Fund managers likely to set up shop in UK post-Brexit

The regulatory environment is seen as conducive for fund managers, including those in private equity, to operate in the country.

More than half of global fund managers surveyed are likely to open offices in the UK following the country’s secession from the EU, on the view that regulatory conditions are conducive for fund managers to operate there.

In State Street’s survey, 55 percent of 100 people who responded – which includes those in private equity, hedge funds and real estate from around the world – said they “believe UK authorities will make it more appealing to open London offices post-Brexit.”

The UK government and the Financial Conduct Authority, an independent regulatory body overseeing financial firms, have been implementing strategies to help attract fund managers in a post-Brexit environment. In 2017, the FCA announced the creation of an asset management authorization hub – a tool dedicated to make it easier for new firms to establish their business in the UK.

The UK looks to promote the FCA as a “go-to place to help managers and provide a user-friendly environment,” Brian Allis, head of State Street global services’ EMEA product team, told pfm. “The UK has recognized that it needs to up its game when compared to other jurisdictions as we move through Brexit.”

Allis also highlighted how the UK has created an asset management task force – made up of CEOs in the fund management industry – which is dedicated to helping managers to prepare after Brexit. The task force last met in May with lobbyists, regulators and John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, to discuss fund managers’ future as the UK secedes from the EU in late March.

In the meeting, they discussed concerns fund managers have regarding potential changes to marketing laws, including how to be in line with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive in marketing their funds in the EU.

Overall the report found that investors had a negative outlook when it comes to the fund management industry post-Brexit. Only 24 percent of European-based fund managers will look to open offices in the UK after Brexit.