Greenpeace says most Luxembourg and Swiss funds that are labelled as sustainable in fact have a negligible impact on curbing greenhouse gases and achieving other ESG goals, and cast into doubt the grand duchy’s credentials as a centre for green finance. The organisation’s study of 51 sustainable funds detected no significant improvement in their investments’ carbon footprint over conventional vehicles, and found one ESG fund with one-third of its assets invested in fossil fuel, carbon-intensive transport and mining, double the average level for traditional funds. On exclusions, funds surveyed showed a significant difference only on cement production and arms manufacturing.
— Simon Gray, Editor in Chief
Luxembourg and Swiss funds often guilty of greenwashing: Greenpeace
Environmental group Greenpeace says a new study shows that much of what passes for sustainable finance is greenwashing, arguing that funds in Luxembourg and Switzerland bearing the label hold assets that do little to curb climate change and hardly differ from conventional investment vehicles. The Greenpeace organisations in the two countries have called for legal rules that are clear enough to enable fund managers to make genuinely sustainable investments.
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Alter Domus acquires US fund service provider Investors Economic Assurance
Luxembourg corporate services firm Alter Domus has acquired New York-based Investors Economic Assurance, which was founded in 2000 and provides accounting, administration and advisory services to investment managers. This year Alter Domus has already purchased Strata Funds, which services US private equity and venture capital funds, following the acquisition last December of Boston-based fund administrator IPS Fund Services.
RBS International Depositary Services boosts workforce to meet new business growth
RBS International Depositary Services has expanded its workforce by more than 70% since February last year, saying assets under management have increased by 13% so far in 2021, while new business is up 150% year on year. Recruitment has focused on the business's core activities in Luxembourg, including fund governance, due diligence, business development and business risk, with particular focus on the alternative fund sector.
Corinne Lamesch re-elected ALFI chairwoman for further two-year term
Fidelity International 's Luxembourg country head Corinne Lamesch has been re-elected as chairwoman of investment fund association ALFI for a second two-year term. Lamesch says the industry, whose assets bounced back strongly last year from a sharp fall in the spring, will continue to focus on green finance and other sustainability issues.
UK’s FCA to extend climate reporting rules to all listed companies and asset managers
The Financial Conduct Authority is proposing to extend climate risk disclosure requirements beyond companies with premium stock market listings to all listed companies and UK-based asset managers, in response to investor pressure for transparency. Under the regulator's proposal, companies, asset managers, life insurers and pension providers would be required to account for physical climate risks as well as those arising from potential regulatory changes.
JPMorgan invests in Luxembourg financial technology start-up HQLAx
JPMorgan has made an undisclosed investment in Luxembourg start-up HQLAx as part of a €14.4m Series B funding round, alongside BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Citigroup and Deutsche Börse Group. The firm's platform uses blockchain technology to enable the transfer of ownership of securities transparently via guarantee pools, enabling participants to optimise liquidity and manage guarantees, boosting efficiency and lowering investment costs. The US bank has been using HQLAx's platform since its launch and plans to extend its deployment to agency securities lending activities.
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