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Vontobel declares stance on MiFID II research costs

Vontobel declares stance on MiFID II research costs

Vontobel Asset Management has decided to absorb research costs for all funds and client mandates that are subject to MiFID II rules.

According to the firm, all the additional costs will amount to low-single-digit millions of Swiss francs a year. Those are already accounted for in the firm's 2020 objectives, as published in August 2017.

Commenting on the decision, Axel Schwarzer, head of Vontobel Asset Management, said: ‘This decision creates clarity for our clients and makes our cost structure more transparent. We also see an opportunity for the client to benefit from more focused research in investment decisions.’

Fees conundrum

Vontobel’s decision follows shortly after that of Geneva-based group RAM Active Investments, which decided to absorb research costs on 12 October.

Other Swiss groups that have made a similar statement are Unigestion and Fisch Asset Management.

Large asset managers including JP Morgan AM, Vanguard, Janus Henderson, M&G, Aberdeen and Jupiter have also decided to cover research costs.

Meanwhile, Carmignac and German asset manager DekaBank are among those that will be charging clients.

It has been widely reported that Man GLG will charge for research and pass on the costs to clients. However, when approached by Citywire Switzerland's sister publication, Citywire Selector, the group declined to provide an official comment.

A spokesperson for the French group BNP Paribas confirmed that they are still discussing the issue. A final decision has not been made, although it has been reported that the firm will pass on research costs to clients.

Amundi took the decision in April to pass research costs on to its clients. However, it has now adjusted its position by reviewing its options.

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