Industry news

SEC proposes new rule requiring asset managers to disclose proxy votes

30 September | Regulation

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a new rule that would need investment companies to disclose additional information on their proxy vote.

In its proposal, the SEC requires institutional investment managers to report their vote in connection with certain executive compensation matters to investors on Form N-PX.

Registered investment companies, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, are required to submit Form N-PX annually to disclose information relating to how they voted companies’ shares.

The SEC said that the proposed amendment would help investors ‘to more easily understand and analyse proxy voting information that filers report’.

The proposed rules would also require funds and managers to reveal how their securities lending activity impacted their voting.

They would also need to standardise the description of matters voted on, categorise the various types of votes cast, and disclose the required information using structured or electronically tagged data.

Categories and subcategories outlined by the regulator include greenhouse gas emissions, diversity, equity and inclusion as well as corporate matters such as share buybacks and asset sales.

29 September | Products

Wells Fargo taps eMoney Advisor to provide planning solutions for brokers

Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management division has teamed up with eMoney Advisor to offer planning solutions to its nearly 13,000 financial advisers.

The partnership will enable Wells Fargo to extend the eMoney Premier planning package, which consists of Foundational Planning and Advanced Planning, to its advisers.

These solutions will enable advisors to engage clients across every wealth segment in planning relationships in all part of their financial lifecycle.

In addition, eMoney will offer planning and wellness mobile application Incentive for Wells Fargo’s advisors in the future.

29 September | Distribution

UniCredit sets up wealth management and private banking unit in Italy

UniCredit has established a dedicated wealth management and private banking (WM & PB) division in Italy.

The banking group has appointed Stefano Vecchi to lead the new division, which will cater to more than 140,000 clients with over $117bn (€100bn) in assets.

Vecchi will be responsible for UniCredit’s private banking, wealth management as well as ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families and family holdings in Italy.

He will manage a team of over 1,400 employees, half of whom are relationship managers spread around 132 Italian cities.

Additionally, UniCredit’s Italian Investment Management, Investment Services, and Investment Products functions will report to Vecchi and to the Corporate and Investment Banking division, headed by Richard Burton.

Vecchi will work under UniCredit Italy chief Niccolò Ubertalli.

28 September | Strategy

US may open private-markets funds to retail investors

An advisory group for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly voted in favour of letting ordinary investors to invest in private funds.

The SEC’s Asset Management Advisory Committee approved a report that recommended the regulator to enlarge the common investor’s access to private-equity, private-debt and real-estate vehicles, WSJ reported.

At present, only institutional and wealthy investors are eligible to invest in private equity funds.

The report, submitted by a subcommittee on private investments, suggested that ordinary investors could gain from the performance of such funds.

It also recommended that the regulator should balance greater access with investor protections.

In the recent past, government regulatory bodies have urged to let more retail investors, who don’t qualify as accredited investors, into private equity.

The Asset Management Committee in its report noted that ‘most retail investors are precluded from investing in the majority of private investments’.

21 September | Strategy

Fintech firm Wise partners with BlackRock to foray into wealth management

UK-based fintech firm Wise is set to foray into wealth management space in tie-up with US investment manager BlackRock.

The firm launched a new offering called Wise Assets, which will allow its customers to invest in stocks across different currencies.

Customers can opt to use the money from their Wise bank accounts or other wallets to invest in iShares World Equity Index Fund, managed by BlackRock.

It is said to be a £40 trillion portfolio of stocks including Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Wise Assets is currently being offered to retail and business banking customers in the UK.

While traditional investing platform doesn’t allow instant access to money held in stocks, Wise will provide its users’ immediate access to their money.

According to the firm, up to 97% of the money held in stocks will be available instantly to the users, while 3% will be held back to cover any big market fluctuations.

20 September | Products

C8 Technologies launches China gateway vehicle

Fintech C8 Technologies has announced the launch of its China Futures Access vehicle and gateway for offshore investors.

The strategy, utilised by C8’s Chinese onshore clients since 2018, provides institutional investors access to some one the world’s fastest developing futures markets via up to 50 commodity contracts.

C8 and the Futures Access programme is committed to being at the forefront of development and is diversified by market investment style, risk profile, and trade frequency.

30 September | Digital

FINMA approves first regulated crypto fund in Switzerland

Crypto Finance has announced its approval by FINMA for its Swiss crypto asset fund, the first in the country.

The fund is administered by PvB with custody by SEBA Bank.

Qualified investors can now utilise this form of regulated fund. The passive investment fund from Crypto Finance tracks the performance of the Crypto market Index 10, which is administered by the SIX Swiss Exchange.

In addition, the objective of the Crypto market Index 10 is to reliably measure the performance of the largest, liquid crypto assets and tokens and to provide an investable benchmark for this asset class.

29 September | People

Morgan Stanley launches virtual educational programme for financial professionals

Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources has launched a virtual educational programme, dubbed as The Morgan Stanley Family Legacy and Governance (FLAG) Institute.

The programme aims to help financial professionals address and implement family governance processes for wealth management clients.

Morgan Stanley said it is first of its kind initiative from the firm for estate planning lawyers, certified public accountants, family office executives, and other professionals who deal with human capital side of working with ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients.

The Institute will enable professionals to support harmonious decision-making and success within families. It will also help them focus on clients in the ultra-high-net-worth space.

28 September | Technology

CTBC Bank selects Avaloq for its international private banking platform

Taiwan-based CTBC Bank will implement the core banking solution from Avaloq, starting with its businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore.

CTBC is Taiwan’s largest private bank by consolidated assets under management with an international presence of 116 overseas branches across 14 countries.

Avaloq Core was selected by CTBC due to its comprehensive product coverage, strong straight-through processing capabilities and hardware-enforced security policies that ensure banking resilience.

As the firm operates across several Asian markets, the bank will utilise Avaloq Core to provide the potential for the bank to consolidate its wealth management business, retail banking, and other offerings.

28 September | Regulation

Troubled Chinese developer Evergrande’s wealth arm probed by local government

The wealth management arm of debt-ridden Chinese developer Evergrande is reportedly being probed by the local government.

Evergrande Wealth is being investigated by the Shenzhen government, Reuters reported.

The development is seen as the first sign of a possible wealth management crisis at the Chinese developer, which is on the brink of default with $305bn debt.

The wealth unit of the Shenzhen-headquartered firm missed a payment on wealth management products (WMPs) earlier this month, triggering concern about loss.

The Shenzhen Financial Regulatory Bureau said in a letter to investors that ‘relevant departments of the Shenzhen government have gathered public opinions about Evergrande Wealth and are launching a thorough investigation into related issues of the company’.

According to the letter, the government is also urging China Evergrande and Evergrande Wealth to work to repay investors.