Luxembourg: fund lobbying a mistake

Added on 30/09/2013

Europe’s fund industry only has itself to blame for the avalanche of regulation that has been imposed on it in the wake of the financial crisis, according to a senior industry figure, reports the Financial Times.

Marc Saluzzi, chairman of Alfi, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, said asset managers had failed to engage with the broader public before the crisis. As a result, they ended up being treated just as harshly as the rest of the financial sector.

“We have paid a high price for not being understood,” said Mr Saluzzi. “If we had invested half of what we invested in lobbying in the last few years in investor education, explaining that we can be a solution and not a problem, that could have saved huge amounts for the industry.”

His comments come as a report commissioned by Alfi, “Beyond 10%”, reveals that just 11 per cent of eurozone households now own an investment fund, and a mere eight per cent of retail assets are invested in funds, less than before the crisis.

“If we as an industry had invested more in [education], we might have averted some cumbersome regulation,” said Mr Saluzzi, who is leading a call for the industry to reach out to the wider public in order to make mutual funds more relevant to ordinary investors and reverse this decline.

“It’s for us now to act, not to wait for others. We should be simpler, less expensive and more solutions driven.”