Shedding Light on the UCITS-MiFID Nexus and Potential Impact of MiFID on the Asset Management Sector

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There remains considerable confusion as to how exactly the MiFID and UCITS directives will interact in the long run. This uncertainty reflects the growing pains of a regulatory transformation that represents no less than a tectonic shift from intense and prescriptive product regulation to a more flexible, principles-based regulation of management functions. Unlike UCITS, MiFID is a horizontal directive that cuts across the entire financial services industry (except for insurance). Precisely because the two directives are rooted in diverging regulatory philosophies, they are not natural partners, and the exercise of trying to fit the two together will likely be neither effortless nor seamless. This paper attempts to shed light on the complex interaction between UCITS and MiFID and gives some preliminary indications of how MiFID might impact on the asset management industry.