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Asset management roundup: MJ Hudson makes Brexit move

Asset management consultancy MJ Hudson has set up shop in new offices in central Luxembourg, targeting fund management clients seeking to set up operations in the country post-Brexit.

MJ Hudson Management S.A. of Luxembourg, as the new entity is called, received its management license from the Luxembourg regulator and will operate as a stand-alone independent entity within the MJ Hudson group, according to the company. It said the Luxembourg office would provide its clients with “increased options post-Brexit and guarantees EU operating capacity”.

Matthew Hudson, chief executive officer at MJ Hudson, said: “A launch in Luxembourg was already on our radar before the Brexit events of 2016. It is a significant funds market in its own right with extremely strong and stable laws, structures, regulations and complementary service providers.

“However, our plans were accelerated by the UK’s vote to leave the EU last year. We have been actively building this platform for more than twelve months and I am delighted at the high calibre of the team we have been able to attract.” 

MJ Hudson launched its fund management solutions team for continental Europe from the Luxembourg offices this week. The team of six is is led by Olivia Tournier-Demal, ex-lawyer and Lombard Odier senior vice-president, and Thomas Meyer, previously at the European Investment Fund (EIF). In addition to the starting team of six, there is a three-person board: Francis Carpenter, previously CEO of the EIF and secretary-general of the European Investment Bank, Matthew Hudson, and Aldric Grosjean, formerly at Loyens & Loeff and partner at law firm Lexfield in Luxembourg.

The team in Luxembourg with work alongside that of the London-based sister company as a European fund management solutions team.

MJ Hudson said that research it conducted recently found that two-thirds of UK-based fund managers and three-quarters of their continental Europe-based peers did not believe that Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations would deliver an outcome that is ideal to the UK asset management industry. 

More than 70% of fund investors based outside the UK predicted that, by the end of 2020, the UK would have lost its position as the second-largest fund management centre globally, although data at the asset class level suggested any drop in assets under managment would not be this severe.

New LGPS transparency code backers 

UBS and Stone Harbor Investment Partners have signed up to the £217bn (€181bn) Local Government Pension Scheme’s (LGPS) Code of Transparency.

The voluntary code was launched by the LGPS Advisory Board in June to help the local authority funds get detailed information about costs and fees so they can report costs transparently.

Michael Casagranda, client relationship manager at Stone Harbor, said that although the code was specifically designed for LGPS funds, the firm expected its impact would be felt “across the entire pensions industry”. 

Sixteen managers have signed up to the code so far, according to a list compiled by the LGPS Advisory Board.

HSBC Global Asset Management goes with the trend

HSBC Global Asset Management will absorb external investment research costs under the incoming MiFID II regulation, a spokesperson told IPE. HSBC is the 23rd largest European institutional client manager, according to IPE’s Top 400 survey.

It joins other managers to have declared their intentions this week, including Barings and Northern Trust Asset Management.

Record Currency Management goes to Switzerland 

Record Currency Management has opened its first office in Switzerland, in Zürich.  The office will be led by Jan Witte, who has re-located from the currency specialist’s head office in the UK.

James Wood-Collins, chief executive at Record Currency Management, said: “Switzerland has long been a core market for Record’s currency management services.  We are delighted to be strengthening further our commitment to the market by establishing a local office.”

Witte joined Record in 2012 and has been leading its quantitative research efforts since August 2013.  

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