Seven managers to lodge appeal against French gov't pension scheme decree

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Seven asset management companies have signed an open letter in which they announce they will lodge an appeal to the French prime minister Edouard Philippe against the controversial pension scheme decree that was published by the French government on 9 May 2017.

The targeted decree tightens the investment framework of a number of French pension schemes of liberal works. The letter has been signed by Ycap Asset Management, Russell Investments, Quaero Capital, Trecento, CBT Gestion, Raymond James Asset Management and Vestathena.

The signatories also consider bringing the matter before the Council of State in order to obtain the withdrawal of the decree.

They argued that the measures contained in the decree are to “strongly orient investments (of the pension schemes concerned by the decree) towards atypical vehicles, mutual funds, that put forward issues regarding governance, conflicts of interest and that hinders competition at the expense of the abundance and diversity of French independent asset managers.”

The use of mutual funds, as described by the new regulation for pension schemes of liberal works, must see a pension scheme agreeing with another as well as with a third party investor to invest in a fund in order to grow its allocation to equities.

The decree sets a rule for pension schemes entering in its scope of a maximal exposure of 25% to global listed equities and 10% to listed equities in OECD-member countries excluding European Union.

The signatories of the letter assessed the decree would deprive some asset managers of managing pension schemes’ reserves.

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