The big month of liquidity finally arrived where we saw a number of liquidity developments come to fruition at the end of the month, including: ESMA’s new guidelines on liquidity…
Although liquidity risk management practices vary in different jurisdictions, in most cases, asset managers are required to monitor the liquidity of the fund on a frequent basis. Whilst many aspects of the regulations are broadly similar, differences can be seen from what is considered “liquid”, and around methodology to liquidity buckets, stress testing and reporting requirements. In Europe for example, neither UCITS nor AIFMD specify a specific methodology for calculating liquidity. This is in contrast to the US SEC Liquidity Risk Management Framework requirements which set out a specific methodology to be followed, although that methodology is not without its shortcomings.
This month marked one year since the collapse of Neil Woodford’s LF Woodford Equity Income fund. The Woodford fund was suspended in June, after it became overwhelmed by redemption requests from investors. One year on and investors are still awaiting their final pay-out. One year on and questions concerning the liquidity mismatches in open-ended funds still remain.
As discussed in previous blogs, later this year new FCA rules for open-ended funds investing in inherently illiquid assets enters into force. The new rules concern non-UCITS retail schemes (NURS) that invest in inherently illiquid assets. Although the new rules are relevant to anyone with an interest in open-ended investment funds that are likely to hold illiquid assets, here we will be focusing on the enhanced oversight of depositaries.