French competitiveness: Is Paris the place to be?

Elisabeth Reyes
clock • 2 min read

In an effort to re-energise the French asset management industry, Eric Pinon, chairman of the French Asset Management Association, AFG (Association française de la gestion financière), invited Jean-Pierre Grimaud, CEO of OFI AM and a member of the AFG's Strategic Committee, to draft a white paper on competitiveness aimed at generating clear, concrete and ambitious proposals.

This white paper was presented on 9 July 2019 at the Paris Europlace International Financial Forum. Grimaud, Stéphane Janin (head of Global Regulatory Development, AXA IM) and Eric Sidot (head of Market Infrastructures, AFG) presented the proposals resulting from this work at a special session on "French Competitiveness, Paris, the Place to Be!"

Drawing on earlier proposals made in the FROG Report and the 2016 white paper on the competitiveness of the Paris financial centre, the white paper recommends 40 measures broken down into four main areas:

  • Support innovation to ensure that France becomes the leader in the management of digital assets;
  • Modernise market infrastructures to ensure that the ecosystem in which asset management companies operate is more dynamic and inventive; 
  • Review the legal and regulatory framework at national, European and international levels;
  • Reform the current fiscal and accounting framework in order to follow up on initiatives already undertaken to boost France's attractiveness.

During the presentation, the AFG said to be ready to kick-start the Paris financial centre and pointed out that seven of these 40 proposals could be implemented very quickly, such as :

1. Recommend that new European regulations be created as quickly as possible to regulate activities on digital assets qualified as financial instruments;

2. Promote a standardised data model for non-professional investors (KYC) that can be used by all financial sector players;

3. As part of the development of Blockchain-based services in France and Europe, promote interoperability among the various players relating to the collection of subscription orders/redemption of units of UCIs;

4. Encourage the development of "acceleration" funds by mobilising stakeholders (institutional and individual investors, public authorities and accounting standard-setters);

5. Amend the MiFID II rules that impact research funding by applying the proportionality principle to inducement regime for SMEs and small asset management companies;

6. Improve the tax rules applicable to income earned by French UCIs;

7. Update the UCIs chart of accounts.

To read the full AFG white paper on competitiveness click here: