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Swiss fund giant latest to absorb research costs

Swiss fund giant latest to absorb research costs

Geneva-based asset manager Unigestion has made the decision to absorb all investment research costs for clients, in line with the upcoming Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II).

The boutique has announced that it will pay for all investment research made in preparation for the new regulation, which will affect all asset managers operating in the European Union.

Under the rules of the directive, asset managers have three payment options for investment research. These include paying it from their own profit and loss (the choice opted for by Unigestion) or charging clients directly through a Research Payment Account.

Unigestion has said the payment will ensure clear and transparent costs and charges for all products across asset classes.

The move will not incur a change in management fees.

Commenting on the decision, Fiona Frick, CEO of Unigestion, said: ‘Our clients are at the heart of everything that we do and the reasons behind our decision to pay for all research ourselves go beyond regulation.

‘It is quite simply the right thing to do, to ensure that we continue to give our clients the clearest picture of how and why they are being charged for our products, alongside safeguarding them from any potential conflicts of interest in providing best execution.’

A tricky decision

The challenge of deciding who will absorb the costs of Mifid II investment research is a hot topic for many asset managers, with no clear trend emerging.

Large asset managers including JP Morgan AM, Vanguard, M&G, Aberdeen, Woodford Investment Management and Jupiter have all decided to pay out of their own profit and loss.

Meanwhile, Schroders, Henderson Global Investors, Amundi AM, Invesco and BNP Paribas AM are among those who will be charging clients.

 

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