UCITS VI: A sequel too many?

Thu Aug 30, 2012

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Comment by Joy Dunbar, Editor of Absolute UCITS

Many of the best movies have sequels to capitalise on the success of the original franchise.

It seems like UCITS is turning into the asset management version of an American movie franchise.

Like Rocky, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Police Academy and others with a long trail of sequels, new versions of the innovative directive are still coming out thick and fast.  In the last decade, UCITS III was adopted in 2002 and since then three further versions have been consulted upon.

The original concept of UCITS was a great idea back in the mid-eighties - a desire to create a harmonised set of asset management rules for countries in the European Union.

However, fast forward to 2012 and we are moving towards another version of the directive.

As I predicted in an earlier blog, as the ink began to dry on UCITS V earlier last month a new consultation document was published by the European Commission only weeks later.

One of the aims of the newer version is to keep pace with other new regulations, including the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) Directive, as well as responding to the shadow banking regulatory initiatives.

The new consultation, which will likely make up UCITS VI, aims to look at product rules including the use of derivatives and leverage, liquidity management, depositary rules and long-term investments, and has even proposed 'improvements' to UCITS IV which has only just been transposed by the majority of EU countries.

With the eighth version of Police Academy expected to open in cinemas next year, it begs the question: will there eventually be even more UCITS directives than that seemingly never-ending film series?

Maybe the next directive should be called UCITS VI: the final frontier? At least until the next one!

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