EUROPE – The European Union’s occupational pension fund directive is likely to boost asset management and investment returns, says Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Suzanne Donohoe.

Donohoe, the outgoing co-head of GSAM in Europe, told the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum of some of the recent trends in the asset management market.

These included the increasing sophistication of consumers, the increasing mobility of institutional clients, and the growing importance of open architecture. All were likely to improve performance and foster competition in Europe.

“She also mentioned the implementation of the EU occupational pensions directive, which is likely to facilitate the growth of asset management services and higher returns on retirement investment,” according to the minutes of the meeting, which took place last month in Strasbourg.

The forum, whose steering committee is chaired by Finnish MEP Piia-Noora Kauppi, was founded in 2000. It comprises members of the European Parliament and finance industry executives. It is set to debate pensions on May 4.

Donohoe added that, following positive progress on the UCITS retail agenda, priority should now also be given to wholesale asset management. The establishment of a pan-EU private placement regime for institutional investors could contribute significantly in this regard.

Jamie Broderick, head of Europe for JP Morgan Asset Management, told the forum that building a single European market in asset management and investment funds was fundamental to Europe’s savings market.

It was essential that the asset management industry be given the voice to put forward its own solutions to the pensions issue.

The European Commission yesterday ratcheted up the pressure on 11 member states it says have not fully implemented the pension directive.