NEW YORK—The European Union’s UCITS, or “Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities,” have been gaining tremendous traction throughout the EU, and even Latin America and Asia. Middle Eastern countries are even beginning to warm up to the instruments, as they are tightly regulated by their host countries and designed to protect the end investor.

 

Today, UCITS have $12.3 billion (EUR $7.93 billion) in assets under management, reflecting a 4.2% year-over-year growth in 2007 and continued, steady growth over the past decade.

 

This was the top-line message at a seminar here yesterday sponsored by the law firm Dechert, which specializes in hedge funds, alternative investments and annuities. And a number of non-European fund companies are successfully flocking to the EU with such instruments, some of which are modeled after mutual funds in the U.S.

 

“While U.S. mutual funds continue to lead global assets under management, at 47.5% as of the end of the third quarter of 2007,” said George Mazin, a partner with Dechert at its New York headquarters, “European-domiciled funds are slowly gaining ground on U.S. mutual funds, with 34.2%.”

 

Three other speakers, from Dechert’s offices in London, Luxembourg and Munich, gave detailed presentations on how to structure, administer, support and market UCITS, with particular attention to regulators’ concerns in the two most popular domiciles of Luxembourg and Ireland.

 

Look for a news feature in the upcoming June 9 edition of Money Management Executive on the presentation, attended by 200 investment management executives.

 

 

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