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Today New City Initiative is comprised of 52 leading independent asset management firms from the UK and the Continent, managing approximately £400 billion and employing several thousand people.

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Tilman Lueder at the NCI

Tilman Lueder at the NCI

A packed audience of NCI members and others heard Tilman Lueder – in charge of the asset management division at the European Commission in Brussels – give an insight into the EC’s thinking on Wednesday 17 September. In an engaging speech, Mr Lueder emphasised that the EC is not about “regulation for the sake of regulation”, but is keen to see the creation of much bigger cross-border investment flows, and the “conquering of new markets” such as China.

Mr Lueder, a lawyer by training who formerly represented the EC in the World Intellectual property Organisation (WIPO), spoke for almost an hour and then took a series of probing questions on the whole gamut of investment management issues, including the somewhat opaque nature of ‘passporting’ funds across Europe. He said on this matter that “we need regulatory cooperation and...a joint rulebook, and the EC needs to ensure that there is a common interpretation of the rulebook.”

Mr Lueder spent the day visiting several NCI member firms in London, exchanging views with them on the prospects for this industry and discovering the major concerns of small-to-medium boutique asset managers. He said that in his view the attractions of smaller niche operators were considerable, and that the “EC is interested in learning what kind of strategy niche funds might be able to offer.”

From the perspective of NCI members it is tremendously useful to have opened this key channel of communication with the European Commission. Dominic Johnson, NCI Chairman, said: “It’s terrifically heartening to hear from Tilman Lueder that his part of the European Commission is focused on fostering true European capital markets integration, assisting our members – and firms like them – to compete better globally.”