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Funds by IOB: A Year in Review

During 2020 and to date in 2021, Funds by IOB were delighted to host several online events. The feedback received from members on each was very positive and we are building on this to continue to host new and relevant events for the industry over the course of 2021.

Early in 2020 saw the launch of the Accredited Funds Professional Designation. This was a significant milestone in that it is the first designation for the funds industry. Developed with the support of Irish Funds, the Accredited Funds Professional is a standard for recognising competence and professionalism in the provision of services across the funds industry. The Accredited Funds Professional designation provides an independent endorsement of professional knowledge, and a commitment to lifelong learning. To support lifelong learning, new eCPD content was developed during the year in addition to some live events.

The accredited programmes under the funds and international financial services category all moved to online delivery and assessment as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Feedback from faculty and students was very positive and the positive engagement from all led to the very successful implementation of each of the programmes.

A new short programme – the Skills Certificate for a future career in the Irish Funds Industry was launched. It is designed to meet the needs of people new to the funds industry with no prior experience, including those changing careers from the banking industry to funds, and staff already in funds who may wish to have a better understanding of the sector as a whole. Delivery is entirely online, takes 8 hours in total and can be completed at any time.

Funds by IOB Events

Funds by IOB were delighted to host a series of events for those working in the funds industry during the year and we were very grateful to all the panellists and presenters who gave so generously of their time and expertise on a range of topics. Key events included:

Liquidity Risk Management in Investment Funds Masterclass.

Over 70 people attended the masterclass which was held online over three mornings in December. The presenters included Alastair Sewell, Fitch Ratings; Antonio Baratelli. ESMA; Robin Creswell, Payden and Rygel; Conor Kilroy, Irish Funds; Patricia Dunne, Central Bank of Ireland; Martina Kelly, IOB and a special word of thanks to Eoin FitzGearld, BBH, who very expertly moderated the masterclass over the three days. The high calibre presenters contributed hugely to the success of the master-class and participant feedback was very strong.

A live webinar event on “Increasing AML/CFT risks in the Irish funds sector – what risks should worry funds professionals” took place in October. Expert international practitioner in-sights are critical in AML/CFT risk identification and mitigation in the funds sector. We were delighted to be joined by Eoin O’Shea, CEO, Alfie White, Partner and Baheer Jeyeraj, Senior Programme Manager from Temple Grange Partners together with Amy Morris, Senior Vice President, BBH.

Other events in 2020 and in the months to date in 2021 included:

Cybersecurity Risk Management

A live webinar which focused on themes addressed in the Central Bank of Ireland’s inspection of Cybersecurity Risk Management in Asset Management Firms. The expert panellists - Laura Wadding, Deloitte, Jacky Fox, Accenture and Justin Egan, Carne Group - addressed the Central Bank findings, the role of a Chief Information Officer and the latest cyber threats in the industry.

Securities Market Conduct Risk - an update with focus on Market Abuse

This webinar also focused on themes addressed in a Central Bank communication, this time in the area of wholesale market conduct. The presenters - Sonja MacCumhaill, Davy and Michael Hennigan, Central Bank - addressed the topics with IOB’s CEO, Mary O’Dea, and provided insights on how to address the Central Bank concerns.

IOB in conversation with Martin Moloney, Director General Jersey Financial Services Commission

Martina Kelly, Director of Funds at IOB, spoke to Martin Moloney in July about potential structural vulnerabilities associated with asset management activities and recent events related to investment fund liquidity. Martin provided a number of very interesting insights including some thoughts on the impact of high levels of leverage.

Organisational Effectiveness for Fund Management Companies

A panel discussion with panellists Eoin Motherway (The Asset Management Exchange) and Mark Fitzgerald (Independent Director), providing practical insights into how Directors for Organisational Effectiveness can approach the role. There are many questions related to the role of the Director for Organisational Effectiveness within Fund Management Companies. In this discussion, Eoin Motherway from The Asset Management Exchange and Mark Fitzgerald, an Independent Director, provided practical insights on how to approach the role.

Regulatory Insights Session: The Central Bank’s approach to thematic reviews

An interview with Grainne McEvoy, Director of Consumer Protection at the Central Bank of Ireland recorded in February 2021 where Martina Kelly (Director of Funds) talks to Grainne about the Central Bank’s approach to thematic reviews, why this supervisory approach is used and recent CBI letters following thematic reviews of MiFID related requirements. The interview concludes with an indication of topics likely to be a focus in 2021.

Fund Fees and Costs: Evolving regulatory expectations and how to assess value

This live webinar took place in April and included a panel discussion with Eoin FitzGerald from BBH, Nicholas Blake-Knox from Walkers, Sarah Gibb-Cohen from Vanguard and Kevin Mullen from the Central Bank of Ireland.

Regulatory Insights Session: The Central Bank’s Securities Markets Risk Outlook Report

The Central Bank of Ireland issued its first Securities Markets Risk Outlook Report in February. In this interview, recorded on 16th April 2021, Martina Kelly, Director of Funds in IOB, talks to Colm Kincaid, Director of Securities and Markets Supervision, Central Bank of Ireland about the report for 2021, including the background to the publication, some of the key themes and the Central Bank’s supervisory priorities for 2021.