Ernst & Young and JWG-IT to accelerate EU MiFID readiness

London - 26 November 2007

Ernst & Young and JWG-IT Group, the independent think-tank, have today announced a new collaborative agreement, which enables both organisations to work with their clients to embed the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

The financial services community faces a number of hurdles to comply with this wide-ranging legislation. To help overcome them, the two organisations will work together to develop joint thought leadership to offer clients:
• foresight on business and technical challenges coming from the European Union’s Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) and other regulatory programmes;
• benchmarking against peers to define the appropriate set of business needs; and
• analysis on the technology landscape’s ability to deliver pre-defined solutions from the JWG-IT Technical Special Interest Group (TechSIG).

The collaboration will be led by Dr Stephen Christie, a partner in Ernst & Young’s Regulatory and Risk Management practice, and PJ Di Giammarino, JWG-IT’s chief executive officer.

JWG-IT’s recent market intelligence report found a wide variance on the state of the industry’s readiness to adapt to MiFID. Firms are expecting fines for non-compliance from the first quarter of 2008. More concerning is that 68% of firms expect the first client to challenge their “best execution” in the same period and over 80% forecast a challenge before autumn.

Dr Stephen Christie of Ernst & Young said: “The introduction of MiFID will continue to impact the markets for some time to come. Our collaborative agreement with JWG-IT allows both organisations to bring a combination of deep expertise of the operational requirements with a pan-European delivery capability expected by our most demanding clients. Our combined efforts will focus on helping wholesale firms to build the most competitive business models underpinned by the latest technology, while meeting the prevailing regulatory requirements.”

PJ Di Giammarino, CEO of JWG-IT, commented: “Only the UK met the deadline for MiFID transposition and 66% of the member states put the new laws onto their books by the implementation date of 1 November 2007, leaving thousands of EU investment firms little time to adjust to new rulebooks.

“This is a critical time for the industry as it has taken the first few steps in the four-year marathon known as MiFID implementation. Issues that one would have expected to have been addressed during the business analysis and testing phases of firms’ change programmes are rearing their head in real live environments.

“JWG-IT, Ernst & Young and the technology supply chain will continue to lead the industry in the right debates, at the right time with the breadth, depth and scale required to assist in this ambitious transition to a customer centric and transparent regime,” PJ Di Giammarino concluded.

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