In times when we have already learnt and acknowledged that earth’s resources are limited and that we globally consume in an unhealthy way, we are virtually non-stop fed with information about green initiatives and sustainability. We sometimes perceive it as “getting flooded” or even “spammed”. Activities around recycling, ecofriendly consumption, waste avoidance and renewable energies today influence almost all aspects of our life. So, why do we need this “new” Circular Economy initiative then? Hasn’t everything been thought and said about how to protect the environment? Why is this initiative so highly supported by the OECD and why does it appear regularly on top of the agenda of the World Economic Forum in Davos?
According to the 2014 Global Islamic Asset Management Report issued by Thomson Reuters, scalability is the key challenge facing the Islamic asset management industry.
Taxation has given many a CFO sleepless nights. In the past, their night visions had one sole protagonist: Corporate Tax. However, a shift in focus means that this has been changing. Over the last few years, governments have increasingly relied on indirect taxes to raise revenues. Perhaps one of the most visible illustrations is countries hiking up indirect tax rates, with over a dozen countries choosing to do so in the last 24 months. But companies affected by these rises may not need to wave the white flag just yet. There are mechanisms allowing them to recover not only domestic VAT, but also VAT paid abroad.
To quote Harvard economist, Ted Levitt: “The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they come obvious” and history has confirmed time and time again that this maxim is true.
After Monaco, Frankfurt and London, we are on the road again. But this time, we have gone west and we are in the good old USA where the focus is on hedge funds for a KPMG Global Roadshow in Boston, Dallas, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
It appears that the US is no longer quite living up to its reputation as the place where dreams are made … or at least this is the case where one emerging fund type is concerned. Distressed debt – which was 100% ‘Born in the USA’ – is now hotfooting it to Europe in what one could only describe as an industry migration. But just what is behind this passage over the Atlantic?
KPMG’s asset management regulatory experts bring their insights to the fore in our annual report Evolving Investment Management Regulation: Clarity leads to opportunity. While 2012 saw an unprecedented wave of new regulations, which continued in 2013, 2014 heralds implementation and more coordination and convergence at international level, giving hope for some welcome light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s no such thing as peace and quiet for depositaries since the regulatory avalanche hit Europe. While the AIFMD revisited the roles and responsibilities of AIF depositaries, the CSSF decided to publish its new circular on the UCITS depositary function on 11 July. These different texts will have to find ways to fit together: Circular 14/587 does not apply to AIFs (as they are addressed specifically by the law of July 12, 2013) nor to the SIF, SICAR and so-called Part II funds. For the latter, the main reference is still Circular 91/75.
When Banks Insights was published last year, the clouds of banking secrecy were hovering over the industry. Since then, Luxembourg has had to make some tough choices. The end of an era meant a rethink on strategy and potential changes to operating models, especially for banks with less than €5bn in assets. The result has been consolidation, the repositioning of banks within international groups and – in certain cases – banks disappearing entirely from Luxembourg. Yet these moves were necessary to ensure a sustainable future for the financial centre.