EUROPE – The European Fund and Asset Management Association says the launch of the rival Forum of European Asset Managers makes “no sense” because it means the industry will have two voices.

The new forum has been set up by 14 large asset managers and is open to asset and fund managers. The move follows the aborted merger between EFAMA (then known as FEFSI) and the now-defunct European Asset Management Association.

“Is it wise to do lobbying and represent the industry with two voices?” said Wolfgang Mansfeld, president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, EFAMA. “It makes no sense.”

“We have told them and they don’t listen.”

The spat comes as the European Commission is set to review UCITS legislation and release a green paper on asset management in July. European Union internal markets commissioner Charlie McCreevy has said he’s looking at the whole area of asset management.

FEFSI/EFAMA had been comprised solely of national associations but changed its constitution to allow corporate members. Mansfeld said EFAMA didn’t feel threatened by the new development, with its 35 corporate members and backing from national bodies.

FEAM comprises the chief executives of 14 large pan-European asset managers and says it will focus on investors and single market issues. It will be chaired by Nicolas Moreau, CEO at AXA Investment Managers. Four of the 14 are EFAMA members, Mansfeld said.

“Despite years of effort, a single market for asset management has not yet fully materialised and it is Europe’s savers who are paying the price in higher costs and restricted choice,” Moreau said.

Thomas Balk, president of European mutual funds at Fidelity International is vice chairman and will become chairman in January 2006.

Other management committee members are Johann Goldbrunner of Allianz Global Investors AG, Alan Ainsworth of Threadneedle and Matteo Perruccio of Pioneer.

The 14 founding members of FEAM are:

Aberdeen Asset Management
Allianz Global Investors
AXA Investment Managers
ABN Amro Asset Management
Aegon Asset Management
Capital International
Fidelity International
Fortis Investment Management
JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management
Merrill Lynch Investment Management
Pioneer Global Asset Management
State Street Global Advisors
Threadneedle Investments
UBS Global Asset Management