And so the summer draws to an end and everyone has returned back to work from their holidays, tanned, refreshed and eager to see what the coming months bring.
Or perhaps not. Already a sense of déjà vu pervades the markets. The traditional summer inertia is being replaced with the normal inertia caused by uncertainty and confusion. The continued delays on the part of the regulators to clarify matters on subjects such as unbundling, research and the use of commissions has had its natural outcome. Everyone is very busy doing absolutely . . . nothing!
Some are doing nothing through a sense of genuine uncertainty. A lack of resources or confidence in their ability put in place processes to deal with what will be required, means they are waiting until everything is agreed and all the minutae are defined. Only then will they take the first steps and hope that there is time to get everything done.
Others, perhaps the more cynical out there, are doing nothing for the simple reason that they do not believe that anything will ever be decided. Their experience of previous delays and the difficulties of getting pan-European agreement on a wide variety of topics tends to back up some of these views.
There are a few genuine ‘first movers’ out there, a definite minority, who can see that certain processes can be put into place now. Processes for assessing and evaluating research, for example, because regardless of regulatory decisions on how research will be paid, and from where, a robust methodology for valuing the best research from the best sources will be needed – a ‘Best Research’ policy, if you will.
The rest? Well, they’re waiting.
So, in the meantime, I’m going back on holiday and I shall return at the end of September, to see whether the delayed timetable announced by ESMA in May will be met or not. If I was a gambling man, I know which way I’d bet.
- 28 Aug, 2015
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- Best Execution, ESMA, FCA, MiFID, Research, Unbundling,