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IP/02/1763

Brussels, 28th November 2002

Financial analysts: first meeting of new experts group

The European Commission's new Forum Group on Financial Analysts met for the first time on 27th November in Brussels and elected as its Chair Ian Mackintosh and as Vice-chair Bernard Coupez. The group will make recommendations on the best regulatory and market practice framework for financial analysts within an integrated European capital market. The Forum Group has been set up by the Commission in response to the conclusions of the informal meeting of Economics and Finance Ministers at Oviedo in April 2002 (see IP/02/584).

Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said: "Investors need quality research and analysis to help them make investment decisions and feel confident that analysts' recommendations are soundly-based and objective. There has been considerable debate over the past year or so about the objectivity of analysts carrying out research in major investment banks. This has been highlighted in particular by a number of recent cases in the US, where business concerns in other parts of the firm appear to have compromised analysts' work. This group will advise the Commission on how best to ensure high standards of analyst integrity and objectivity so that investors throughout the EU can benefit from high quality research."

In today's financial markets, investment research is used in a variety of situations. It is often published and so available to a wide range of companies and individuals making investment decisions. In particular, it is used to guide investment decisions made by pension funds and insurance companies. But increasingly, research has also played an important role in generating investment banking business, which can lead to conflicts of interest for the analysts concerned.

Recently agreed EU legislation and legislative proposals the Market Abuse Directive (see IP/02/1547) and the proposed Investment Services Directive (IP/02/1706) will introduce some regulatory provisions which affect analysts.

This market-focused group will examine the role played by investment research and the different interests of the various stakeholders such as securities issuers, investment banks, brokers and investors. It will report its findings to the Commission services within six months. The group will focus in particular on:

  • how conflicts of interest can best be managed to ensure analyst objectivity;

  • how research is paid for, and by whom, and

  • the role of best practice codes and regulation in delivering investor protection.

The members of the group are:

Ian Mackintosh

Chair

Independent consultant

Bernard CoupezVice-chair

Head of Global Research, BNP Paribas Asset Management and President of French Society of Financial Analysts (SFAF)

John BarrassVice President, Global Affairs Europe, Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR)
Marcello BianchiCommissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB, the Italian securities markets regulator)
David CooperHead of Equities Compliance, HSBC, London
Volker FirchauHead of corporate bond research, Bayerische Landesbank
Bruno GizardDeputy Secretary General, Conseil des Marchés Financiers (CMF, the French securities markets regulator)
Paul GoldschmidtConsultant, former Director of the Financial Operations Service, European Commission
Howard JonesSaïd Business School, Oxford University
Dr Wolfgang KirstenManaging Director Asset Management, Union Investment Luxembourg
Ignacio Gómez MontejoManaging Director, Investment Team, International Capital Research and ex-member of Board of Directors of Spanish Institute of Financial Analysts
Andreas NeubauerHead of Equity Research Germany, Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt
Fergal O'DriscollManaging Director, Global Investment Research, Goldman Sachs International, London
Jean-Pierre PaelinckSecretary-General, Euroshareholders
Derry PickfordEconomic Analyst, Smithers & Co
Michiel PlakmanRobeco North America Equity Fund and President of Netherlands Society of Investment Professionals
John PlenderJournalist, Financial Times
Fritz H RauChairman of the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS) and Chairman of the DVFA (German Society of Investment Analysis and Asset Management) Board of Directors
Penelope ThamDirector, Global Equities Compliance, Deutsche Bank, London
Pascal ThébéHead of Actuarial, Product and Marketing Dept, AXA France Assurance
Giampaolo TrasiDirector Asset Allocation, IMI & Deputy Chairman, Italian Society of financial analysts (AIAF)

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