European Investors participated in the Eurofi High Level Seminar 2018 in Sofia on 25, 26 and 27 April 2018. The event was organised by Eurofi (the European think tank dedicated to financial services) in association with the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency.
Highlight of the conference was a presentation by Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the EU in the Brexit discussions, who described Brexit as a loss for the Union and the UK but a bigger loss for the latter. According to Barnier, the UK wishes to obtain equivalence which it cannot get.
Niels Lemmers, managing director at European Investors, contributed to the Seminar on behalf of European Investors. He participated as an expert in the afternoon session on developing equity investment and financing in the EU (Thursday 26 April). His roundtable discussed the current trends in equity financing and investments in the EU, the main priorities for further developing EU equity markets and related challenges, the likely impacts of on-going legislative actions (related to the CMU and MiFID II) and whether additional policy or market-drive actions are needed to foster further growth of these markets.
Mr Lemmers highlighted three extra measures to enhance equity investment: 1) greater harmonisation in the areas of financial reporting (including ESG factors) and taxation (tax relief at source should be available throughout the EU); 2) digitalisation of exercising shareholder rights and engagement; 3) enhancing investor protection by an EU collective redress mechanism.
Mr Lemmers contributed to the panel on index funds as well where he emphasised that retail investors could benefit more from simple transparent low cost products such as index funds. However, at point of sale, advisors are putting more effort in selling alternative investment funds, structure products or equity. That should change, because in a diversified portfolio you need those simple low cost products as a cornerstone.
Please click here for more information on the event.