Standard Chartered and FundRock to launch new Luxembourg fund solution

Fund platform to ease European market access for Asian, African and Middle Eastern fund strategies

Standard Chartered Bank together with FundRock Management Company S.A. (FundRock) are launching a new multi-manager fund platform solution for Asian, African and Middle Eastern based asset managers looking to explore Luxembourg domiciled Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) structures. The Luxembourg “Straight2UCITS” fund platform solution will offer a simpler, faster and more cost effective way for Asian, African and Middle Eastern based investment managers to access the UCITS brand for global distribution. By using a dedicated Luxembourg UCITS umbrella structure, the platform will allow boutique managers and those new to cross-border distribution to build assets and track record through dedicated and entirely segregated sub funds, without the expense and time required to create and manage their own UCITS fund. The Straight2UCITS model creates a simplified ‘go to market’ proposition with complete infrastructure allowing managers to launch, operate and distribute dedicated UCITS sub funds all within a robust risk and compliance control environment. The low set up costs and reduced administrative burden ensure speed to market and Total Expense Ratio (TER) efficiencies for managers and their end investors. Margaret Harwood-Jones, Head of Investors & Intermediaries at Standard Chartered said: “Whilst a UCITS structure is desirable for many asset managers looking to increase their profile and their distribution capabilities, the reality is that the set up of a UCITS fund can be expensive, time consuming and if not sufficiently distributed, at risk of failure. “Straight2UCITS offers asset managers and fund promoters a unique tool to distribute their investment expertise via a dedicated and entirely segregated sub fund within an existing Luxembourg UCITS fund structure.” Revel Wood, CEO of FundRock added: “At FundRock we are dedicated to supporting connectivity across markets. We are delighted to make the launch of the Straight2UCITS platform possible through our best-in-class infrastructure, substance and market expertise. “We are building on our long track record of supporting Asian managers distribute their funds in a compliant and secure way, by partnering with Standard Chartered to deliver a reliable, cost effective solution.” Luxembourg is gaining greater attention from asset managers as a domicile of choice for their cross-border investment funds. Last year the People’s Bank of China announced the granting of a 50 bn RMB RQFII (RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) quota to Luxembourg, enabling the country’s investor base to invest on the Chinese capital market, and making Luxembourg an attractive proposition for Asian based asset managers. According to the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), there are over €3 trillion in assets under management domiciled in Luxembourg, making it the second largest investment fund centre in the world after the US. Jill Griffin, CEO of Standard Chartered Luxembourg commented: “Luxembourg is a key domicile for cross-border fund distribution and a leader in the UCITS field. UCITS are popular for managers all over the world and are recognised as the go-to fund for increasing distribution. “Through our depositary branch in Luxembourg, we’re able to offer our custody and depositary bank services via a unique platform to our Asian, African & Middle Eastern asset manager clients wanting to widen their distribution. They’ll have the reassurance of a financially sound provider who can facilitate direct access to custody and clearing services across an unparalleled 39 markets, whilst keeping their valued client service and relationship management teams in their own home markets.” FundRock, Luxembourg’s largest fully capitalised independent UCITS fund management company (ManCo) and Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), will act as the fund initiator and Luxembourg ManCo of the UCITS Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable (SICAV) with Standard Chartered acting as depositary and custodian bank.