Such an opportunity could be seized to develop a stand-alone asset management pillar in EU legislation.”

On one hand, the experts said, such a new framework could encompass all asset management functions, regardless of product or institution. Or it could have a narrower scope covering collective and individual portfolio management.

They conclude: “Whatever the form and timing of further steps to develop the EU legislative framework for asset management, EU industry and policy-makers should be motivated by one aim – to enable the European industry to develop its commercial strengths on a pan-European basis - and in so doing enhance Europe’s position as a global centre of excellence in asset management.

“Effective action to boost the efficiency and competitiveness of the European asset management industry will be a powerful contributor to economic reform.”