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Don't be scared of MiFID, but do be prepared

London, 10 November 2005 – Investit, the leading fund management consultancy, recently hosted the first MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) Forum for the buy-side, MiFID – Mountain or Molehill? A panel of experts, including representatives from the MiFID Joint Working Group, FSA, IMA and Bear Stearns, discussed the effect of MiFID, key dates and practical recommendations for compliance.

The Forum highlighted that the European Commission is taking a pragmatic approach to applying the regulations to the buy-side. And, contrary to many market doom-sayers, many mountains are being flattened into molehills. Investment managers can begin preparations ahead of the deadline for compliance with MiFID, and start allocating budget to the top-level regulations, which won’t change. The forum also resulted in practical recommendations for attendees to use throughout their planning process.

. Chris Hibben, Group Manager in Institutional Business Policy at the FSA stressed the current fluidity of the content of MiFID and therefore the difficulties in predicting detail. Even so, he did give some key dates for investment managers to be aware of - MiFID implementation by firms is now likely to be delayed until 1 Nov 2007, although, we will know firmer dates when the European Parliament votes on amending the directive in April 2006. Also, there will be a FSA consultation paper in March 2006, which will give investment managers more information on likely MiFID detail.

Julie Patterson, Director of Regulation and Taxation at the IMA provided practical recommendations for investment managers to act on immediately. Investment managers can begin to think about clarifying and publishing their best execution strategy how they should notify clients of material changes and the systems implications of MiFID, such as transaction reporting and how prices can be published to the market. Julie also showed how legal departments can start the process of client classification – establishing which clients will need to be repapered

Catherine Doherty, Chair of the forum and Principal at Investit comments, "The deadline for MiFID compliance is unconfirmed and the text is changing daily. MiFID is not as scary as many people make out, it’s more molehill than mountain.The shared experience of industry experts at Investit’s forum highlighted the ways in which COOs, compliance and IT directors can act now. Many COO’s in attendance indicated they would allocate a budget to prepare for the likely impact. At Investit, we plan to continue our efforts to relieve the concern and burden of those involved in meeting the deadlines and give them practical help in planning and managing their projects."

Following the success of the recent forum, Investit has created a toolkit designed to help COO’s begin the planning process for MiFID. The project plan will aim identify the key tasks to action immediately, budget requirements and the likely impact of MiFID on other projects.