10.21.2011
By Terry Flanagan

ICI Goes Global

The Investment Company Institute expands its mission overseas, to represent asset managers in front of global regulators.

Although renamed the Investment Company Institute (ICI) in 1961 from the National Committee of Investment Companies (NAIC), the fund management industry’s behemoth trade association was established in 1940 as a liaison to financial regulators. Today, the ICI’s members have grown to assets totaling north of $13 trillion.

This month, the ICI announces the launch of ICI Global, taking the organization’s mission abroad to focus on regulatory, market and other issues for global investment funds’ managers and investors. Members will include regulated public U.S. and non U.S. funds.

“ICI Global will seek to advance the common interests and promote public understanding of global investment funds, their managers, and their investors as market and regulatory issues increasingly cross borders,” said Paul Schott Stevens, the chief executive and president of the ICI. “It will build upon and expand ICI’s long-standing international advocacy on issues that affect millions of investors worldwide.”

The new organization will be based in London, lead by Managing Director Dan Waters, a former Financial Services Authority (FSA) senior regulator.

“ICI Global goes beyond the concerns of any single country or region,” Waters told Markets Media, “The reality is that, today, regulations anywhere can impose new costs and new operations demands everywhere. ICI Global will act as a voice for the global fund industry in the ongoing, global dialogue about fund regulation.”

According to Waters, the new ICI global will focus efforts into four main areas: the establishment of financial stability for funds, key regulatory developments for funds, trading and market structure, and the role of funds in savings and pension systems.

Financial regulation, while always a part of the markets, has been a heightened concern for the buy side in the post 2008 financial crisis. Waters noted a global trend of growing concerns over “fund activities, business strategies, and regulatory concerns.”

“The last few years have made it abundantly clear how great the need is, and where to focus our response,” Waters commented.

Jamie Broderick, head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management Europe, will be chairman of the ICI Global’s steering committee.

“ICI Global responds to a rapidly growing transnational environment for global investment funds,” said Broderick. “As financial markets converge and funds’ activities become more global, regulators are increasingly coordinating their efforts internationally. Funds need a strong and informed source on issues that cross borders to inform the policy agenda worldwide.”

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