AXA IM Latest Manager To Shoulder Research Costs Under MiFID II

Sep 14 2017 | 9:43pm ET

Global multi-asset manager AXA Investment Managers, the fund arm of French insurer AXA, has joined the growing ranks of buyside firms that will underwrite the costs of sell-side and independent research once Europe’s MiFID II rules go into effect in January 2018 instead of passing them on to clients. 

MiFID II requires investment managers to pay hard dollars for research and corporate access services provided by broker-dealers and third-party providers instead of bundling them with commissions. 

The new regulations offer three alternatives for how firms can account for the payment of these new costs, including paying for them from their own P&Ls – the option chosen by such firms as Unigestion, BlackRock, Deutsche Asset Management, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price and JP Morgan Asset Management.  

In addition, AXA IM has said it would shoulder the research costs globally where regulations allow, not just for funds marketed in the EU. This one of the clearest signs yet that MiFID II’s regulations may turn into a set of global best practices that even money management firms outside of its purview will have to follow or risk losing mandates.

Headquartered in Paris, AXA IM manages more than €747 billion in assets from 29 offices in 21 countries. The company is part of the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management.

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