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Fund managers preparing for hard Brexit

By Charlotte Richards

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Aug 23, 2018
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Almost two-thirds of asset managers are preparing for a hard Brexit, the Financial Times reports.

Looking at fund houses that collectively manage $14tn (£12.2tn) of assets a survey found that 83 per cent have response plans for Brexit while 49 per cent have already put their plans into action.

The survey, which comes from UK equities marketplace Liquidnet, found 87 per cent of respondents were planning to keep trading desks where they are, although it could only be temporary. This comes as fears continue around a no-deal Brexit.

Liquidnet head of EMEA market structure and strategy Rebecca Healey says: “Given the state of flux and conflicting messages they are getting from UK and EU authorities, [asset managers] are having to work towards a hard Brexit rather than wait for potential political solution.”

Speaking to the FT, KPMG head of asset management regulatory change Julie Patterson says asset managers with professional clients should have already applied for new or enhanced licences in the EU.

She says: “A number of national regulators said before the summer that any applications for new or changed licences submitted from July onwards could not be certain of a response before Brexit day.”

Earlier this year, the FT contacted more than 40 asset managers, and a third said they plan to increase their presence in or more parts of their business to Dublin or Luxembourg ahead of the 27 March 2019 date when the UK will leave the EU.

Meanwhile, with just over seven months until the exit date, the UK economy rebounded in the second quarter of this year, expanding by 0.4 per cent in April to June despite any Brexit uncertainties.

On an annual basis, the growth rate picked up 1.3 per cent in the second quarter, a touch above a near six-year low of 1.2 per cent at the start of the year.

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