MiFID II tends to preoccupy most of the investment professionals I meet on my travels, but not the Danes. In 14 meetings, the ‘M’ word was only mentioned once, and then in no great detail.
Many markets have been anxious about the regulation’s January launch date but Danish selectors I spoke to seemed largely unflustered and well-prepared. This relatively calm approach reminded me of meetings I had with Dutch counterparts at the start of the year, but selectors in many other regions have been more on edge.
The phlegmatic Danes, meanwhile, were keener to offer insights into the growth of ESG investing. Nordic markets were one of the earliest adopters of such principles and their experience in this area has made them aware of the different strands involved.
A number of selectors pointed out that the terms ‘ESG’, ‘SRI’ and ‘impact investing’ have become interchangeable and clients need a more exact understanding of what each category means. This focus on the importance of clear definitions extended into my discussions around alternatives, see the Investment column on the right.