Monterey Funds Club Spring 2019 meeting in Norway
The spring meeting of Monterey Funds Club was held in Oslo, Norway on 22 March 2019. We will meet again in Helsinki, Finland in September 2019.
The meeting in Oslo was hosted by Kjersti Trøbråten, partner in Advokatfirma Wiersholm AS. The key note speaker on this occasion was Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Analysis of Danske Capital, Mr. Lars Erik Moen. The topic for the afternoon was ESG in equity asset management, an aspect which is increasingly important for investors.
Mr. Moen elaborated on the difficulties and shortcomings on international taxonomy of ESG, issues arising as to the view point of the manager – short term goals may jeopardize long term goals, achieving one goal may adversely affect another, local vs. global effects etc. His message was that in order to address ESG, each company should be treated individually, and active dialogue with the management of the company is necessary in order to influence business decisions in the direction of enhanced ESG.
The Monterey Funds Club is an alliance of investment funds specialist lawyers from 17 countries across Europe. For more information see www.montereyfundsclub.com.
Monterey Funds Club Autumn 2018 meeting in Malta
Valletta, Malta was the venue for the Autumn 2018 meeting of the Monterey Funds Club on 28 September 2018. We will meet again in Oslo, Norway in early 2019.
Our host in Malta was Katya Tua, partner at Mamo TCV, who introduced the Club members to keynote speaker, Jovan Gavrilovic, OKEx Malta's General Manager who is responsible for implementing expansion into Europe. Together with his colleague, Tim Byun, OKEx's Chief Risk Officer they spoke on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and highlighted the rapid growth of OKEx over the last few years. It is now the world’s largest digital asset exchange and has established a presence in Malta following the Maltese government's recent blockchain regulations. Malta's stated vision is that by providing a balanced and comprehensive regulatory framework the digital asset ecosystem can prosper and Malta hopes to become “The Blockchain Island”.
Katya articulated the Club's keen interest in following developments in this area which is fast becoming a focus of the alternative investment funds industry globally. An increasing number of cryptocurrency funds are now being launched, albeit that for AIFs it appears that established depositaries have faced challenges in being able to exercise their AIFMD safeguarding responsibilities in this field.
The Monterey Funds Club is an alliance of investment funds specialist lawyers from 17 countries across Europe. For more information see www.montereyfundsclub.com. For more information on OKEx see www.okex.com.
Spring 2018 meeting in Luxembourg
The Spring 2018 meeting of the Monterey Funds Club took place recently in Luxembourg. The meeting celebrated 15 years of the Club which was founded in Avenue Monterey, Luxembourg in September 2002. The Club is an alliance of investment funds specialist lawyers from 16 countries across Europe. Its Autumn 2018 meeting is planned for Valletta, Malta in September 2018 and then it will meet again in Oslo, Norway in early 2019.
The 15th anniversary event was hosted by the Luxembourg member, François Pfister, partner at Ogier, and the group was delighted to welcome as its keynote speaker, Jobst Neuss, Head of Compliance and Operational Risk at the European Investment Fund who gave an excellent presentation entitled "A brave new world: BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting), blacklists and the crusade against tax avoiders".
EIF’s stated objective is to support Europe’s SMEs by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. It designs, promotes and implements equity and debt financial instruments which specifically target SMEs and by doing so fosters EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, and employment.
In addition to the presentation, the Group discussed hot topics affecting the funds industry at the moment. The meeting concluded that there is a danger that too many burdensome regulatory initiatives are being placed on funds and their managers in quick succession, whether that be in relation to offshore tax havens or the tightening of onshore regulations. As a result the actual implementation dates of the new regulations are not meeting their intended deadlines, demonstrated by the fact that MiFID II has not yet been fully transposed into national law across all the EU jurisdictions to which it directly applies. This unfortunate situation is challenging the effectiveness of the new regulations in practice.
Spring 2017 meeting in Madrid, Spain
The Spring meeting of the Monterey Funds Club was held recently in Madrid, hosted by Fernando de las Cuevas Castresana, partner and M&A head at Gomez-Acebo & Pombo. The Club is an alliance of investment funds specialist lawyers from 16 countries across Europe.
The group was joined by Fernando Magnet, managing partner at Guidebridge Capital, Spanish partner of TPG, a leading venture capital, private equity and debt financer. Guidebridge are currently focused on distressed and broader credit and asset investing opportunities across the spectrum of related fixed income products.
Among other topics, the ESMA opinion 'Key principles for a European framework on loan origination by funds' was considered. Certain members of the the Monterey Funds Club felt that a better title for the paper would have been 'Key principles for a European framework to regulate lending activities (including loan origination, loan acquisition and loan participation) by the passportable AIFs of full-scope AIFMs.' This revised title reflects that there is clearly a demand in the market for non-bank lending of various forms; that passportable alternative investment funds constituted under the AIFMD are suitable vehicles to undertake lending activities; and that the different types of lending activities should not necessarily be treated differently. Whether AIFs need to be regulated in relation to such lending activities remains debatable. However, cross-border lending by passportable AIFs could be facilitated by a common European framework.
Autumn 2016 meeting in Krakow, Poland
The Monterey Funds Club held its Autumn 2016 meeting recently in Krakow, Poland, hosted by leading Polish attorneys at law, Gessel.
The group were delighted to be joined by Marzena Tomecka, Partner and CFO of Krokus PE who gave a presentation on private equity investment in Poland and Malgorzata Kosinska, President of the REIT Society Polska who outlined the work that the Society is doing to develop REITs in Poland as a retail asset class.
Aldona Pietrzak, partner at Gessel, commented "The first of three visits by the Monterey Funds Club to Poland was in 2008 as part of Gessel's 15th year anniversary celebrations in Warsaw. Much has changed in the Polish investment funds industry since then and exciting opportunities for international investors are clear to see".