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18 Sep 2006

Eligible assets, investment strategies and investor protection in light of modern portfolio theory

Towards a risk-based approach for UCITS

Jean-Pierre Casey

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ECMI Policy Brief No. 2 / 15 pages

As the European Commission is currently in the process of preparing its White Paper on the enhancement of the EU framework for investment funds (scheduled for November 2006), now is a good time to reflect on whether the UCITS framework needs a radical overhaul if the regulatory landscape is going to adapt itself to the reality of market evolutions. European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI) Head of Research Jean-Pierre Casey contributes to this important debate with the second ECMI Policy Brief, in which he argues that UCITS ought to move to a risk-based approach as opposed to a reliance on the product approach. Casey concludes that both the product approach, which necessitates defining eligible assets – a laborious exercise – and the investment restrictions which form the other cornerstone of investor protection in UCITS, are outdated and out of sync with the lessons of modern portfolio theory. ECMI is an independent research body specialising in research on capital markets. It is managed by CEPS staff.