The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has identified pensions as a priority area for the industry going forward and supports a harmonised European pension plan.
EFAMA believes that with with demographic pressures and the effects of the economic crisis, there is an immediate opportunity for the industry to offer new retirement solutions. Claude Kremer, newly elected President of EFAMA said the body supports the creation of a harmonised European retirement plan, Officially Certified European Retirement Plan (OCERP), and see UCITS as the ideal building block for underlying investments.
"To assist in meeting this goal, EFAMA has activated its Long-Term Savings and Pension Steering Committee. This will be a knowledge centre and policy resource focusing on market developments, product trends, regulatory policy and EFAMA positions culminating in the EFAMA Pensions Day," said Kremer.
Four other areas of focus EFAMA has identified in its latest strategy and action plan are investor education; supporting beneficial regulatory measures; to expand the UCITS brand globally and to highlight the importance of industry professionals to the economy.
EFAMA said it was currently dealing with close to 30 pieces of regulation currently affecting the European fund and asset management industry.
"At this current time of heightened concern for financial markets and, ultimately investors, the only way for EFAMA to tackle change with authority and consistency is to act with the investor at heart. If not, regulation could harm the vitality of investment management and in the end citizens may lose out," said Kremer.
He added: "Without investor trust, the European fund and asset management industry cannot hope to attract investors’ savings and increase assets under management nor convince politicians and regulators to support the industry. By focusing more attention on the investor, EFAMA will pave the way for sustainable growth."
In terms of an overall education strategy, EFAMA plans to encourage investor information and education with the aim of developing responsible investor behaviour. It said it plans to stage an Investor Education event in the future.
To support cross-border growth that now represents over 40% of assets under management, EFAMA plans to step up its international reach with seminars informing regulators and distributors in key target areas of Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
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