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‘The Asset Manager’s Regulatory Guide to Research Unbundling’ key reference point for managers grappling with new rules

Global investment research platform Alphametry is responding to the official start of new MiFID II regulation today with the launch of: The Asset Manager’s Regulatory Guide to Research Unbundling – a reference point for investment managers which encapsulates the Q&As and key discussion points on research unbundling to date from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Fabrice Bouland
Fabrice Bouland

The paper, launched today, is designed to provide useful information on how firms should interpret research unbundling rules and act as a valuable source of information for those asset managers whose national regulators are yet to issue detailed guidance. Among other key topics, it covers how firms should be defining research, minor non-monetary benefits, budgets, paying for research and a detailed look at the Research Payment Account (RPA), corporate access, trial periods and the discussion and decisions around receiving and paying for research from non-EU countries.

“The journey to research unbundling under MiFID II, which comes into practice today, has been anything but plain sailing,” says Fabrice Bouland, CEO, Alphametry. “The painful process of unbundling research from execution, including price discovery and budgeting, has created a significant challenge for asset managers and it remains to be seen how planning for MiFID II will play out in the weeks and months ahead. Our guide provides managers with a straightforward reference point and we are delighted to share it with firms and asset managers.”

According to Bouland, the chance for firms to innovate and utilise technology not only to remain compliant with MiFID II but also to boost efficiencies and opportunities for their clients is very exciting. Although the focus from regulators has centred around compliance issues and tackling the inevitable challenges of this new legislation, it has also created a race for much-needed innovation which is fuelling the adoption of new technology so asset managers can replace antiquated evaluation processes with automated, data-driven analysis.

“Adapting to the new MiFID II regime, which requires the separation of research and execution fees, is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Bouland. “Competition and innovation are forcing firms’ investment processes to evolve dramatically. Highly diverse sources of research must be quickly and systematically turned into actionable knowledge in order to generate performance. What’s often missing from the dialogue on research unbundling is the opportunity it is creating for firms – that of technology deployments which will significantly boost the performance of their research as well as meeting their compliance obligations.”

Alphametry Investor improves the research information journey within organizations while providing a significant source of market-leading research worldwide. It provides all asset managers, regardless of their size, with the benefits of a powerful, cloud-based solution enabling them to manage all their research with meaningful analytics, with the added advantage of complying with the new unbundling rules.