Strengthening Investment Fund Business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

The Hungarian association BAMOSZ and the Austrian association VÖIG initiated a closer collaboration and tighter co-operation between fund associations in CEE, the so-called „CEE Initiative“. The first formal meeting was held in Budapest in 2009, followed by annual meetings 2010 in Bucharest and 2011 in Kyiv. The 2012 annual meeting will take place in Brussels upon invitation by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), which has observer status in this initiative. In particular this observer status reflects the interest of the European fund industry in the CEE region.

The member associations of the „CEE Initiative“ are (in alphabetical order): Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. All other CEE countries have no developed investment fund markets.

It is typical for most of the investment fund markets in the CEE region that they are rather small in size but have been developing impressively over the last years. In particular those countries, that are members of the European Union, are engaged in increasing harmonization of investment fund law in the context of both the UCITS as well as the AIFMD framework experience which further increases similarities in the region. However, a special feature of the CEE region is its diversity because out of the above mentioned countries, nine are already EU member states, whereas Croatia is on the brink of joining the Union and Ukraine at the crossroads between the West and the East.

Consequently, the structure and development of the investment fund markets in the region evolve with different speed, intensity and knowledge. In addition to this, different legal frameworks shape the respective markets. Moreover, the different national implementation of EU investment fund law and in particular the diverging interpretation of these rules by national supervisory bodies constitutes significant challenges for management companies that are active in numerous CEE markets. Therefore, the visibility of the CEE region is not granted in terms of both, market structure and regulatory oversight.

The „CEE Initiative“ proved to be successful right from its beginning since it stimulated a regular and much closer communication, exchange of views and better coordination among the contributing parties. In addition to this, the initiative helped to strengthen the ties between the Ukrainian Association of Investment Business (UAIB) and EFAMA which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties.

Aside from this, the members of the „CEE Initiative“ intend to strengthen their collaboration and co-operation in four key areas. First, the promotion of the CEE region has to be strengthened, in particular against the background, that the region itself is not always clearly identified and visible. Second, the increasing communication between the members shall enable them to find commonalities within the region and thereby strengthen their collaboration. Third, the improvement of the knowledge and the better understanding of the CEE region shall be ensured by collecting data reflecting the economics of the region. Finally, the members agreed to better promote long-term savings in the region and thereby also relying on academic knowledge and specific expertise to properly reflect the specific regional needs.

Austrian Association of Investment Fund Management Companies

Bulgarian Association of Asset Management Companies

Czech Capital Market Association

Hellenic Fund and Asset Management Association

Association of Hungarian Investment Fund and Asset Management Companies

Chamber of Fund and Asset Managers

Romanian Association of Asset Managers

Slovak Association of Fund Management Companies

Slovenian Investment Fund Association

Ukrainian Association of Investment Business

Funds Europe 2012: CEE Initiative

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